University of Alberta copy in the Bryan-Gruhn collection. Literature softliromaspi.ml: Cry The Beloved Country softliromaspi.ml: Print - Paper softliromaspi.ml: Book IN COLLECTIONS. Public Library of India. eBooks and Texts. Cry, the beloved country. [Alan Paton] -- This is a tale of South Africa with a deep affection for the land and its people. Paton tells the story of a black country.
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Get this from a library! Cry, the Beloved Country. [Alan Paton] -- Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo travels to Johannesburg on an errand for a friend and to visit his . Read "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. An Oprah Book Club selection. Cry, The Beloved Country: A Novel by Alan Paton - Free download as PDF File . pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free Cry, the Beloved Country, though it is a story about South Africa, was not written in that country at all .. download the eBook.
After exploring the area while waiting to be rescued, the Dutch crew recommended using it as a station for refreshing their water and other supplies on their way to and from India. This same year also saw the first of two European wars between the English and the Dutch. By the end of the seventeenth century, the white population in the Cape had considerably increased, not only with more Dutch settlers but also with Germans and French Huguenots.
The Dutch insisted on using Dutch as the Cape language and specified the Dutch Reformed Church as the official church.
During the eighteenth century, the Cape colonists were increasingly in conflict with the Dutch East India Company directors. Settlers began to identify themselves as a community separate from the Company, and they adopted the name Afrikaners to distinguish themselves from the Company. The language that evolved from the original Dutch was called Afrikaans.
The enmity that flared up between the Dutch and the English in other parts of the world was to have its impact on the Dutch and English settlers in South Africa. For the hard work on their farms and in their homes, the Afrikaners made extensive use of black freemen as well as slaves imported from other parts of Africa and from southeast Asia the first of the people later referred to as Asians.
As a result, these early settlers did not develop a white labor class. Instead, they adopted the view that menial labor was beneath the dignity of a white person. This attitude contributed to a pattern of class distinctions based on race and color.
By , about 1, white Europeans lived in South Africa and owned over a thousand slaves. Most San people had moved into the interior to escape domination, while the more numerous Khoikhoi remained behind and became virtual slaves of the Europeans. During the eighteenth century, interbreeding was common among Khoikhoi, slaves, and Europeans, creating the first people referred to later as the coloureds British spelling.
In , all non-whites were required to carry passes and forbidden to own land in the Cape. Thus at this point in South African history, the four racial and ethnic groups were clearly established in South Africa: the native African blacks, the coloureds, the Asians, and the whites, who were divided by their own differences, including a difference in language.
Increased Dutch-English Conflict. The English occupied the Cape from until and then took permanent possession in These English were the first European settlers not assimilated into the Afrikaner culture.
The English established their official administration of the Cape along the lines of the British government structure and policy. As part of that policy, they called for better treatment of the blacks and coloureds, returned full civil rights to non-whites, and outlawed slavery. The reaction by Afrikaners to these new policies was a massive exodus by about 12, Afrikaners in what is known as the Great Trek. They settled in new territory to the northern interior, which became the Afrikaner South African Republic, extending over a large area including part of northern Natal and what later became Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
In , the first indentured laborers from India were imported by the English to help in their Natal sugar plantations. By , the Indians outnumbered the whites in Natal. The Griquas let the British annex the land, further embittering the Afrikaners. Conflicts within the Afrikaner provinces as well as between the British and the Afrikaners continued, with the British annexing Transvaal in This annexation provoked the first Anglo-Boer War in The British returned Transvaal to Afrikaner independence in In , gold was discovered in the Transvaal, but this time the British hesitated to take over the area as they had with the diamond mines.
A second Anglo-Boer War over Afrikaner independence took place between and Although the British emerged as victors, neither side would quickly forget this terrible war.
More than 20, Afrikaner women and children died in concentration camps alone. About 30, farmhouses were destroyed — most of them put to the torch by the British. In , all four provinces were given dominion status by the British and called the Union of South Africa. When the Novel Begins. Thus, early in the twentieth century, the stage was almost set for the novel: The English and the Afrikaners continued to live somewhat separate but interacting existences that reflected not only their well-remembered bloodshed but also their traditional differences in culture, language, and nationalist attitudes.
The three non-white groups ranked officially below the whites: the Asians at the top, the coloureds in the middle, and the blacks at the bottom. In and 21 around cities like Johannesburg, blacks were permitted to live only in restricted zones. In the novel, these areas are represented by Sophiatown, Orlando, Alexandra, and Claremont.
Social and economic forces were at work to undermine the traditional tribal structures of the black peoples in their own rural territories, one of the significant trends underlying the events of Cry, the Beloved Country. Whites had assumed all rights and privileges of full national citizenship and control. Asians and coloureds had fewer rights and opportunities. Blacks had even fewer rights and privileges outside their own social structure.
With the help of another black priest, Theophilus Msimangu, Stephen undertakes an exhausting hunt for his son, Absalom, who also left home for Johannesburg and never returned. Stephen encounters his brother, John, who has become a political spokesman for black workers. Before Stephen finds his son, a well-known white man is killed in his home during a robbery attempt by three young black men.
Ironically, the white man, Arthur Jarvis, has been publicly pleading the cause for the rights of blacks in South Africa. Absalom Kumalo is arrested and admits to shooting Jarvis out of his own fear and confusion. Stephen recognizes James at the trial and feels deeply embarrassed and ashamed although James does not recognize Stephen.
Both Stephen and James take steps — each in his own way — to overcome the local problems of poor farming practices and living conditions. On a mountain, Stephen waits through the final hours before Absalom is hanged in a city far away.
An aging, unsophisticated Anglican priest of Zulu background, Stephen deplores the conditions that make it increasingly difficult to make a living from the earth. These conditions have contributed to the disappearance of his son, his sister, and his brother to the city of Johannesburg.
In spite of his efforts, he is again separated from them and must face the impending death of his son. His experiences in Johannesburg lead him to abandon his 23 traditional passivity for an active role in bringing necessary change to his village. Stephen Kumalo Mrs. After trying the slow and patient route to success, he has succumbed to the temptations of quick and easy prosperity offered by more cynical and street-wise friends, including his cousin Matthew Kumalo.
He remains naive and easily influenced by them, resulting in the tragedy that will end his life. She and Absalom seem fond of one another and want to marry and have the baby. She grasps hungrily at the opportunity Stephen offers her to escape from her helpless situation in Johannesburg. Halfheartedly attempting to raise her young son, she bootlegs liquor, becomes a prostitute, and even spends time in prison. She falters in her resolve to change her life and return home with Stephen.
His wife, Esther, has left him because of his infidelity. He helps Stephen find his sister, his brother, and his son. Later he reveals that he will soon join a religious community where he will have no possessions or worldly duties. He supports Stephen Kumalo in efforts to help Absalom. James undergoes a transformation and becomes a local activist for improving the circumstances of the black community, backing his commitment with personal resources.
Arthur has been strongly influenced by the words and ideals of Abraham Lincoln. He is married to Mary Harrison and has two young children, a nine-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. On the other hand, the elder Harrison, father to Mary and John, is more typical of white South Africans in his views about blacks and their place in society. Coincidentally, James and Margaret Jarvis are visiting Mrs.
Smith when Stephen arrives at her home in Springs. Stephen and James meet face-to-face for the first time at her home. Mafolo, Mrs. Ndlela, Mrs. Baby Mkize, and the Hlatshwayos The first two rent out rooms in their homes in Sophiatown, the third in Alexandra, and the last in Shanty Town.
Dubula and Tomlinson Political activists and friends to the blacks in Johannesburg. Hlabeni A taxi driver acquainted with Absalom. Kuluse and Zuma Two villagers in Ndotsheni. Tragedy overtakes him. BOOK III Kumalo and Jarvis, separately and together, struggle not only to survive the tragedy in which they are linked but to go beyond it and initiate positive change in their converging worlds.
From one view, the hills and valleys are lush and green, embellished by exotic bird sounds. On closer look, the hills fall away to barren red slopes, dry streams, and poorly tended farms in the valleys.
The land no longer maintains a hold on young people and able-bodied men. The Reverend Stephen Kumalo, parson of a small, black Anglican church in the village of Ndotsheni, receives a letter from a stranger in Johannesburg, the Reverend Theophilus Msimangu. Kumalo learns that his own sister, Gertrude, who disappeared in Johannesburg searching for her husband, is sick.
Msimangu suggests that Stephen come to the city to see to her needs. On a series of trains, Stephen travels overnight to Johannesburg. The city overwhelms him until a sympathetic stranger takes him in hand and delivers him to the Mission House in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, where he meets Msimangu, a young, black Anglican priest. Msimangu offers to help Stephen in his arrangements for Gertrude and in his search for Absalom.
He knows where they can find John Kumalo, now a political activist in Johannesburg, and reveals to Stephen that Gertrude lives as a prostitute in the worst part of Johannesburg. She makes and sells illegal liquor and has been in prison several times.
Msimangu arranges for Stephen to stay with a parishioner, Mrs. Lithebe, while he is in the city. While the first lyrical chapter introduces the reader to the physical setting of rural Natal in the Union of South Africa, it also lays the foundation for two significant cultural themes in the book: the sharp contrast in South Africa between the living circumstances of blacks and whites, and the migration of people away from the deteriorating land toward the glittering promise of the city.
Paton does not give names to several secondary characters even though they play meaningful roles in the story. Namelessness may reflect his intent to keep the focus on a few characters, or it may reflect his intent to let those unnamed characters represent archetypes of people with a certain background, attitude, or motivation. He seems to typify the respectful, supportive attitudes of the small tribal community. Paton was very familiar with the Protestant Bible. He never indicated an intentional link to the biblical story, but the reader who knows the biblical account will see parallels between the Absaloms.
This brief chapter and the parallel section in the first chapter of Book II are virtually short narrative poems that include literary devices and wordplays. Using another stylistic tool, Paton makes dramatic use of sentence fragments. The power of first impressions and new experiences is heightened by narration in present tense.
Here and in the following sections, selected words and phrases from the novel are explained or clarified. Such words are not repeated in these chapter glossaries unless they merit additional comment. The country became the Republic of South Africa in A South African pound was equivalent to about four dollars. Narrow gauge railways are more prevalent on short rail lines in rural areas.
His initial anger and shame at what she has 32 become quickly change to compassion and protectiveness. He encourages her to return to Ndotsheni with him when he goes home. She agrees, and he immediately moves her and her son into Mrs. John lectures them on his views about the need for a new society with greater equality and more opportunity for black South Africans. Finally, he admits that he does not know where Absalom and his own son are, but he directs them to a textile factory where the boys once worked.
There, the landlady refers the two men to a distant section of Johannesburg called Alexandra. Because buses to Alexandra are being picketed by blacks in protest against fare increases, Kumalo and Msimangu start to walk the eleven miles. To their great surprise, a sympathetic white man offers them a ride to Alexandra, which they accept.
Msimangu learns from the landlady, Mrs. Mkize, that Absalom and his cousin had brought stolen goods to the house, but they have not lived there for about a year. She tells them the name of a taxi driver with whom Absalom and his cousin were friendly. When Stephen and Msimangu find the taxi driver, he suggests that the boys may live in Shanty Town, in the section called Orlando.
Chapter 9 is a series of short scenes illustrating the harsh realities of life in Shanty Town. The extraordinary conditions of Shanty Town are experienced through the special literary device of an interpolated chapter.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they [the whites] are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating. Paton realistically portrays racial groups in their diversity of attitudes and behavior throughout the book. On the other hand, Stephen and Msimangu directly experience supportive efforts by individual whites, including the white man and other whites ferrying blacks between Sophiatown and Alexandra, even under threat by the police.
Mafolo, who leads him to his destination; his own sister and brother; and, of course, his new friend, Theophilus Msimangu. It is informative to watch how Stephen and Msimangu each react to the events and circumstances that they encounter in their search for Absalom.
Stephen begins the journey naive and unsophisticated because of his inexperience in settings outside of his rural home. Msimangu, on the other hand, demonstrates considerable disillusionment about racial inequities, living and working as he does in the midst of Johannesburg and its deprived black communities.
The events in the book will change both men. Paton shows how difficult it is for blacks to find living space even in their own community, and he demonstrates why people rent rooms in their already-crowded homes to make ends meet. Christ have mercy upon us. White man, have mercy upon us. The term Bantu, however, is offensive to many South African blacks on both political and linguistic grounds. In the s and s, a group of segregated townships southwest of Johannesburg acquired the collective name South West Townships, abbreviated to Soweto.
In , Soweto gained world renown as the focal community in the violent revolt against apartheid. Dubula comments that some blacks make only thirty-five or forty shillings a week, the equivalent of about seven or eight dollars. The increase in bus fare from fourpence to sixpence would mean that many workers would pay about a sixth of their total weekly wages for transportation. The Afrikaans form is kaffer. The other two men were Jan Hofmeyr and Archbishop Geoffrey Clayton, both of whom became subjects of biographies written by Paton.
He prays for spiritual strength before continuing his search for Absalom. A Shanty Town nurse directs Stephen and Msimangu to the Hlatshwayo home, where Absalom had lived for a while, although he is no longer lives there. At the Hlatshwayo home, Stephen and Msimangu learn that Absalom was taken to a reformatory. When they visit the reformatory, they discover that Absalom was released a month earlier so that he could make money to support a family; a young woman is carrying his child.
A young, sympathetic white man at the reformatory takes Stephen and Msimangu first to his own home for tea and then to Pimville to visit the young pregnant woman, who tells Stephen she has not seen Absalom for several days. Initially, Msimangu tries to dissuade Stephen from taking responsibility for the woman and her child, pointing out that Absalom may not even be the father.
The newspapers report the murder of Arthur Jarvis, a courageous white supporter of black rights and justice.
Arthur is the only son of James Jarvis, whose great farm is in the hills above 36 Ndotsheni. Stephen accompanies Msimangu on a pastoral visit to a shelter for blacks who are blind. During his time alone, Stephen begins wondering if Absalom could possibly be involved in the murder, making Stephen all the more eager to get his family out of Johannesburg, with Absalom and his wife-to-be, if possible.
Commentary The character of the young white man at the unnamed reformatory is based on one of the men who worked for Paton when he was the principal of Diepkloof, a large reformatory for four hundred black boys ages nine to twenty-one.
The fact that the young white man invites Kumalo and Msimangu to his home for tea would have been most unusual in the South Africa of Also extraordinary is that the young man and his wife have taken several of the black boys from the reformatory into their home to live with them. In the silence that follows, the journalist interjects an emotional paragraph characterizing the effect such events have on the whole society.
Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly. Let him not be moved. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much. The differences are reinforced through the habitual and traditional reactions each group has to the ongoing societal circumstances, such as the generally poor living conditions of the blacks, as well as to dramatic events like the murder of the younger Jarvis. It is not true that fear will rob the child of all if he gives too much, but it is true that fear will temper his joy.
Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.
Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.
How does the story resemble the biblical parable of the prodigal son? How does it mirror another biblical parable, Absalom? What is the significance of Kumalo's son being named Absalom? Where else does the Bible inform the story? There are many paradoxes in this novel: a priest's son commits murder; a white man who fights for the dignity of South African blacks is senselessly murdered; the father of the murdered son helps the father of the son who murdered to keep a disintegrating native tribe together.
How do you reconcile these paradoxes? How do they contribute to the richness of the story? Why might Paton have made this choice? Msimangu says, "I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power or money, but desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it.
Some forty-odd years later, has Msimangu's prophecy come to pass? If so, in what ways? If not, why? How does apartheid manifest itself in Cry, the Beloved Country? Describe or characterize the separate worlds inhabited by blacks and whites. Where do black and white lives touch? Jarvis is unable to physically comfort Kumalo.
Paton writes, "And because he spoke with compassion, the old man wept, and Jarvis sat embarrassed on his horse. Indeed he might have come down from it, but such a thing is not lightly done. Why is he capable of one and not the other? Exactly what is it that is not lightly done? How and why does such duality exist? What do you feel about such codes of behavior? Cry, the Beloved Country is, in part, a story about those who stayed and those who left. What happens to the people who stayed in the tribal villages?
What happens to those who left and went to Johannesburg? What is Paton's point of view of this mass migration?
Does he feel it was necessary? What is your opinion?
Arthur Jarvis says "It was permissible to allow the destruction of a tribal system that impeded the growth of the country. It was permissible to believe that its destruction was inevitable. But it is not permissible to watch its destruction, and to replace it with nothing, or by so little, that a whole people deteriorates, physically and morally. How is the tribal system destroyed? What is done to replace it? An unidentified white person in the novel offers, "Which do we suffer, a law-abiding, industrious and purposeful native people, or a lawless, idle and purposeless people?
The truth is, that we do not know, for we fear them both. Which does the white man suffer in this novel?
What might be Paton's point of view? What is your opinion and why? Throughout the story, Kumalo experiences the absence of God and momentary losses of faith. He suffers through periods where it feels as if God has deserted him.
What other characters experience the absence of God?