- Created by: gitudisco
- Created on: 13-05-19 12:46
Cry, The Beloved Country
IGCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE
Full Title - Cry, the Beloved Country
Author - Alan Paton
Type Of Work - Novel
Genre - Father’s quest for his son; courtroom drama; social criticism
Language - English
Time And Place Written - Various parts of Europe and the United States, in 1946
Date Of First Publication - 1948
Publisher - Charles Scribner
Narrator - The third-person narrator is omniscient, or all-knowing, and temporarily inhabits many different points of view.
Point Of View - Books I and III are largely told from Kumalo’s point of view, while Book II is told largely from Jarvis’s point of view. A number of chapters, however, feature a montage of voices from different layers of South African society, and the narrator also shows things from other characters’ perspectives from time to time.
Tone - Lyrical, grieving, elegiac, occasionally bitter
Tense - Past
Setting (Time) - Mid-1940s, just after World War II
Setting (Place) - Ndotsheni and Johannesburg, South Africa
Protagonist - Stephen Kumalo; James Jarvis
Major Conflict - St17ephen Kumalo struggles against the forces (white oppression, the corrupting influences of city life) that destroy his family and his country
Rising Action - Kumalo travels to Johannesburg to search for his son
Climax - Absalom is arrested for the murder of Arthur Jarvis
Falling Action - Absalom is sentenced to death; Jarvis works with Kumalo to improve conditions in the village; Absalom is hanged
Themes - Separation and reconciliation between fathers and sons; the impact of social injustice on individuals; crime and punishment; Christian love as a response to injustice
Motifs - Descriptions of nature; anger and repentance; repeated phrases
Symbols - The church, brightness, sunrise
Foreshadowing - When Kumalo sees in the newspaper that a white man has been killed by native South Africans during a break-in, he has a premonition that Absalom is involved.
- Ndotsheni (South Africa)
- Reverend Stephen Kumalo receives letter asking for his presence in Johannesburg because his sister Gertrude is fallen sick.
- Stephen Kumalo starts his journey hoping to cure Gertrude and to find his son Absalom that never returned to Ndotsheni
- Kumalo soon meets Msimangu, the priest who sent him the letter
- Stephen finds housing at Mrs. Lithebe a Christian women that feels like helping others is her duty
- Stephen Kumalo visits Gertrude, who is now a prostitute and liquor-seller and he convinces her to go back to Ndotsheni with the young child she has
- Msimangu helps Stephen in his search for Absalom
- They visit Kumalo’s brother John, who has become a successful business man and politician that directs them into a factory where Absalom used to work
- Kumalo starts following the leads that people give him and during his journey he starts to learn about the racial and economic gap between black and white people.
- He finds out that his son spent a lot of time in a reformatory and that he got a girl pregnant
- Meanwhile, on the newspaper it is announced that Arthur Jarvis, a white…