In the novel Cry the Beloved Country, author Alan Paton tells the story of the breakdown that is occurring in his native country of South Africa and ways in which to fix it. In the novel, the main character Reverend Stephen Kumalo embarks on a mission to the city of Johannesburg in order to find his missing son Absalom. Throughout his journey Kumalo sees and experiences many injustices that clearly illustrate the growing divide between blacks and whites in the country. Paton incorporates his diagnosis of the racial divide that occurs within the country and the reasons behind it. Along with his diagnosis, Paton in the novel Cry the Beloved Country uses the setting of the land of South Africa to illustrate hope for the oppressed groups, even when all hope seems to be lost.
Alan Paton describes how all hope seems lost because of the destruction of the native South African land. He makes it extremely clear from the beginning of the novel that the people must respect and care for the land because it is so beautiful and sacred. Since there is so much racial tension and both races are fighting each other in order to take power, no one is thinking about taking care of the land that is so valuable to the country. Paton stresses the land’s importance by stating, "Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed" (Paton 33). The land is sacred because God gave it directly to the people of South Africa. However, what Paton says also foreshadows that if the people do not take care of the land their race will end up being destroyed along with the land. Furthermore, the direct r...
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...es this same metaphor for the country to say that neither side has to say anything. They just need to cooperate with each other. Through the relationship of Reverend Kumalo and James Jarvis, Paton illustrates how there still is hope for the country and he shows a way in which things can be reconstructed.
Paton illustrates clearly how the land of the country and the nation as a whole is in shambles, yet he provides hope for the people. In Cry the Beloved Country, Paton proves through the conflict of the races that the land of South Africa is in grave danger of being lost. However, Paton does have a vision of what can help the country and that is when the different racial groups in the land can coexist in peace. In the novel Cry the Beloved Country, Paton shows that no matter how bad life and relationships can get, there is always a way to make it better
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