Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

819 Words4 Pages
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Main Characters 1. Stephan Kumalo/umfundisi, a humble reverend from the village of Ndotsheni. 2. James Jarvis, 3. Msimangu, Stephan Kumalos host and guide in Johannesburg who has great understand of South Africa's problems. 4. Absalom Kumalo, ran of to Johannesburg and soon goes astray. Minor Characters 1. Mrs. Lithebe, allows Stephan Kumalo stay at her home while in Johannesburg. 2. Arthur Jarvis, son of James Jarvis, and a fierce supporter for black South Africans. Setting Cry, the Beloved Country, is set in the 1940's in the metropolis city of Johannesburg, and the quiet county village of Ndotsheni, within a nation full of racial prejudice, injustice, and inequality, which stains and fouls the land. Life within South Africa is always difficult inside the cities and racial injustice adds to the problem. The only work you could really find if you were a black person would to go to the mines or the factories. But the pay you receive is barely enough to keep yourself alive. Much less to support a family! So this leads many astray to a life a crime. Plot In the village of Ndotsheni, the reverend, Stephan Kumalo, receives news that her sister has fallen ill. So Kumalo embarks on a long journey to Johannesburg, in order to help his sister, and in hopes of finding his son Absalom. When Kumalo arrives in Johannesburg, he is welcomed by Msimangu, a fellow priest. Kumalo then visits his sister Gertrude, and persuades her to go back to Ndotsheni. Later, Kumalo visits his brother, John Kumalo, in a search for his son. Finally, they find Abaslom arrested for the murder of Arnold Jarvis. In the hills above Ndotsheni, the local police arrive at the home of James Jarvis, with news of his son's death. Jarvis and his wife then journey to Johannesburg. While in Johannesburg, Kumalo meets Jarvis for the first time, and expresses his grief for the death of Jarvis's son. At the trial, Abasalom is sentenced to death by hanging. Kumalo returns to Ndotsheni, only to realize that the way of life that once held his people together was dying. James Jarvis becomes involved with helping the village, in an attempt to help rebuild the tribal way of life. Theme Cry, the Beloved Country expresses the prejudices and hates that we humans make against our differences, which only clouds our vision, and disables us to see and do what is right. Several people like James Jarvis, Arthur Jarvis, Napoleon Letsitsi, and Stephan Kumalo, have been able to clear themselves of all prejudices to help each other, and doing so help all of South Africa and its people.
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