Children Are the Future

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Children are the Future
In Cry, The Beloved Country, the author uses children to portray many aspects of South African Society. He has the child of Arthur Jarvis represent the white aspect of society that is willing to work with the blacks. Paton has Gertrude’s child represent the children of those who have lost their way and sense of morality. Also, he has Absalom’s child represent the children of uneducated wayward black men who committed crimes. In his book Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton uses children to symbolize hope and redemption for different aspects of South African Society. Paton leaves out specific words in Kumalo’s conversation with the youngest Jarvis to show his belief that the element of society that the child represents will have a large part in saving South Africa. “You must come back inkosana. Soon you will be speaking better than many Zulus.” Paton uses the language “speaking better” instead of “speaking Zulu better” or “will understand the language better” to show that those who the youngest Jarvis represents, the whites who try to bridge the divide between the whites and blacks and treat them as equal, will be the ones who help save South Africa more than many Zulus and other natives who will be turned to hating or will be reluctant to accept the new society. The author juxtaposes Gertrude’s departure from her son with the abandonment of her turban and dress to show that there is hope for future generations who come from those who are lost. When discussing Gertrude’s departure and how she will not return to Ndotsheni, the emblem of returning to morality and hope, short, truncated sentences are used: “But Gertrude was gone.”(Paton 250) Paton uses Gertrude as a symbol for the generation of lost, uneducated, native women in South Africa who have been thrown into a world they do not know or understand. Her son represents the future and possibilities and hope for the future that the next generation can...
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