In a novel written by Allen Peyton, young men and women started to leave Nottyze in the new town of Yodonesburg. One is he is also the disappearance of John Kumalo, a businessman of Johannesburg, brother Ndotsheni pastor Steven Kumalo's younger brother. Crying, this beloved country is the successor to our fears for the fetus. He should not love the earth too much. When water flows through his fingers, please make him not laughing too happy when the sun is shining in the meadow.
Please do not be silent too. When the birds in his land are singing, do not put too much of his soul in the mountains and valleys, please let him move too much. If he pays too much, I am afraid that he will take everything away.
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So Kumalo is in a perfect position to observe the damaging results of black unemployment and the lack of defined social roles in the people around him. And his emotional, personal reactions to these symptoms of broader political and economic problems remind readersthat, all statistics about crime aside, there are actual people suffering from the results of South Africa's legalized, horrifying racism.
Cry, the Beloved Country is also the story of a man seriously out of his comfort zone.
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When Kumalo first arrives in the city of Johannesburg, he is so frightened of the traffic and the crowds of people that he is afraid to leave the train station. And of course, he immediately gets cheated: a young man offers to buy a bus ticket for him and then disappears with his money. Obviously, this is not a guy who is comfortable with city life. Still, there is a purpose to Kumalo's innocence.
Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton Essay examples | Bartleby
Paton isn't assuming that we, as readers—especially international readers—will have any idea about the layout of Johannesburg or the motivations and habits of its residents. And the easiest way to introduce us to the city and to its crime, which is the specific topic of Cry, the Beloved Country is to introduce an equally unknowing character to it. That way, more knowledgeable characters like Msimangu can explain to Kumalo and to us what's what. In fact, this is a classic sitcom strategy. If you go back to the first episodes of How I Met Your Mother or Friends , you'll see that these shows also use the technique of introducing a new character—Robin, in the case of HIMYM , Rachel, in the case of Friends— into an existing social circle so that there's a plot-level reason for all of the explanations that a first episode or couple of episodes requires.
We've mentioned that Kumalo is a Christian priest, but we haven't talked about the fact that Kumalo's religious faith is actually a really important part of the overall point of Cry, the Beloved Country. Not only does Kumalo's role as a preacher bring him in touch with a lot of liberal white priests who are eager to help him most notably, Father Vincent , but it also speaks to one of the big moral messages of the book: brotherly love. This novel like many others including the Lord of the Rings books , the Harry Potter series, and the Beatles song "All You Need Is Love" suggests that the only force strong enough to fight the fear that leads to hate is love.
What is more, the Christian emphasis on brotherly love has obviously played a huge part in real-life anti-racist struggles. After all, Dr.
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Martin Luther King, Jr. However, Kumalo's particular character focus on forgiveness and charity does open up Cry, the Beloved Country to some criticism. Let's look at a passage near the end of the novel, when Kumalo is reflecting on his son's execution. The narrator comments:. And what was there evil in their desires, in their hunger [to be free]? They were afraid because they were so few.
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And such fear could not be cast out, but by love. Paton's use of this rhythmic and repetitive language "deep, deep in the heart, a fear so deep"; "fierceness and anger, and hid it behind fierce and frowning eyes" reminds us a little bit of the Bible's style, actually. And the content could come straight out of a sermon: that last line that such fear "could not be cast out, but by love," comes across as a piece of moral instruction to the reader.
As a character, Kumalo focuses on forgiveness, acceptance, and trust in God, even though the fate of his family seems so unfair and unjust. This puts Kumalo's character squarely in Uncle Tom's Cabin territory.
Cry, the Beloved Country Essay | Essay
Uncle Tom's Cabin is a famous anti-slavery novel written in the midth century by a white woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe used her strong belief in Christian love to present an argument that slavery always horribly corrupts the people who participate in it. And Stowe's book was hugely successful in gaining white support in the North for the anti-slavery movement in the years leading up to the American Civil War.
But both Uncle Tom's Cabin and Cry, the Beloved Country have been criticized by people who feel that these books emphasizelove while, at the same time, ignorin g the right of black activists to make their own choices about the strategies they use in achieving social change.
Some readers have found these works to be condescending and patronizing to black reformers, since they discourage independent political organization on the part of the black community a point to which we'll return in our " Character Analysis " of John Kumalo.