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Apartheid and The Future of South Africa in Cry, The Beloved Country

Good Essays
Arthur, Napoleon, and Msimangu, all characters from Alan Paton’s book, Cry, The Beloved Country, are used to share Paton’s points of view on the future of South Africa and the apartheid. Paton uses these characters to represent specific views; Arthur expresses clearly that the apartheid isn’t the right way to progress as a country, Napoleon exemplifies how Paton thinks people should take the anti-apartheid effort, and Msimangu explicitly expresses Paton’s ideas of an ideal leader. Arthur Jarvis was the son of James Jarvis, an activist for the causes he believed in, and very well liked in the community. This made him perfect to voice blame; Arthur Jarvis’ first passage in the book describes the issues that the exploitation of the natives…show more content…
Napoleon Letsisi, a man hired by James Jarvis to teach the people of Ndotsheni proper farming techniques, is described by the author as a good man (Paton 285). Although being one of the last characters introduced in the book, he has one of the stronger voices in the book, with his views and attitudes taken towards others. By displaying Napoleon as an educated good man, Paton shows the value of these characteristics for the future of South Africa. Napoleon’s attitude towards the apartheid is that it happened because of everyone. “Umfundisi, it was the white man who gave us so little land, it was the white man who took us away from the land to go to work. And we were ignorant also. It is all these things together that have made this valley desolate. Therefore, what this good white man does is only a repayment (Paton 302).” On the same page as the previous quote, Napoleon says that he does his work not for his patron, but for his people and country (Paton 302). Both the quote and the reference help frame the way Paton portrays the people’s point of view. The first quote shows that in Paton’s eyes, the people thought that the white man is what led to the problems for the people. This is further supported by Arthur Jarvis’ passage, where he points out that the white population has evaded the issues at hand instead of tackling them (Paton 179). The reference of what Napoleon
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