Teresa Davis's Reviews > Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 07, 2011

liked it

Teresa Davis
Mr. Rich
English II
September 1, 2011
Cry, the Beloved Country Book Review
Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Group, 1948. 312. Print.

Cry, the Beloved Country was rather dispiriting. Although it is probably the most famous South African novels and most contemporary books possible, there was an excessive amount of depression in it, that I did not enjoy. I did not particulary love reading it, however, I did benefit from it. I learned to be grateful for many of the things I have, because many people in the world, would kill to be blessed the way that I am.
When reading, I discovered many of the issues in the novel, such as impoverished shanty towns, racial strife, and the mining economy, which is still current in contemporary South Africa today. Because the towns are so destitute, their healthcare is not as up to par, which is why they are also struggling with dealing with things like the scourge of AIDS. In the book, I discerned that poverty turns many of the country's black citizens to participate in gang violence and other belligerent activites.
Life in this South African city, led people to become adolescent pregnant mothers, start prostitution, go to jail, and even the harsh reality of murder. Cry, the Beloved Country tells the story of Stephen Kumalo, whom is a black priest from rural Natal, who goes to Johannesburg because he ascertains news that his younger sister is sick and has not heard from his son at all.When he gets to the city he finds out that his sister is a prostitute and alcoholic, his son has infused a young woman, and worst yet that he has been locked up for killing a white man named Arthur, in a boggled burglary.
The book also follows James Jarvis, whom is the father of recently deceased racial-equality activist Arthur Jarvis. Unexpectedly, the murder brings the two fathers together. James, who was inspired by his son's writing, eventually decides to contribuate a farming groundwork and a dam in Kumalo's bethel. The way James Jarvis and Kumalo become friends was extremely surprising to me. "When a deep injury is done us, we do not recover until we forgive," (86) was an extremely important quote in the book, because neither of the men would have carried on with their lives if they did not forgive each other, their sons, and the society.
Throughout the novel, South African’s of both African and European background perform the small acts to help their fellow country men. While Cry, the Beloved Country acknowledges the intense seperation that existed at the time, it also emphausized hope that racial tolerance and understanding would one day be plausible worldwide. The book is a search for justice in a land where injustice kills. As for injustice and hate, the book makes us believe that we should still continue to have hope. From this book, I learned that although we have no role in deciding they way we are born to live, change is possible. And, the fragments of our past can still be picked up, rearranged a bit, and play a part in our near future.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Cry, the Beloved Country.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel im so glad im not required to read this!

back to top