Cry, the Beloved Country
The time period of the publication of Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton accompanies the transitional era prior to the official beginning of the apartheid that lasted a couple of years in the South African history. This duration in the South Africa was essential for the history of the country since it figured out the future of the direction selected by the nation. Those were the years when despite the reality that things were bad, there still was hope about the future of Africa and its people.
This sensation of hope, despite the horrible conditions that the black Africans had to handle, is one of the main ideas in the Paton’s book. The author explains to the problems of social and political injustice, along with the racial discrimination in the African society at the time. By drawing the parallel in between the fates and actions of the primary characters, Paton expresses his own opinion in concerns to what can and need to be carried out in Africa, in order to overcome its crises.
Although the unique, Cry, the Beloved Nation by Alan Paton was written prior to the main execution of the inequitable policy of apartheid in the South Africa, the author clearly reveals the existence of considerable racial discrimination versus the black population. The description of the social conditions given through the words of Stephen Kumalo foreshadows the turbulences and the execution of the segregation system: “And some cry for the cutting up of South Africa without delay into different areas, where white can live without black, and black without white? (109 ). The racist attitudes towards the black South Africans are likewise expressed through the white characters such as John Harrison’s daddy throughout the novel, along with the description of the accustomed way of livings. By drawing a parallel between the primary lead characters, Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis, Paton provides a symbolic path that both the blacks and the whites should take in order for the entire nation to unite and awaken. Both characters go through dynamic development throughout the novel.
Stephen Kumalo starts his course as a naive, rural priest, who wants to reunite his household by brining his sis, Gertrude and his child, Absalom back. In the process of his journey, he loses his naivety by facing the consequences of his son’s failure. Although he loses his boy, who was lastly hung for eliminating Arthur Jarvis, Kumalo discovers a newfound maturity and knowledge. His effort to reunite his household is similar to his dream to reunite his people, the black South Africans among themselves and with the whites.
Kumalo is concerning awareness of that while listening to Msimangu, “I see only one wish for our nation, which is when white guys and black males, desiring neither power nor cash, but wanting only the good of their nation, come together to work for it” (71 ). Through the problem of guilt and shame for his child, dissatisfaction in his sibling, and his nephew John, who betrayed Absalom, Kumalo discovers strength to conquer his discomfort and open his eyes to see that there are people on the other side, on the white side, who likewise wish to help awaken the country.
On the other hand, James Jarvis likewise goes through the development and discovers the knowledge at the end. He is represented in the beginning as a rich and racist white male, whose son is eliminated by the black. As he encounters the work of his kid Arthur for the very first time, it is apparent that he sees the locals as the tribal savages and that the white Christian race presumes no responsibility for the condition of the South Africa. Nevertheless, later on in the story his view completely develops when he goes through his first experiences with the blacks during the funeral at the church.
It is very first contact with the black Africans as with the equal people, and not just like workers or natives. Later the very same day, he discovers more of his child’s work and lastly reads into the real significance of it. “The truth is that our civilization is not Christian; it is an awful compound of great perfect and fearful practice, of high assurance and desperate anxiety, of caring charity and afraid clutching of belongings” (188 ). Jarvis is deeply moved by Arthur’s worlds and he opens a new fact for himself.
Along with Kumalo, James Jarvis recognizes that in order for their nation to survive and aim, all people must collaborate, without separation to black and white. He demonstrates this maturity by helping out the town of Ndotsheni, where Kumalo copes with his better half. Both Kumalo and Jarvis have to lose the most important in the guy’s life, their boys. By compromising the most precious, they both gained something even more precious, the knowledge and the newly found fact that can is for the good of all, the entire Africa.
They both have actually come a long method to recognize that the white blaming the black, and the black blaming the white will not get anyone any even more. For that reason, by conquering their lack of knowledge and naivety, they found the strength on their own, dignity towards each other, and wish for the country’s better, brighter future. Through the powerful words and representations, Paton thus reveals his view that the only thing that could save Africa is the union of both white and black guys that desire the helpful for their country and want to work together. Paton, Alan Cry, the beloved country New York, Scribner [c1950]