Cry, the Beloved Country Study Guide

Cry, the Beloved Country Study Guide

Original title:
Cry, The Beloved Country

“Cry, the Beloved Country” is written in 1948 by a South African author Alan Paton. The author has spent many years working in the reformatory institutions and it was on one of the trips abroad that he wrote this book. The novel deals with the racial inequality and segregation.

It's important to understand that the novel was published before the segregation issue intensified in the country, but, nevertheless, the society pictured in it is already difficult to imagine. The domination of one category of people over the others that benefits a specific population group while leaving thousands of people on a verge of dying – this is the reality in which “Cry, the Beloved Country” was created.

The protagonist of the novel, Stephen Kumalo, lives in a small village called Ndotsheni. He goes to Johannesburg to care for his ill sister Gertrude. There he is also looking for his lost son Absalom. The searches put the character through long and rich travels around the country and its industries.

He starts to realize the difference in position black and white Africans have. He also meets the injustice of the system in person when his son is accused of murdering a racial justice movement leader. Even Kumalo’s friend separates from him trying to defend his own son at the expense of Absalom not getting a fair trial

The book is a deep story about people trying to reconcile with the world around them. Some of them open eyes to the social injustice around. The others try to fight their own prejudices.

In the end, the characters of the book are able to overcome fear and hatred and grow the seeds of hope in their hearts. People like this are the ones who healed the nation and started to build a new country in the years that came after the novel publishing.

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