CryCry the Beloved Country “Opinions founded in prejudice are always sustainedwith the greatest violence.”(Jeffery) The theme of the book Cry, theBeloved Country revolves around the idea of prejudice causing violence.
Throughout the book the author shows how the laws of white men caused many SouthAfricans to resort to stealing and even murder. The book is divided into threeportions, each with its own theme. The first portions shows how work forced manypoor Africans to migrate from rural area into cities, causing an aberration fromtheir heritage, where they were forced into immoral and illegal activities.
Thesecond portion of the book shows how some white men were affected by their owndoings. The third and final portion of the book shows how the deaths of twoyoung men bring about a reconciliation between a black man and a white man,providing hope that some day the two races will live together in peace andharmony. As, white founded mining companies started to spring up so did cities,bringing many new jobs with them.
As more mines were developed, more miners wereneeded, so affluent white men started recruiting poor black men from smallvillages. The poor black men were allured by the thought of being paid well andliving happy lives, but they were wrong. They were only paid three shillings aday and lived in houses that were complete dumps. Many miners thought that ifthey found more gold they would be rewarded, but they were wrong. Countlessminers had families who depended on them, and three shillings a day was notenough for food, shelter, and clothing. Almost all of these miners did not wantto meet with adversity, so they resorted to other ways of getting food andclothing. A lot of these miners resorted to stealing and even murder to getmorsels of food and a few shillings from white people. In effect, white men hadbrought this violence on themselves. In the story Steven Kumalo, a blackreverend, sends his son, Absalom, to Johannesburg to find his sister who’shusband had gone looking for work in the mines. After a few months Steven becameworried because he had heard no word from his son. When he goes to Johannesburgto find his sister and son, he is abject to find that his sister, who had becomevery frail, was forced to become a prostitute to support her child and his sonhad murdered a white man who ironically was abetting the black people. ArthurJarvis the man who had been killed by Absalom had lived in an adjacent farm whenthe two men were younger. When on trial, Absalom tells the whole truth in hopeof lenience and pleads for a acquittal, but is punished with the most severecastigation, death. While his a accomplices are ironically acquitted. After thetrial, Steven felt antipathy towards his brother, John, who tried to usechicanery to get his son out of trouble. John had told his son to tellapocryphal tales of the events that had happened on the day of the murder. Aftera while of contemplation, Steven goes to his brothers shop and all of a suddenlashes out with great acrimony towards his brother. Although blacks weresuffering more than whites, nonetheless whites where suffering too. One exampleof this is Mr. Jarvis, whose son, Arthur Jarvis, was killed by Steven Kumalo’sson Absalom. Mr. Jarvis did not always get along with his, maverick, son becausehis son believed that all blacks were innocent because the white race had causedblacks to resort to violence. After Arthur’s death, Mr. Jarvis became moreadamant in his views of blacks. He believed that a white person should treat ablack person well, but that blacks and whites should stay isolated from eachother. The idea of how a black man could kill somebody who was on their side wasabstruse to Jarvis. The third portion of the book shows that the death of onesloved one can make a person do anything, even come to a reconciliation with acompletely different race which white people had previously abased. BothSteven’s son Absalom, who was killed by being hung, and Arthur are killed. Thetwo fathers cared very deeply for their sons and would have not thought itimaginable for the two to forgive and forget. When Absalom is scheduled to behung Steven hikes up a sacred mountain to pray for the absolution of his son andto assuage his own pain. While he is up there he converges and consoles Mr.
Jarvis, who gives Steven money to build a new church for his village. Stevenagrees to this, but Mr. Jarvis has one condition that Steven put up one stonewith Arthur’s name on it. A few days before Steven had prayed for rain becauseSouth Africa was having a horrible drought, as he had been leaving for themountain a torrential rain flooded the land symbolizing hope that someday thetwo races will coincide with each other peacefully. Through his narration AlanPaton described the adversity and turmoil that filled many Africans lives. Heliterally made the reader one with the character he was speaking about at thatmoment. Paton showed the reader that out of bad something good can come. Theyounger generation showed the path to the future.
Cite this The Beloved Country
The Beloved Country. (2019, Apr 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-beloved-country/