Literary Elements by Paton
In the last chapter of the novel Cry, The Beloved Country the author Alan Paton uses symbols, repetition, and tone shows disparity and hope in the main character, Kumalo in order to describe how the black men of south Africa must be able to adapt to their situations, or they may not make it out with their sanity.
Throughout the passage in chapter 36, Paton often used tone to depict the stages of emotions Kumalo experienced while thinking about his son’s fate. Kumalo questions himself “ Would [Absolam] be awake, would he be able to sleep, this night before the morning? He cried out, My son” (310). In this sentence, Kumalo wonders how his son will face his death the next morning and feels the same pain Absolam does. The anguish and concern Kumalo felt shows his way of coping with the terrible fate to meet his son the following morning. Kumalo not only worries about how his son is coping with his inevitable death, but cries out in desperation as if Absolam will be able to hear him and be comforted. In addition, in the final moments of the book, Kumalo looks “at the faint steady lightening in the east” (312). Kumalo is no longer afraid of his son’s future, embraces it and is at peace. His son’s execution placed Kumalo in a dark place where he was not familiar with, but at when dawn came and the sun rose the thing he feared was finally here and he accepted it so he could move on and his son could rest in peace. The tone in this sentence had a tone of hopefulness, as opposed to the tone of the rest of the passage that had a tone of despair and grief because the referral to the sun displayed optimism and feelings of not wanting to dwell in the past. However, Paton uses the tone shift in this passage to show Kumalo’s acceptance and adaption to reality and the things he could not change.
Paton often used repetitive words relating to the darkness, light, and about the sun rising and setting. These words all described how each village had...
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