Cry the Beloved Country
“Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom is gone. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end (Paton, 105).” In Cry, the Beloved Country, it is 1946 and the land reserved for blacks in Ndotsheni, a part of South Africa, is drying up. In the novel written by Alan Paton, young men and women begin to leave Ndotsheni for the new city Johannesburg. One of those gone is John Kumalo, a businessman in Johannesburg and younger brother of Stephen Kumalo, a reverend in Ndotsheni. Stephen and John Kumalo differ in their regards for family, religion, and corruption.
Stephen has a brother, sister, and son that left him years ago, none of which writes to him. Yet, he still misses them and hopes for their return. One day, he receives a letter with news about his sister, Gertrude. After discussing the news with his wife, he leaves for Johannesburg at once to find his long gone sister. Stephen and his wife sacrifice their savings for Stephen to make the anxious trip. While in Johannesburg, he finds Gertrude, John, and eventually his only son, Absalom. With no bitterness, he resolves to bring them all back with him but in the end, none comes with him. However, he gained a nephew, the son of Gertrude, a daughter-in-law, Absalom’s newly wedded wife, and an unborn grandchild.
On the other hand, John is the opposite of his brother Stephen. John is no longer living with Stephen’s family due to his decision long ago. In addition, John’s wife left him because he was unfaithful to her. He is now living with a woman who is not married to him. The book shows that family comes second to John because he does not keep in touch with his son, Matthew, anymore. When Stephen comes for him, he tells Stephen that he does not want to go back to Ndotsheni. During the trial of the murder of Arthur Jarvis, John hires a lawyer for his son. He tells Stephen that it cannot be proven that his son was there with Absalom when Absalom killed Jarvis. John only rescues his son but leaves his nephew to hang dry. When Stephen confronts John after the trial, John becomes enraged and throws Stephen out. He has no more need for his family, just as years ago.
Stephen is the Zulu reverend of St. Mark's Church in Ndotsheni. He is proud that he is a pastor. Stephen is a good man and is respectful of others, even to the white man. Though being a...