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Cry the Beloved Country

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❶Even though Christ taught compassion, they claimed he would incite a riot and crucified him. At the end of the novel, there is hope that humanity can rediscover the land and make it into a new Canaan.

Alan Paton

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Critical Evaluation

Cry, the Beloved Country is structured in three sections. Book 1 points to the erosion of the land as the people leave their native soil. This section focuses on the native soil of the blacks, Kumalo in particular. It is difficult to maintain the beauty and fertility of the land when the tribal natives head for the promises of the city. The land, then, stands desolate. This deterioration is further illustrated in the shantytowns dishearteningly discovered by Kumalo as he enters Johannesburg.

The opening lines are repeated in chapter 18, which begins book 2. The land is not depleted, but well tended. The openness and vitality of the land offer a sheer contrast to the depiction contained in book 1. The third section holds a twofold purpose.

Chapter 30 brings to light the drought that covers the land of Ndotsheni. Subsequently, this is assisted by a brewing rainstorm and, most notably, by the generosity of James Jarvis, who hires an agricultural demonstrator to ready plans for tillage.

Stylistically, Paton parallels character to character and action to action to dramatize the social ills of South Africa and its native people, while contrasting these vivid portraits to the lives of the white South Africans. The safe, calm village life of Kumalo and the farm life of Jarvis parallel the city life in Johannesburg, a city of evil, corruption, and moral inequities for both blacks and whites.

Each father must come to terms with a loss. Paton allows this parallel to function in two ways: Paralleling, then, is more than just a structural device, but rather a focus on the issue of race relations in South Africa. Paton uses unique literary techniques to enhance the poignancy of his themes.

He employs intercalary chapters to dramatize the historical setting of the novel. Paton also uses dashes to indicate dialogue, allowing not only for the realistic portrayal of conversation, but also for the rapid dramatic actions among characters.

Absalom only intends to rob Arthur Jarvis, and the homicide is unintentional. Absalom thinks that Arthur Jarvis is out and comes into the house with two friends. However, when Arthur Jarvis "heard a noise, and came down to investigate" Startled and afraid, Absalom fires blindly. Absalom later says in court: I fired the revolver. In his room, there are pictures "of Christ crucified and Abraham Lincoln" , the two men who fought for human love and compassion and were killed because of their beliefs.

Arthur Jarvis can be identified with Jesus Christ. Jesus taught "love thy neighbor as thyself". Roman priests didn't understand him, but they felt his power and were afraid of him. Even though Christ taught compassion, they claimed he would incite a riot and crucified him.

Like Christ, Arthur Jarvis teaches compassion and love between neighbors - whites and blacks, separated by the policy of apartheid. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ leads to redemption, spiritual growth of many people and progress; likewise, the death of Arthur Jarvis brings reform and hope.

Ironically, the tragedy brings together Stephen Kumalo, the father of a black murderer and Jarvis, the father of Arthur Jarvis, the white victim. High Place where Jarvis lives is symbolic of an elevated position of many whites. Before his son's death, Jarvis is on the hilltop, thinking in a distant, uninvolved way about the problems between whites and blacks, seeing just the white point of view.

Some of their labor was drawn from Ndotcheni, and they knew how year by year there was less food grown in these reserves. Jarvis is not a bad person but is ignorant about the lives of blacks and the real issues that take place.

After the death of his son Jarvis learns to view blacks as real people. Jarvis reads his son's papers and suddenly becomes concerned with the ideas expressed by his son and by Abraham Lincoln.

Jarvis doesn't yet know Kumalo is the father of the criminal, and doesn't understand Kumalo's anxiety. However, Jarvis doesn't dismiss him as a "dirty old parson" like before. Earlier Jarvis might barely have noticed expressions on the face of a Zulu, but now he has changed enough to recognize that this man does not mean to be rude. Most of the whites don't view blacks as real people and are unaware the problems blacks have to face.

Therefore it is easy for whites to oppress blacks. In the end of the book, Jarvis plays the role of an angel coming down from above.

by Alan Paton

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- Cry the Beloved Country Cry the beloved country, by Alan Paton, is a book which tells the story of how James Jarvis, a wealthy estate owner who, because of his own busy life, had to learn of the social degradation in south Africa through the death of his only son.

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Cry, the Beloved Country literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Cry, the Beloved Country.

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Starting an essay on Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country? Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab. Critical Essays Significance of Cry, the Beloved Country Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The old world of ritual and tribal adherence, of respect for the chief, and of tradition has been destroyed, but nothing has been offered in its place.

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Cry, the Beloved Country The book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil of both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid.4/4(1). Cry, the Beloved Country In a country torn by segregation and hatred, one man seeks to rebuild his family and his tribe.