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Use of Title in Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Essay

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Use of Title in Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, takes place in1946 near the small rural town of Ixopo in the smaller village of Ndotsheni. The main character is Stephen Kumalo, a native priest who sets out on a mission to find his family. He receives a letter from a fellow priest, Msimangu, telling him his younger sister is ill. Kumalo decides he must go to Johannesburg to help his sister. He also hopes to find his only son and see if his brother is well because they too have gone away to Johannesburg. He arrives and with his new friend, Msimangu, searches for his sister and his son. He finds his sister and decides to take her and her son with him to Ndotsheni. He then speaks to his…show more content…
From the very beginning of the novel, the reader reads of a beautiful and rich valley. Then Paton goes on to describe the valley where the main character, Kumalo, lives. It is barren and "cannot hold the rain." It is a valley of "old men and old women" that is deteriorating because the young people are not there to help take care of it (33-34). They all leave and go to the mines and the big cities, for the white man has convinced them this is where they belong. The natives move to the cities to look for opportunities, but are only suppressed by the white man. The whites keep the natives stupid and do not want them to have more money or become smarter. They push the natives down for they fear " a better-paid labour will also read more, think more, ask more, and will not be content to be forever voiceless and inferior" (110). The whites feel threatened by the possibility of equality with the natives. Therefore they deny them money, education and power so there will be no chance of equality. The natives mostly cry because the whites split their tribes apart and their traditions are dying. The first time the title appears in the novel it reads: Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead [the natives predominant advocate], for these women and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. The sun pours down on the
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