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Cry The Beloved Country Essays - Fear

Fear, Injustice And Family In Cry, The Beloved Country

Nothing is ever perfect. All systems have their flaws. Sometimes more flaws than any good. That was the way it was in South Africa during the apartheid, people had to break away from the family and their tradition just to get food and a little money. The corrupt government spread ideas of inequality and injustice, forcing people to live in fear of their lives. In his protest novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton uses the interaction of characters to illustrate the negative effects of apartheid on both the natives in South Africa and the white oppressors. He uses the subject fear to demonstrate the everlasting ideas of the world’s corrupt system of justice and what effects it can have on family and religion.

A corrupt system, such as apartheid, can jump start a cycle of inequality and injustice that will roam the country and haunt the families it breaks up. Steven Kumalo’s search for Absalom was based on inequalities and racism, which systematically created his troubles. Absalom shot Jarvis out of fear of what he might do to him and his two friends since he caught them in the house robbing him: “And again the tears in the eyes. Who knows if he weeps for the girl he has deserted? Who knows if he weeps for a promise broken…Or does he weep for himself alone, to be let be, to be let alone, to be free from the merciless rain of questions, why, why, why, when he knows not why (99)”. Black south Africans are treated different from the white South Africans. Absalom weeps because he is scared of the questions and what their answers could be. He doesn’t know why he shot Jarvis because he knew it was the wrong thing to do, but there was nothing else to do. He was scared that Jarvis would get them into trouble; he had no idea that Jarvis was a man who fought for native rights. He is scared of himself and scared that since he killed a man, which in his and his family’s mind is the worst thing one could do, what more he could do to other people, including his father, and his pregnant girlfriend. The natives were only allowed to own a small portion of the land as opposed to the white South Africans whose population was miniscule to the natives but they own a much larger quantity of land. The natives own the land that is unusable and course: But the rich green hills break down. They fall into the valley below, and falling,change their nature. For they grow red and bare; they cannot hold the rain and themist, and the streams are dry in the kloofs. Too many cattle feed upon the grass,and too many fires have burned it....

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Security and Independence in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country

1857 words - 7 pages One great paradox of human life is the balance between security and independence. Many people would say that they are self-sustaining, that they can make it on their own. The question is not always whether or not they can make it, but what the cost of their security is. Some value their personal freedom more than their security, for others it is the opposite. In “Cry, the Beloved Country” characters often wrestle with this issue. Every character...

Racial Morals in Cry, The Beloved Country

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Africa: Cry the Beloved Country

1791 words - 7 pages FCA's:-Completely summarize plot-Discusses at least 2 themes-Uses at least three quotes from the bookThe book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil between both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid. The book describes how the understanding between whites and blacks can end mutual fear and aggression; and bringing reform and hope to a small...

Biblical Allusion in Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

1096 words - 4 pages The use of Biblical allusions and references is evident in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country. Against the backdrop of South Africa's racial and cultural problems, massive enforced segregation, similarly enforced economic inequality, Alan Paton uses these references as way to preserve his faith for the struggling country. By incorporating Biblical references into his novel, one can see that Alan Paton is a religious man and feels that faith...

Racial concerns in, "Cry, the Beloved Country", by Alan Paton.

1476 words - 6 pages Racial Concerns in Cry, the Beloved CountryIn the story, Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, depicts about Ablsom Kumalo's search for his son in Johannseburg, and he later knew that his son killed white man. His son, Ablsom, is convicted for guilty charges, and that shows that white society is filled with discrimination and injustice. Yet, this murder had brought

Inevitability of Change Revealed in Cry, the Beloved Country

1158 words - 5 pages Inevitability of Change Revealed in Cry, the Beloved Country   Things grow old and die.  Change is inevitable:  a candle will eventually burn out, trees will fall to the ground, and mountains will crumble to the sea.  This inescapable process is clearly illustrated by the character Stephen Kumalo in the book Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton.  The Kumalo seen in the beginning of the book is a completely...

Nature vs. Nurture in "Cry ,the beloved Country"

740 words - 3 pages Psychologists often battle on the idea of 'Nature vs. Nurture', or the idea that people's character are decided by either genetic inheritance or their surroundings. In Cry, the Beloved Country, two brothers, John and Stephen Kumalo, are shown to have distinctly different values, although they are of the same family. Alan Paton, through his juxtaposition of John Kumalo and Stephen Kumalo, provides a correlation between a person's environment...

Corruption In Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

624 words - 2 pages Corruption is one of the most prevailing themes in Cry The Beloved Country, as well as in today’s world. In this story the author pictures many different characters in order to represent this wide spread illness of society, John Kumalo, Gertrude, Abasalom, just to name a few. Johannesburg itself is the summary of all that is wrong with cities of today. There is corruption and poverty. Crime runs rampant, and law-abiding citizens are forced to...

Comparing Cry the Beloved Country and To Kill a Mockingbird

1010 words - 4 pages In both novels, Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Patron and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee there are many similar issues between both novels. In each novel they both have the issues racism, immoral behavior, and loyalty. The novels are very different in many ways but they are also very similar to. One of the big topics of both books is racism. Both books clearly show this issue. In the book Cry the Beloved Country, one quote that clearly...

Detailed Study of Passage in Cry, the Beloved Country

1044 words - 4 pages Detailed Study #2 Cry, the Beloved Country In this passage, the author details the reactions of parents who receive letters about and from their son who is soon to be executed. This extract contains three sections, all of about the same length. The first paragraph in the excerpt contains only one character, Stephen Kumalo, who has opened one of four letters which he has received and grieves over the news that his son will be hanged. He...

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

1223 words - 5 pages 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...

Summary: Discusses the novel Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Patton. Explores the theme of fear. Describes the practice of apartheid in South Africa.


Alan Patton uses fear as a recurring theme in his novel, Cry the Beloved Country. Throughout its course, specific examples of fear are brought about to define the life of black and white people in South Africa. John Kumalo fears losing his family and tribe to the sinful margins of the city of Johannesburg. In Johannesburg whites fear violent acts brought against them, from the blacks that seek reprisal from the prejudicial acts and hatred that are notorious in segregated South Africa. And for one black man, the fear of having the power to incite, and pilot the blacks into violent riots. Throughout the novel, just as Alan Patton reiterates the theme of fear, so does he give solutions to finally put and end to them all.

Because of the immense drought and harsh conditions in Ndotsheni, many Zulu youth have left the tribe and traveled to Johannesburg...

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