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Cry The Beloved Country Theme Essay

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Setting plays a significant role in literature and can develop a theme. In the novel, Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, the setting presents a key role that develops the theme of injustice as a result of racial conflict leading to penalties including death. Alan Paton chose to widely display this theme in the setting of the novel. Several settings within the country of South Africa, where Stephen Kumalo the protagonist resides, to reinforce the overall theme on the clear injustice and racial conflict of this novel.

Primarily, Stephen Kumalo’s village presents a key role in the novel that develops the theme of injustice as a result of racial conflict resulting in penalties including death. Stephen Kumalo lives in a small village near
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Kumalo sees interesting things during his travels. You can see the result of racial injustice through his eyes. “Kumalo climbed into the carriage for non-Europeans, already filled with the humbler people of his race, some with strange assortments of European garments, some with blankets over their strange assortment, some with blankets over the semi-nudity of their primitive dress”(43).While Kumalo is travelling he witnesses the confusion of the members of his race. They show the need to take on the fashion of the Europeans. Additionally, the novel describes the “strange assortments of European garments”(43), which displays the penalty results of racial injustice placed upon the black people in South Africa. In the same way, the novel relates the “primitive dress”(43) of “the humbler people of his race”(43); considering, the displaced place of these people. To illustrate, the novels narrates Kumalo 's views of the people in the carriage as if it is no surprise and completely normal. In addition, Kumalo views other events that appear normal to him. “The mines, they cry, the mines. For many of them are going to work in the mines.” On the way to Johannesburg: a fellow black man shows Kumalo the mines where e and his friends work. The man further describes the racism and…show more content…
In Johannesburg, Stephen Kumalo is shocked by things he has never seen before: “Johannesburg mfundisi. He sees great high buildings, there are red and green lights on them, almost as tall as the buildings. They go on and off. Water comes out of a bottle, till the glass is full.”(47). Kumalo is surprised by this new environment. Subsequently, this is the reason Paton chose Stephen as a village person going to the big city of Johannesburg. Stephen gets more surprises of penalties due to injustice as a result of racial conflict. “Many of these rooms were the hide-outs for thieves and robbers, and there was much prostitution and brewing of illicit liquor.”() Kumalo is briefed on the severity of poverty and crime in these areas of Johannesburg. Stephen learns some of the penalties of racial injustice. The racism impacted of the people of the city has caused them to crumble and fall into crime and poverty.

Finally, the novel, Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, presents a key concept through the setting that develops the theme of injustice as a result of racial conflict leading to penalties including death. The village of Ndotsheni, Kumalo 's travels to Johannesburg, and Johannesburg itself has been a reinforcement to the overall theme of injustice as a result of
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