In the opening passage of Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country, he shows us the beauty of South Africa through multiple biblical allusions with the majestic mountains, rolling hills, and low desolate valleys. Under all this beauty, the corruption of man comes to surface and destroys Gods’ perfect creation. The underlying meaning of this passage when broken down speaks of morals and how a persons’ take of society affects their moral character. With the use of biblical allusions and syntactical patterns beautifully woven together, the clear picture of how morals affect a person is shown.
The use of syntactical patterns by Paton is skillfully shown when he portrays God as giving a series of commands like the Ten Commandments for men to “keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and men is destroyed.” (Paton 33) Through these commands we see that when Paton is talking about “it” he means the morals of which every person deems important to themselves. If a person cares for their morals it protects them in society and protects who they are as a person. Paton’s use of diction in this passage also shows the effects of morals on a person through the differences of words in the first two paragraphs compared to the words in the last two paragraphs. In the first two paragraphs Paton’s description of the earth is as perfect “being as it came from the Creator,” Himself. (Paton 33) “The feeding streams” and “rich and matted grass” show the beauty and reward of Heaven when one upholds his righteous morals on earth, while the last two paragraphs on the other hand hold words that give off a sense of Hell with the “coarse and sharp… stones that cut under the feet” or “where dead streams come to life, full of the red blood of the earth.” (Paton 33) These words in turn show that when a person gives up their righteous morals in life, they live a dead and empty life and are never really able to reach their goals in life and are never...
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