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Cry, the Beloved Country Critical Essays

Critical Evaluation

❶At the beginning of the novel, most of the problems are attributed to the fact that man is separated from the land and that the land is becoming a waste land.

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by Alan Paton

It is difficult to maintain the beauty and fertility of the land when the tribal natives head for the promises of the city. The land, then, stands desolate. This deterioration is further illustrated in the shantytowns dishearteningly discovered by Kumalo as he enters Johannesburg. The opening lines are repeated in chapter 18, which begins book 2. The land is not depleted, but well tended.

The openness and vitality of the land offer a sheer contrast to the depiction contained in book 1. The third section holds a twofold purpose. Chapter 30 brings to light the drought that covers the land of Ndotsheni. Subsequently, this is assisted by a brewing rainstorm and, most notably, by the generosity of James Jarvis, who hires an agricultural demonstrator to ready plans for tillage.

Stylistically, Paton parallels character to character and action to action to dramatize the social ills of South Africa and its native people, while contrasting these vivid portraits to the lives of the white South Africans. The safe, calm village life of Kumalo and the farm life of Jarvis parallel the city life in Johannesburg, a city of evil, corruption, and moral inequities for both blacks and whites.

Each father must come to terms with a loss. Paton allows this parallel to function in two ways: Therefore it is easy for whites to oppress blacks. In the end of the book, Jarvis plays the role of an angel coming down from above.

When Jarvis returns to his "High Place," he doesn't view the problems of the black community in Ndotcheni as being below him as earlier, but plays an active role in reform. He hires an agricultural instructor to teach new methods of farming and sends milk daily to the sick children. Because of one man's understanding and change of heart, many lives are saved, and finally, there is a ray of hope, thanks to Jarvis, "an angel of God" Another character reminiscent of the Bible is Absalom, the son of the main character Stephen Kumalo, an African priest.

The biblical Absalom is a favorite son of King David. Absalom goes against his father and joins his father's enemies. However, the rebellion is suppressed and Absalom is killed. Instead of rejoicing, David bitterly weeps for his son. Moreover, when Stephen Kumalo goes to look for him, the old priest is devastated to find out that his son has killed a man. When Absalom is hanged, Stephen Kumalo weeps.

Like David who cries out, "O Absalom,. Page 1 of 8. Cry, the Beloved Country The book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil of both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid.

Read Full Essay Save. Only available on ReviewEssays. Thus, he returns to his village with a flew understanding of life and of the basic nature of the change taking place in South Africa. Embedded in these ideas is the contrast between the old and the new generations. In the Harrison family, the old man will never change. But with Kumalo and Jarvis, we see both undergoing a tremendous change as a result of the change that took place in each one's son. Furthermore, Kumalo recognizes that if there is to be a permanent change, it must come through the new generation, and he places all his hopes on Gertrude's boy and the child that is to be born to Absalom's wife.

At the beginning of the novel, most of the problems are attributed to the fact that man is separated from the land and that the land is becoming a waste land. This is partly represented by the fact that the new generation leaves the native land for the city.

At the end of the novel, there is hope that humanity can rediscover the land and make it into a new Canaan. Previous Alan Paton Biography. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.

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- Cry the Beloved Country Cry the beloved country, by Alan Paton, is a book which tells the story of how James Jarvis, a wealthy estate owner who, because of his own busy life, had to learn of the social degradation in south Africa through the death of his only son.

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Cry, the Beloved Country literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Cry, the Beloved Country.

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Starting an essay on Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country? Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab. Critical Essays Significance of Cry, the Beloved Country Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The old world of ritual and tribal adherence, of respect for the chief, and of tradition has been destroyed, but nothing has been offered in its place.

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Cry, the Beloved Country The book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil of both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid.4/4(1). Cry, the Beloved Country In a country torn by segregation and hatred, one man seeks to rebuild his family and his tribe.