The Importance of “Cry, the Beloved Country” in Understanding the Black Experience in South Africa
The novel, “Cry, the Beloved Country”, was published in 1948 by Alan Paton. The novel is set in the country of South Africa and tells the story of a black man, Stephen Kumalo, who is a Zulu pastor. Stephen Kumalo goes to Johannesburg, the city, to find his son Absalom who has been accused of murdering a white man. While in Johannesburg, Kumalo also tries to find his sister, Gertrude, who has left her village home to become a prostitute. As Kumalo searches for his family members, he sees the terrible conditions that the black people are living in under the system of apartheid, or separate development, which was instituted by the white government. The novel ends with the murder of Stephen Kumalo’s son Absalom by the white police. This event leads to Stephen Kumalo’s understanding of the need for forgiveness and reconciliation between the black and white people of South Africa.
2. The native Africans move to the city:
The native Africans move to the city for many reasons. One reason is that there are more opportunities for work in the city than in the rural areas. The city also offers more opportunities for education than the villages do. In addition, many young people move to the city because they are attracted by its fast pace and exciting lifestyle. However, life in the city is very hard for most Africans. They are often poor and live in overcrowded and run-down housing conditions. Many Africans are also unable to find work and end up living on the streets. Because of these conditions, many Africans return to their villages after a period of time.
3. What happens to those left behind in villages?:
Those who stay behind in villages often suffer from poverty and lack of opportunity. They may also be subject to violence from those who have left for the city and returned home angry and frustrated. In addition, those who stay in villages may be reluctant to forgive those who have left them behind, which can lead to further conflict and division within communities.
The novel, “Cry, the Beloved Country”, is an important work of literature that highlights the problems experienced by the black people of South Africa under the system of apartheid. The novel also shows the need for forgiveness and reconciliation between the black and white people of South Africa.
The history of South Africa shaped the novel Cry, the Beloved Country in a few ways. First, the novel is set during a time of great upheaval in South Africa, as the country was transitioning from white rule to black rule. This transition was marked by violence and bloodshed, which is reflected in the novel. Second, the history of South Africa is one of Apartheid, or racial segregation. This system of oppression and discrimination is also a major theme in Cry, the Beloved Country. Finally, South Africa has a long history of conflict between the indigenous population and colonial settlers. This conflict is also explored in the novel.
Race plays a very important role in Cry, the Beloved Country. The novel explores themes of racism and prejudice, both on an individual level and on a societal level. The characters must grapple with their own personal biases as well as with the institutionalized racism that exists in South African society.
Alan Paton uses symbolism to explore themes of hope and redemption in Cry, the Beloved Country through various objects and images that appear throughout the novel. For example,Cry,"the title itself refers to both weeping for one's lost homeland and for one's lost innocence." (Cummings) The character Kumalo also represents hope for change; he begins his journey as a man who is broken by apartheid but ultimately finds strength and resilience within himself.