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The Interrelated Structure of Cry, the Beloved Country


Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country shows the impacts of residing in Johannesburg; though it is a city divided by race, its occupants lead parallel lives (Cry, the Beloved Country 33-312). The lives of the 2 main characters, Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis, are very first portrayed individually, providing each a quality of distinctness and independence (33-210). When Kumalo and Jarvis meet, nevertheless, it is clear that they parallel one another, leading similar way of lives and experiencing similar catastrophes (33-216). The hidden element of style throughout Cry, the Beloved Country is subtle meaning, for there are considerable details whose value are not immediately apparent. Cry, the Beloved Nation is composed of three books, each structured to offer insight into the separate lives Kumalo and Jarvis, while subtly showing how each life is related (33-312).

The very first book describes the predicament of Stephen Kumalo, a local of South Africa, as he travels through Johannesburg. It presents Kumalo as the protagonist and sets up the structure for the conflicts he quickly experiences. Johannesburg serves as both the setting and the antagonist, for it is where racism, crime, and poverty dwell, and is the source of Kumalo’s suffering (33-312). Its impacts are seen in the quote, Cry for the damaged people, for the law and the customized is gone Cry, the precious nation, these things are not yet at an end (105 ). That Kumalo finds his sibling’s prostitution, his sibling’s superficiality, and his child’s criminal activities in Johannesburg reveals the city to have actually entrapped his family, along with its inhabitants, into a stage of decreasing morality (33-312).

The 2nd book shows James Jarvis as he grieves for his killed boy. The change in point of view to focus on Jarvis’ character includes depth to Cry, the Beloved Nation, revealing a reaction to the crime committed by Absalom, Kumalo’s son. Since Jarvis’ actions and feelings are seen, he ends up being an active character (161-312). The weather scene occurs when Kumalo and Jarvis fulfill for the very first time, representing the fight of feeling and stress everyone has actually felt given that their discovery of the murder (211-216). When Kumalo says, This thing is the heaviest thing of all my years, is the heaviest thing of all your years also (214 ), he is attempting to show Jarvis that both are grieving over their children and remain in similar situations. This fight represents the parallel between the two men’s lives (33-216).

The third book exists for Kumalo and Jarvis to come to a resolution to their situation. There were factors, such as the prevalence of racism and the irony that his murdered child was a protector of the social injustices of locals, that would have supported Jarvis’ hatred for Kumalo (253-312). When Jarvis says, I have seen a male, who remained in darkness till you discovered him. If that is what you do, I offer it voluntarily? (307 ), he is acknowledging the goodness of Kumalo’s intents as a pastor. Jarvis’ generosity in restoring the church, cultivating the land, and enhancing the way of life of Kumalo’s village symbolizes his carrying on of his child’s tradition to assist the struggling natives. The 3rd book serves to deal with the tension between Kumalo and Jarvis, and, representatively, alleviate the stress between the locals and the whites of South Africa (253-312).

The three books that structure Cry, the Beloved Country serve to loop the lives of Kumalo and Jarvis, who are afflicted by grief for their lost boys. The interrelation of the books likewise shows the dependence that both men feel for one another. Kumalo’s goodness as a servant of God, his household, and his people gives Jarvis inspiration to continue his boy’s legacy. Jarvis’ help to Kumalo’s village brings back the natives’ hope in the whites that run their nation. The simplistic language used supports the subtlety of significance, creating an efficiently running style. The division of Cry, the Beloved Nation into three books therefore creates three phases representing grief, confrontation, and hope (33-312).

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