Cry, The Beloved Country: The Theme Of Racial Discrimination

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In Alan Paton’s book, Cry, the Beloved Country is a powerful novel takes place during the historic duration of developing racial tension and strife that led to the political policy of apartheid in South Africa. A system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed from 1948 until the early 1990s. This exercise has bought on suffering in millions of men and women throughout history. Alan Paton mirrored the merciless and ruthless situation to which black people were exposed before and during Apartheid. It is through this work many people around the world could witness and understand that existence for black people was once difficult, beginning with the negative influence that this practice generated on the individuals who suffered from it. The novel shows how inequality concerning race sows the seeds of resentment, mistrust, and fear that leads notion like apartheid coming to appear to be the solely feasible corrective even although in truth it merely perpetuates the cycle of violence, crime, incarceration, depression, and death.

The main character Stephen Kumalo first confront racial prejudice whilst his journey to Johannesburg. The train he was riding into the Transvaal, was divided between white and black passengers. “Kumalo climbed into the carriage for non-Europeans, already full of the humbler people of his race…” (Paton) The narrator states since the train is of their own, Still, the train is divided into sections for ‘Europeans’ and ‘nonEuropeans.’ The nonEuropean section is fairly crowded and the black travelers must crowd into the same few sections. Cry, the Beloved Country was written two years before apartheid was formally instituted, yet inequality primarily based on race was already well established. It is vital to be aware that the crying that is expressed in the work, is not solely for the beloved Land, but for other instances that would cause such violence, ignorance, poverty and mainly racism.

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The same is true for facilities in the city. In Johannesburg the place white people went the gold mines construct high buildings gorgeous houses and a lovely health facility for the europeans. In the black communities there is a hospital where one can ‘find people lying on the floors. They lie so close you cannot step over them.’ (Paton) blacks go to Alexandra, Sophiatown or Orlando due to the fact those are the locations where black people are allowed to stay. However when they get there there is a six-year waiting list for a residence so housing is practically not possible to come by. Multiple households are in the same house. They are additionally compelled to set up temporary camps out whatever they can find that that quickly turn out to be permanent. The towns are jammed of crime and health problem only worsening the poverty of their inhabitants. Children die, desperate people commit crimes to try to escape hardship, men are thrown in prison, and men are killed growing the resentment and fear.

Growing racial anxiety in the plot increases as we come upon a new incident of irony as Arthur Jarvis, a pro black rights advocate, is killed at the hands of a black parson, Absalom Kumalo. Stephen is Absalom’s father, who has experienced segregation, the reality of residing apart from others and no longer living like average people. In addiction, struggling that his son, imprisoned for the death of a white man, whose father is precisely a supporter of the practice of Apartheid. When Stephen encountered Jarvis, wounded by the homicide of his son and supporter of Apartheid, you can feel the suffering that both fathers and sons had to go through. When Stephen Jarvis says “the heaviest thing of all my years, is the heaviest thing of all your years also” (Paton). There is ultimately a mutual ground of grief and empathy that can be shared by the two elderly fathers and as a result bind them together. Jarvis, who did not socialize and meet with the black natives earlier nor bother to support his own son’s social movement, now share empathy with Stephen Kumalo and even aid for the welfare of Ndotsheni through offering to construct a dam for them.

In a way, Arthur Jarvis is a symbol of the opportunity to invite unity between the native black and whites. Msimangu says in chapter seven. ‘I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men. . . desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it. . . . I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.’ (Paton) To achieve racial Solidarity, the Whites ought to realise the black people favor to “walk upright in the land where they were born, and be free to use the fruits of the earth,” (Paton) and the Blacks need to reflect onconsideration on the White people conceal their fear with “fierceness and anger” and “They were afraid because they were so few.” This threat can purely be alleviate through “love and faith” Paton suggests to overcome this racial gap before it is too late that “one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating.”(Paton)

Paton seeks to provoke a change in the conditions of the society before the deterioration of the human beings will be past redemption. To accomplish this, man have to first rise above the generalities and hatred that every race has for each other. This is a quintessential step to improve and attain a harmony that will restore their country and take away the segregation that runs rampant all through the community. It is then when we have to remember that this system consisted in the separation of the races and that was formerly regarded a law in South Africa, regardless of the enormous difficulties experienced, crying for the beloved land permits the reader to become conscious of the harsh reality of the practice of racial discrimination.


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