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Cry the Beloved Country

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❶It is difficult to maintain the beauty and fertility of the land when the tribal natives head for the promises of the city.

Obsession over what substance has led many people into a frenzy over the state of their stocks?

Critical Evaluation
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by Alan Paton

Even though Christ taught compassion, they claimed he would incite a riot and crucified him. Like Christ, Arthur Jarvis teaches compassion and love between neighbors - whites and blacks, separated by the policy of apartheid.

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ leads to redemption, spiritual growth of many people and progress; likewise, the death of Arthur Jarvis brings reform and hope.

Ironically, the tragedy brings together Stephen Kumalo, the father of a black murderer and Jarvis, the father of Arthur Jarvis, the white victim. High Place where Jarvis lives is symbolic of an elevated position of many whites.

Before his son's death, Jarvis is on the hilltop, thinking in a distant, uninvolved way about the problems between whites and blacks, seeing just the white point of view. Some of their labor was drawn from Ndotcheni, and they knew how year by year there was less food grown in these reserves. Jarvis is not a bad person but is ignorant about the lives of blacks and the real issues that take place. After the death of his son Jarvis learns to view blacks as real people.

Jarvis reads his son's papers and suddenly becomes concerned with the ideas expressed by his son and by Abraham Lincoln. Jarvis doesn't yet know Kumalo is the father of the criminal, and doesn't understand Kumalo's anxiety.

However, Jarvis doesn't dismiss him as a "dirty old parson" like before. Earlier Jarvis might barely have noticed expressions on the face of a Zulu, but now he has changed enough to recognize that this man does not mean to be rude. Most of the whites don't view blacks as real people and are unaware the problems blacks have to face.

Therefore it is easy for whites to oppress blacks. In the end of the book, Jarvis plays the role of an angel coming down from above. When Jarvis returns to his "High Place," he doesn't view the problems of the black community in Ndotcheni as being below him as earlier, but plays an active role in reform. Arthur Jarvis was working on plans that would give the native a sense of direction and worth, but his life was cut short by the very forces that he was working to improve.

The novel is not only a study of social problems but also a study in human relationships. Kumalo, interested at first only in reuniting his own family, comes to understand the greater problems facing his race. In such a novel as this, the absorbing social message must be realized by vivid, human characters in order to make the theme memorable. Many of the ideas of the novel are presented through the suffering of Kumalo. In fact, through suffering, several persons undergo a significant change.

James Jarvis, through the suffering he undergoes as a result of the death of his son, learns to understand his son, whom he had not previously really known. Furthermore, he comes to a better understanding of his own self, and finally he develops an understanding of the social situation of the entire country.

As a result of this suffering and consequent understanding, he becomes a reformed man and continues the work begun by his deceased son by contributing to projects intended to improve the state of the natives. Likewise, Kumalo undergoes tremendous suffering through the death of his son, Absalom.

He is disillusioned by finding his sister and then his son in desperate and degenerate conditions; still later he has to face the death of his son, a shattering experience which brings him to understand many more of the complexities of life.

He realizes that man cannot live simply by the old values; instead, he has to work toward creating new and different values of equal importance. Paton uses unique literary techniques to enhance the poignancy of his themes.

He employs intercalary chapters to dramatize the historical setting of the novel. Paton also uses dashes to indicate dialogue, allowing not only for the realistic portrayal of conversation, but also for the rapid dramatic actions among characters.

This simple literary technique generates the movement of plot and points directly to the language. Diction remains simple, yet eloquent in its delivery by the various characters. Kumalo speaks in a mildly solemn language emphasizing his ecclesiastic background; the Reverend Msimangu often speaks in an oratory fashion to proclaim his views.

John Kumalo uses the language of violence to demonstrate his anger over apartheid and his love for power as a black leader in Johannesburg. The tribal language brings the novel credence and revelation of a people rooted in tradition and honor. In , Paton began writing Cry, the Beloved Country. Less than four months later, he finished it. Born in South Africa, Paton knew firsthand the tragedy that marked his homeland.

He noted that although the story is not true, it is a social record of the truth. Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of world literature, not only for bringing to light a destructive political system but also for depicting the humanity among people that can be lost in the struggle for justice and power.

Alan Paton

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- Cry the Beloved Country Cry the beloved country, by Alan Paton, is a book which tells the story of how James Jarvis, a wealthy estate owner who, because of his own busy life, had to learn of the social degradation in south Africa through the death of his only son.

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Cry, the Beloved Country literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Cry, the Beloved Country.

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Starting an essay on Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country? Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab. Critical Essays Significance of Cry, the Beloved Country Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The old world of ritual and tribal adherence, of respect for the chief, and of tradition has been destroyed, but nothing has been offered in its place.

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Cry, the Beloved Country The book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil of both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid.4/4(1). Cry, the Beloved Country In a country torn by segregation and hatred, one man seeks to rebuild his family and his tribe.