Alan Paton "Cry the Beloved Country"

Topics: South Africa, Black people, White people Pages: 2 (613 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Cry the Beloved Country
Alan Paton, the author of Cry the beloved Country, uses various literary techniques, characters, and a number of symbolic events to represent the state of South Africa in the 1940’s. A good way to explain the land of South Africa is to say it is one of the major characters in the story. The explanation of how the land of South Africa is a major character is because it represents the beauty and terror of the human life. The land of South Africa also represents the differences between the whites and the blacks through the quotes, “The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground” (pg.33). This quote shows that the lives of the white people that lead better lives through education and parental involvement. “But the rich green hills break down. They fall to the valley below, and falling, change their nature. For they grow red and bare; they cannot hold the rain and mist, and the streams are dry in the kloofs” (pg.33). This quote shows the unstable lives of the black people that live in South Africa. They have no sort of an education and a parental figure in their lives. An example of this is when Absalom went to Johannesburg by himself, without his father, he lead a life of stealing and ended up killing a man. Without a parental figure in a person’s life, they can lead a life of misfortune. The state in which South Africa is in during the 1940’s is very complex. The novel takes place is the beginning of the institution of apartheid in South Africa. The definition of Apartheid is a rigid policy of segregation of the nonwhite population. The way apartheid is used in the story is during and after the case of Absalom’s trail, The Kumalo family was on one side in the court and the Jarvis family was on the other side. This also took place even after the trail when Stephen Kumalo left the court seeing that the blacks and the whites were separated on either side of him. The whites...
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