Cry the Beloved Country: Book Review

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Cry The Beloved Country: Book Review

Lee Brown
Tina Winings
Acc. Lit. & Comp.
Sept. 25, 1997

"Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of it all. Let him not love the earth to deeply. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give to much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he lives too much. Yes cry, cry, the beloved country" "Cry The Beloved Country" by Alan Paton. "Cry The Beloved Country" was a magnificent work of art and my words alone would do it an injustice. Its pages echo with the dirge of a battered country that has suffered far to much for far to long.

The book takes you to South Africa, where the land itself is the essence of a man. It as if the mountains, soaring high above the clouds, are the high moments in life, and the valleys are those low and suffering times. Next, you will take a journey to a place called Johannesburg. While reading the pages, begin to envision Johannesburg being a polluted, very unkind, and rushed city. The setting is more of a emotional setting than a physical setting. As I stated it takes place in South Africa, 1946. This is a time where racial discrimination is at an all time high. The black community of this land is trying to break free from the white people, but having little success.  It is this so called racism that is essential to the setting of the story. Without it, the book would not have as much of an impact as it does.

The story begins, as many great stories have begun, with a solitary man taking a long and dangerous journey to a distant land. The man is an Anglican Zulu priest, Rev. Stephen Kumalo, and the journey is to the white-ran Johannesburg in 1946. Like a weary prophet taking a biblical sojourn to Sodom, Kumalo is seeking out lost members of his family who have left the townships for the lights of the big city. He is looking for his sister Gertrude, who has become a...
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