Analysis Of Cry The Beloved Country, By Alan Paton

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By the time World War One was in full swing, the Russian people had been suffering under the tsars for many years. The people were starving, and the weak leadership of Tsar Nicolas II was doing nothing to help the situation. The war was not going well: Russia was losing far too many troops and the citizens were growing angry. As a result of the misery the Russian people endured, a revolution broke out and a new leader rose to power: Vladimir Lenin. With the promise of “peace, land, and bread” (find a quotation), Lenin used the suffering of others to promote himself, leading to starvation of thousands in the years to come throughout the USSR. The reality that throughout most of history, human nature reverts to corruption and hunger for power…show more content…
Cry the Beloved Country was written by Alan Paton, who lived in South Africa during the time of Apartheid laws. In his book, he tells the story of Stephen Kumalo, a colored man who faces many challenges as he looks for family members in the big city of Johannesburg, a city full of racial prejudice as a result of Apartheid laws. Stephen’s eyes are opened to a world of suffering as he sees what has become of those who were once close to him. Paton shows that he is an optimist throughout his book by displaying goodness coming out of the pain of life. One character who shows Alan Paton’s optimism is Stephen Kumalo. Stephen goes through hell and back as he travels to Johannesburg, only to find that his son has become a murderer and his sister has resorted to being a prostitute. As a priest, Kumalo finds these transformations that his family members went through to be a troubling…show more content…
Though it does not look like it, good things are happening throughout Johannesburg. In the middle of all the oppression and struggling, Paton uses this city to show people showing kindness when others are suffering. When the bus strike happened and the colored population of Johannesburg protested the raised bus fares, many white men were risking penalty from the law to aid all those who needed to travel the 11 miles to another city, one saying “it is a long journey, said the white man. And I know that you have no buses” (75). This white man was not affected in any way by the oppression occurring everywhere in the city, yet he went out of his way to help someone in need. Paton shows optimism in the character of people living in the city. He has the hope that people will demonstrate love and kindness to others who are less fortunate than themselves. Even when the situation looks bad, Paton shows light in the darkness that is Johannesburg. He also shows the city of Johannesburg showing kindness through the creation of Shantytown. Many people who could not afford housing ended up building their own makeshift homes. The city, feeling sorry for them, built them a place to live, so that they would not have to live in their houses built from scrap. In the midst of the oppression, the city responsible for enforcing all the apartheid laws were still willing to help those in need. Though it was a one-time
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