Cry The Beloved Country Theme

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“Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton is a novel about Stephen Kumalo’s journey to reunite his family. Kumalo is from the small village in South Africa and most of his imediate family has left in order to move to the big city of Johannesburg. One day, Kumalo gets a letter from a priest in Johannesburg saying that Kumalo needs to come to Johannesburg because his sister is sick. But when he arrives, he finds out that not only his sister is suffering, but his son and brother are also suffering. Along his journey, he is faced with many overbearing challenges that he must overcome. He is plagued by learning more than he intended and tries to help his family with not only physical pain, but also mental and spiritual troubles. He is trying his…show more content…
One might believe that the most powerful example of something is through personal experiences. In “Cry, the Beloved Country”, Paton is able to show us how Kumalo’s sister is suffering. We learn that she is a prostitute and selling liquor illegally. One comes to believe that even though Paton uses diction and imagery to show the theme of suffering, that this example of his sister is much more powerful, moving, and relatable. “This is bad liquor here, made strong with all manner of things that our people have never used. And that is her work, she makes and sells it. I shall hide nothing from you, though it is painful for me. These women sleep with any man for their price. A man has been killed at her place. They gamble and drink and stab. She has been in prison, more than once.” (Paton 23). In this portion of the book, we can see that Kumalo’s sister is suffering simply because of the predicament she is in. She doesn 't want to be doing all these bad things but is kind of forced to do them in order to survive in the city. “The need for truth and justice is paralleled by Kumalo’s search for his son Absalom, whom he finds in prison” (CITATION NEEDED). Even though the quote is not about Gertrude, this still shows suffering through personal examples. Both of these instances amplifies Kumalo’s suffering, as seeing his family in pieces is not an easy task. We see suffering through personal example to try to understand the characters better and their
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