Cry, The Beloved Country By Alan Paton

767 words - 3 pages

Cry, the Beloved Country is such a controversial novel that people tend to forget the true meaning and message being presented. Paton’s aim in writing the novel was to present and create awareness of the ongoing conflict within South Africa through his unbiased and objective view. The importance of the story lies within the title, which sheds light on South Africa’s slowly crumbling society and land, for it is the citizens and the land itself which are “crying” for their beloved country as it collapses under the pressures of racism, broken tribes and native exploitation.
Paton is able to convey the idea of racial injustice and tension thoroughly throughout the novel as he writes about the tragedy of “Christian reconciliation” of the races in the face of almost unforgivable sin in which the whites treat the blacks unjustly and in return the blacks create chaos leaving both sides uneasy with one another. The whites push the natives down because they do no want to pay or educate them, for they fear “ a better-paid labor will also read more, think more, ask more, and will not be content to be forever voiceless and inferior” (110). They feel threatened by the possibility of equality with the natives. Therefore they deny them money, education and power so there will be no chance of equality. Though whites are to blame for the blacks living in poverty, they are not responsible for the terrible ways that many black people have responded to this injustice. ********

The South African society is divided unjustly and racially. The whites are made up of the Afrikaner and English speakers who inhabit the rich farmlands, which they took away from the blacks. The black natives are then forced move to the cities to look for opportunities, but are only suppressed by the white man. The drastic changes found when the natives move to the cities only brings social breakdown, in which the blacks have their traditional social structures that lent stability to their lives taken away from them. They are then left to work with low wages and forced to endure poor living conditions leading these oppressed blacks to commit unreasonable crimes. Msimagu explains to Kumalo that the...

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