The Reality of Racism- Displayed In Cry, the Beloved Country
Cry, the Beloved Country is not another novel of common strife between man and his fellow. It is an entirely higher sense of what "brother against brother" is. Seemingly harmless characters like Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis reveal the bigger picture of racism around the entire country. The effect of extreme poverty, the responsibility of the whites, made this story possible. The solution to the problem is portrayed through Absalom, his crime, and Arthur Jarvis. "'Bexxuse the white man has power, we too want power,' he said. 'But when a black man gets power, when he gets money, he is a great man if he is not corrupted [Paton 70].'" John Kumalo's words were rebuke against the white nation. The blacks had the same vices and values as the whites, yet the whites were more dominant. Why should it be that way? This story is the protest against that white domination.
Johannesburg was racked with poverty. Any fool knows that when there is poverty, crime will run rampant bexxuse of the desperate people trying to survive. Absalom Kumalo was not the first murderer or thief in the city. There were many more killings and robberies. This was accepted as reality. All lives led to nowhere. After all, if your skin is black, opportunities of leading a privileged life are limited. Why try? This attitude led to filth and poverty. When no one has a life to lead chaos reigns. Should crime not have a place in this society? With so many people homeless and poor, the only way to get money is to steal. The root of this problem was the white man.
Paton expresses them through James Jarvis. This was the white man in the flesh. He adhered to the common stereotypes of blacks, which were rampant. Although His residence was close to a black village, He chose to have nothing to do with them. Even in the courtroom after his son's death, he remains indifferent to this obviously pitiful race. Arthur's death was like a wake-up xxll from heaven. Paton purposely created this situation of the demise of a universally beloved man to tell the white people that if they do not lend a hand in stopping the black degradation, they might have to learn the hard way. Had this not have happened, Jarvis would have ended his life ignorant about the...