Security and Independence in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country Essay

Security and Independence in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country Essay

Length: 1441 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One great paradox of human life is the balance between security and independence. Many people would say that they are self-sustaining, that they can make it on their own. The question is not always whether or not they can make it, but what the cost of their security is. Some value their personal freedom more than their security, for others it is the opposite. In “Cry, the Beloved Country” characters often wrestle with this issue. Every character responds uniquely according to their situation. The results are meaningful and give information about who they really are and what they value.
First there is Gertrude, the protagonist’s younger sister. She grew up with the tribe in Ndotsheni, but upon reaching adulthood, left for Johannesburg. Her original profession is unknown, but she desired to be away from the restrictions of the tribe. There is no better way to remove yourself from a society than to do something unacceptable. Gertrude achieved this by defying one of the tribe’s and her family’s most sacred institutions, the church. She turned to prostitution as an answer to her desire freedom. She was in charge, she set the price. It made her feel good knowing that she was worth more than the tribe saw her as. She did not need a man to support her. She could discard the tribe’s ideas of marriage and family. It came at a price though. She lost all security. She believed that this was freedom. The truth is that she was never free as a prostitute, she was completely dependent on her customers. It was with her purity and innocence that she paid for the food on her table. If her body did not sell, she would have to lower the price, and the standards. Stephen brought to light the trap that she was in. At first she believed him, but after a ...

... middle of paper ...

... a very young age and with it her independence. Once she gained back her independence she saw that safety was missing. She looked for it in “husbands” but found that they failed her. Stephen gave her back that security when she joined his family through marriage. Stephen left the comfort of home to help others, but found himself more helped. He came back with a new sense of independence derived from interdependence. The deepest lessons you can learn are from your own mistakes. These characters all had flaws, that much is true. The difference came from how they chose to deal with them. The best result came when they said “I cannot do this alone.” The balance is found when one is free and safe personally, but also shares that freedom and security with others.

Works Cited

Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1948. N. pag. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Alan Paton 's Cry, The Beloved Country Essay

- I am leaving South Africa. I have lived here for 35 years, and I shall leave with anguish. My home and my friends are here, but I am terrified. I know I shall be in trouble for saying so, because I am the widow of Alan Paton. Fifty years ago he wrote Cry, The Beloved Country. He was an unknown schoolmaster and it was his first book, but it became a bestseller overnight. It was eventually translated into more than 20 languages and became a set book in schools all over the world. It has sold more than 15 million copies and still sells 100,000 copies a year....   [tags: White people, Black people, South Africa]

Powerful Essays
1797 words (5.1 pages)

Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country Essay

- Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country The book I have chosen to write about is Cry the Beloved Country. This book is about ambiguity and reconciliation. The main character in the story Stephan Kumalo has to deal his the struggle of his family, and trying to keep them together. The first few chapters of this book are place in a small town called Ndotshenti. But the action in this takes place in the largest city on South Africa, Johannesburg. Stephan Kumalo finds out there can be day light even when nothing in you life is going right....   [tags: Alan Paton Cry Beloved Country Essays]

Powerful Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton Essay

- In Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton uses Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis as examples of humanity’s tendency to be complacent about critical issues until a momentous event occurs which forces them to confront the issues. This message is very clear in Cry, the Beloved Country as it is in our society. People tend to ignore serious issues rather than confront and solve them. Historical examples like the Holocaust greatly illustrate this point. Stephen Kumalo is complacent in his village of Ndotesheni and only realizes the extent of the destruction of the tribal structure after he returns from Johannesburg....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Powerful Essays
1423 words (4.1 pages)

Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country Essays

- “For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.” Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, can be understood as either a political novel or an artistic novel. Although this book involves political issues, the manor in which these concerns are conveyed throughout the story is quite artistic (as the above quote exemplifies), thus why I believe Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, is an artistic novel....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Powerful Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Essay

- “Africa” is not even an African word. There is no certainty as to where it originated from but it could be connected with the Latin word aprica, meaning “sunny,” or the Greek word aphrike, meaning “not cold.” It seems more likely that it came from the Greek word; “aphrike” is the combination of “phrike” (cold and horror) with an “a” placed in front to give it the opposite meaning. Therefore, it means a land free of cold and horror. It’s such an ironic name for a country where people are living their lives with hunger and fear....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Powerful Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton Essay

- Chapter One: The first chapter of Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country begins with a description of a road that runs from the village Ixopo into the hill and then leads to Carisbrooke and to the valleys of Africa. The grass is rich and matted, a holy ground that must be kept and guarded for it keeps and guards men. Analysis: Alan Paton begins Cry, the Beloved Country with a description of the land surrounding Ixopo, the village where the pastor (and protagonist) Stephen Kumalo lives. Paton establishes this as a rural and isolated area, which is significant to develop the character of Kumalo and his relationship to the larger urban area of Johannesburg where he will soon find himself....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Free Essays
1707 words (4.9 pages)

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton Essays

- Social Protest Cry the Beloved Country was a book written to bring about change. Through out the book Alan Paton reveal the social injustices of South Africa. This whole book, although a fictional stories, is to protest of the ways of South Africa. Paton brings up the inequity of the natives’ verses the whites; he makes points about education, superiority, and separation. Paton clearly showed that the white man is superiority to the black, he gives numerous examples throughout the novel. The white man had more money, a better job, a nicer house… With James Jarvis, Paton showed that he was superior by making him live on high place, because he was so much superior than the natives that lived...   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Free Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Essay

- Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton As an advocate for the natives, the death of Arthur Jarvis is a blow to the South African community. Although dead, Arthur Jarvis has a significant influence in the book Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. Arthur Jarvis is a white man who believes in equality between the white men and the native men. Before dying Arthur Jarvis was a president for the Africans Boys Club and involved in many other such organizations. (He wholeheartedly believed that all men were created equal, a belief reinforced bye the wall of books on Abraham Lincoln....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Free Essays
388 words (1.1 pages)

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton Essay

- Cry the Beloved Country Seeing on Another Level From the day of birth and throughout adulthood, we as humans go through many changes. Kohlberg identifies these changes as stages of moral development that all humans go through. Each person's moral reasoning develops through Kohlberg's mapped out stages. In the novel Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton discuses the life of several defined characters who undergo significant moral changes, all of which are for the better. A man named James Jarvis is a wealthy land owner and a crucial character in Paton's novel....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Free Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

Essay about Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

- Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton is a novel inspired by the industrial revolution. Paton describes in detail the conditions in which the Africans were living during this time period, 1946. This story tells about a Zulu pastor who goes into the city in search of his son and siblings who left in search of a better life. The pastor sees this immense city where a ruling white group is oppressing the black population. This novel is more than just a story, but it depicts the effects imperialism and the Industrial Revolution had on South Africa....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Free Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)