Cry Beloved Country

Decent Essays
Will Weaver
AP Lit
Mrs. Schroder
Cry, the Beloved Country Essay- 2003 Prompt
History has proven that cultures rarely cooperate with one another, especially when there is a common desire or goal they wish to achieve for themselves. While conflict is natural and common to humanity, the greatest loss either side of a conflict between cultures can suffer is the impact that the conflict has on younger generations. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country, the Reverend Stephen Kumalo witnesses the fallout of the cultural conflict between the white and black South African people through his son, brother, and sister in Johannesburg. As he travels across a torn and dying country to find his son, Kumalo begins to learn about what the conflict has done to his family and why they never came home.
Kumalo’s first observation of the conflict’s impact comes from his sister, who has become a quiet and timid shell of her former self. Her child lives with her, yet both live in very poor conditions, leading
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Throughout the novel, Kumalo begins to learn from various people that his son drifted from workplace to workplace with his cousin, and eventually discovers that Absalom has been arrested for the murder of an innocent man. Kumalo also discovers that Absalom’s girlfriend is pregnant with his child, and that Absalom will be executed for his actions. Kumalo responds to this by deciding to take the girl with him as well, in order to raise them both in a safe place. Kumalo eventually meets the father of the man Absalom killed and weeps with him over the deaths of their sons. This is significant because it shows how the young generation, the generation that is responsible for the fate of their people, became corrupted and biased by the conflicts of their ancestors, and that they will ultimately die unless they find a better way to
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