New Criticism of Cry, the Beloved Country Essay

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New Criticism of Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton can be effectively analyzed using the theory of New Criticism. When beginning to look at the text one must remember not to any attempt to look at the author’s relationship to the work, which is called "intentional fallacy" or make any attempt to look at the reader’s response to the work, which is called the "affective fallacy." First, the central theme of the book must be recognized. In this book the central thematic issue is separation and segregation, that there will always be major problems in society when race or skin color segregates people. This central theme can be seen in every place the characters travel and also in their daily activities.
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She left her family in Alexandria and has lived on her own. Absalom is here third husband and she is even unsure of here age. Another theme is that each character is propelled by his/her own journey or search. Stephen Kumalo comes to Johannesburg to search for his ailing sister, missing son and a friend’s daughter. In his journey to Johannesburg there are a lot of smaller journeys, such as trips to the reformatory, Shanty Town ,Ezenseleni, and many such other trips. Other characters that are searching or journeying for something are Arthur Jarvis, James Jarvis, Absalom Kumalo, John Kumalo, and Msimangu. The ability of a family to nurture and heal individuals. This theme can be seen in how individuals such as Absalom and his wife are committing crimes to survive, but once reintroduced into the Kumalo family they become innocent and resort to traditional means of surviving. Absalom admits his guilt and writes letter to his family. Something he has never done and his wife happily takes up the responsibility of raising Gretchen’s baby and is enthralled about being part of the Kumalo family. Other themes are that nature has the ability to heal, the exploitation of blacks results in the disintegration of the native community, fear is a universal trait that controls the lives of South Africans, and power corrupts and causes people to lose
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