Whilst traveling in Scandinavia, the idea behind the book, 'Cry, The Beloved Paton's main purpose in his book 'Cry, the Beloved Country' is to comment on the . PDF | This paper is intended to demonstrate that the recurrent use of the marked syntactic structure called a cleft sentence in the novel Cry, the Beloved Country. 𝗣𝗗𝗙 | On May 17, , Imtiaz A. Hussain and others published Cry, my beloved country.
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g i5ffEuCry, the Beloved Country. ALAN PATON. Level 6. Retold by G. F. Wear and R. H. Durham. Series Editors: Andy Hopkins and Jocelyn Potter. “Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water. CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY NOTES including • Life and Background of the Author • Introduction to the Novel • A Historical Introduction to the Novel • A Brief.
Mkize, that Absalom and his cousin had brought stolen goods to the house, but they have not lived there for about a year. Writer As Political Activist. These events included the strengthening of the National Party, dedicated to entrenching white supremacy and black subordination. People grow and change by accepting their personal responsibility for serving a cause greater than themselves. During the period from about to A. During the eighteenth century, the Cape colonists were increasingly in conflict with the Dutch East India Company directors.
Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.
Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.
See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. Alan Paton, a native son of South Africa, was born in Pietermaritzburg, in the province of Natal, in Paton's initial career was spent teaching in schools for the sons of rich, white South Africans, But at thirty, he suffered a severe attack of enteric fever, and in the time he had to reflect upon his life, he decided that he did not want to spend his life teaching the sons of the rich.
He got a job as principal of Diepkloof Reformatory, a huge prison school for delinquent black boys, on the edge of Johannesburg. He worked at Diepkloof for ten years, and at the end of it Paton felt so strongly that he needed a change, that he sold his life insurance policies to finance a prison-study trip that took him to Scandinavia, England, and the United States. It was during this time that he unexpectedly wrote his first published novel, Cry, the Beloved Country.
It stands as the single most important novel in South African literature. Alan Paton died in in South Africa. The Afrikaans form is kaffer. The other two men were Jan Hofmeyr and Archbishop Geoffrey Clayton, both of whom became subjects of biographies written by Paton. He prays for spiritual strength before continuing his search for Absalom. A Shanty Town nurse directs Stephen and Msimangu to the Hlatshwayo home, where Absalom had lived for a while, although he is no longer lives there. At the Hlatshwayo home, Stephen and Msimangu learn that Absalom was taken to a reformatory.
When they visit the reformatory, they discover that Absalom was released a month earlier so that he could make money to support a family; a young woman is carrying his child.
A young, sympathetic white man at the reformatory takes Stephen and Msimangu first to his own home for tea and then to Pimville to visit the young pregnant woman, who tells Stephen she has not seen Absalom for several days.
Initially, Msimangu tries to dissuade Stephen from taking responsibility for the woman and her child, pointing out that Absalom may not even be the father. The newspapers report the murder of Arthur Jarvis, a courageous white supporter of black rights and justice. Arthur is the only son of James Jarvis, whose great farm is in the hills above 36 Ndotsheni.
Stephen accompanies Msimangu on a pastoral visit to a shelter for blacks who are blind. During his time alone, Stephen begins wondering if Absalom could possibly be involved in the murder, making Stephen all the more eager to get his family out of Johannesburg, with Absalom and his wife-to-be, if possible.
Commentary The character of the young white man at the unnamed reformatory is based on one of the men who worked for Paton when he was the principal of Diepkloof, a large reformatory for four hundred black boys ages nine to twenty-one. The fact that the young white man invites Kumalo and Msimangu to his home for tea would have been most unusual in the South Africa of Also extraordinary is that the young man and his wife have taken several of the black boys from the reformatory into their home to live with them.
Another demonstration of how whites were contributing to the welfare of blacks appears during the visit of Stephen and Msimangu to Ezenzeleni: In the silence that follows, the journalist interjects an emotional paragraph characterizing the effect such events have on the whole society.
The phrase reappears in the next chapter in a more extended statement of concern and caution: Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly. Let him not be moved. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much. The differences are reinforced through the habitual and traditional reactions each group has to the ongoing societal circumstances, such as the generally poor living conditions of the blacks, as well as to dramatic events like the murder of the younger Jarvis.
Paton himself pointed out in Towards the Mountain that this paragraph about fear is a kind of hyperbole: It is not true that fear will rob the child of all if he gives too much, but it is true that fear will temper his joy. Furthermore, the disparate elements of society can all contribute toward a future with greater equality among the races — if people will accept responsibility for serving a cause greater than themselves.
This view is reinforced by the repetition of a theme repeated from Chapter 1: When Msimangu preaches to the blind at Ezenzeleni, he reads from the Bible. Isaiah His pleasure, however, is soon buried under the despair of learning from Msimangu and the young white man from the reformatory that Absalom, along with his cousin and another friend, has been arrested for the murder of Arthur Jarvis.
On the way to the prison, Stephen stops to tell his brother, John, about the arrests, and John accompanies him to the prison. Stephen finally sees Absalom for the first time since his son left home. Absalom admits that in his fright at being discovered during a theft, he unintentionally shot Jarvis.
He has already 39 confessed this to the police. To Stephen he is uncommunicative about himself: He agrees to marry the girl having his baby and not to write to his mother yet.
Matthew will deny having been at the scene of the murder. He abruptly leaves Stephen and Msimangu. Later he returns to Stephen to apologize for his reactions and urges him to find a good lawyer.
Father Vincent of the Mission House agrees to find a lawyer and also to perform the marriage between Absalom and the girl. He admonishes Stephen not to judge Absalom and to find personal solace through prayers for others, not in self-recrimination or blame of Absalom.
The next day, Stephen goes alone to tell the girl what has happened, to find out if she wants to marry Absalom, and to offer to take her back to Ndotsheni with him. She agrees to the marriage and is pleased with the prospect of living in Ndotsheni.
Stephen arranges for her to move temporarily into the Lithebe house where he and Gertrude are staying. Stephen again visits Absalom, who agrees to marry the girl and to talk with a lawyer, especially in light of the denials by the other two young men, including his cousin, Matthew. The lawyer, Mr. Carmichael, interviews Absalom and then visits Stephen to say he will take the case without a fee, pro deo for God.
Commentary The ambivalence of the young white man from the reformatory realistically reflects attitudes of many people who devote time and resources to the needs of those in less favorable circumstances: God abandons no one, even if that seems to happen.
Prayers and gratitude are essential. Absalom finally tells him it is the work of the devil, to which Stephen reacts impatiently.
Even though he is so glad to find his son, he cannot avoid being the scolding father. Like other farmers, he realizes that the valleys are drying up, becoming barren, because the natives know nothing about farming methods.
He regrets that Arthur, his son and only offspring, has chosen not to take over the family farm, one of the finest in the area, but instead chose to become an engineer. A police car arrives near the Jarvis house bearing the area police captain and the local officer.
The captain informs James that his son has been shot to death at his home in Johannesburg. Shocked at the news, James makes arrangements with the police to be flown to Johannesburg. He takes on the difficult task of informing his wife. John tells James that Arthur was one of the finest men he knew.
Harrison points out the terrible irony that Arthur, virtually a missionary for the cause of the natives, has himself been killed by a native.
Inwardly, James regrets that he did not understand his son better when he was alive. In one of the books, he reads the Gettysburg address. He then pockets the Lincoln book for later reading. The service is attended not only by whites but by blacks, coloureds, and Asians. The Jarvises had never before sat in a church with non-whites. James is very moved as he reads it in private.
John is apparently trying to prevent his father and others from condemning a whole ethnic group Afrikaners for the attitudes and actions of a segment of the group the Nationalists.
The service for Arthur provides the first time James and his wife have ever sat in a church with non-whites and the first time James has ever shook hands with blacks. On the one hand, these arrangements seemed to assure better living for the workers since they would not then be entirely dependent on their own small, withering farms.
On the other hand, they would become dependent on the white farmers, and if members of the native family left home, the blacks might be hard pressed to meet the commitments of their farming arrangements. They are identical in almost every word. However, in Book I, the narrative proceeded down the hill toward the community of Stephen Kumalo and his parishioners in Ndotsheni.
This common beginning, describing actual common ground between both sides, dramatizes how close the two communities are geographically to one another but suggests how conspicuously different are the lives of their residents as a result of racial and cultural circumstances. The theme of father-son separation and reconciliation is reflected in a special way in these chapters. James begins to learn about his son: James begins moving toward a kind of mental and spiritual reconciliation with his son, which eventually manifests itself in his actions.
So Absalom changes his plea to not guilty. His cousin, Matthew, and their companion, Johannes Pafuri, both plead not guilty. Matthew and Johannes appear shocked at his description of the crime. The judge questions Absalom about his gun: On the way out of the hearing, Stephen Kumalo recognizes the father of the victim as James Jarvis, his wealthy neighbor, and feels humiliated. Meanwhile, a new vein of gold has been discovered in the Orange Free State province, a reason for celebration by white investors who watch their investment grow five-fold overnight.
Some predict a new Johannesburg in the Orange Free State, while others lament that the profits will not be used for social and agricultural improvements. But of South Africa I learned nothing at all. James is deeply moved. While James and his wife are visiting their niece, Barbara Smith, and her husband in Springs, near Johannesburg, Stephen 47 Kumalo arrives to ask about a girl who once worked for the Smiths but who is now missing. When Stephen sees James at the door, he staggers and has to sit down on the steps.
James waits patiently while Stephen collects himself and states his business.
He finally recognizes Stephen as the Ndotsheni pastor and sees the fear and suffering on his face. He reminds Stephen that as a small boy, Arthur occasionally rode through Ndotsheni on his horse.
When James translates her reply into Zulu for Stephen, he does not include her final comment of indifference. The discoveries led to a new influx of whites into the country, which had been under British rule since 48 the early s. The extent of white prejudice and condescension is represented in this omniscient narrative comment: The men can come to the mines and bigger and better compounds can be built for them, and still more vitamins be put in their food.
But we shall have to be careful about that, because some fellow has discovered that labour can be overvitaminized. This is an example of the Law of Diminishing Returns. One catalyst to this change is the written legacy of his murdered son. Another is the obvious respect he receives from people of various backgrounds. James already speaks Zulu fluently. Smith, and he initiates the Zulu ritual of farewell.
His final comment to his wife is also revealing: Even the visual pattern of dashes before most dialogue accentuates the rapid-fire testimony by which Absalom seals his own fate. The use of present tense throughout the scene gives it added immediacy.
Chapter 23 is another interpolated chapter that seems to have little to do with the forward movement of the story. That does not mean he can do everything. As on previous occasions, he stops short of inciting them to violence, although white police in attendance have that very concern about his words. Among the crowd, Stephen Kumalo is amazed at the impact his brother has on the crowd.
In four short segments at the end of Chapter 26, the views of whites about the unrest among the blacks are revealed, and the results of a worker strike are summarized.
Lithebe admonishes Gertrude about the people she sees and about her careless behavior. After they attend an evening church meeting during which a black woman speaks about becoming a nun, Gertrude confides to Mrs. Another murder of a white citizen by a black intruder occurs just before the judge is scheduled to reveal his verdicts for the three young men held in the killing of Arthur Jarvis.
The judge reviews his evaluation of the evidence against each defendant and concludes by declaring Absalom Kumalo guilty of murder without, in his opinion, mitigating circumstances. He releases Matthew Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri for lack of evidence.
The judge sentences Absalom to death by hanging. Absalom collapses in terror, and Stephen is helped from the courtroom by Msimangu and the supportive young white man from the reformatory. In prison, Father Vincent performs the marriage of Absalom and the young woman carrying his child.
Afterward, Stephen stays for a while to comfort Absalom and say goodbye. He and the rest of the family will return to Ndotsheni the next day. Absalom has arranged for Stephen to have his small savings for the child. Absalom clings to his father as he admits he is afraid of the hanging. He must be forcibly pulled away by the prison guards.
Stephen visits his brother to say goodbye and offends John by implying that Matthew betrayed Absalom. John angrily puts Stephen out of his shop, and Stephen is immediately ashamed of what he has done. In the meantime, James Jarvis and his wife leave the Harrison household on their way back to their home at Carisbrooke. At a farewell party in Mrs. They part with great emotion. He discovers that Gertrude has disappeared, having left her son behind for Stephen to care for.
And people persist in discussing soil-erosion, and tribal decay, and lack of schools, and crime, as though they were all parts of the matter. So in a way it is best not to think about it at all. Throughout these four chapters, actions of both main and secondary characters illustrate their individuality and demonstrate the range of qualities in their varied characters: Lithebe unselfishly supports Stephen and his family, virtual strangers to her.
Chapters 26—28 move the reader forward with minimal involvement of the main characters. Instead, the actions are played out by secondary characters who represent archetypes of the time: He even hedges his exhortation about better wages: The action of the young white man at the end of the chapter symbolizes the interracial support of human rights that will eventually surface and bring change.
Influenced by the need for profits, the Commission concluded that since the workers really made their living on the farms at home, wages need be no more than pocket money.
His wife and his good friend meet them at the station, and they walk home amidst the greetings and enthusiastic welcomes of people along the way. The joyous news of his arrival is passed along in shrill calls from one place to another. Stephen notices that the stream bed is dry and that the grain is poorly developed. In his church, he leads prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for rain and for his family, including Absalom, though it is difficult for Stephen to do so in front of the congregation.
From his friend, Stephen learns that the community knows that Absalom killed Arthur Jarvis. Stephen wonders aloud if he can remain as pastor under these circumstances, but his friend says that he is much needed and respected, even now. The friend is now working for James.
Stephen realizes that he himself has changed as a result of his recent experiences. Acknowledging that the problems of Ndotsheni and its farms will not be solved through prayer alone, Stephen meets with the tribal chief to urge him to action. Stephen also tries to energize the headmaster, who instead sees the agricultural crisis as hopeless and himself as powerless.
The boy learns that children in town are dying for lack of milk. A letter from the lawyer informs him that the court found no mercy in the case, and Absalom will be hanged on the fifteenth of the month.
A letter from Absalom himself acknowledges the same fact and says that a priest is helping him prepare for his execution. A letter from Msimangu causes Stephen a momentary wish to be back in Johannesburg with him. The fourth letter is from Absalom to his new wife. From a distance, Stephen watches as James greets men arriving in an automobile, the magistrate among them. The tribal chief and his entourage also arrive.
The men survey and stake out a large area. Stephen observes James expressing impatience and offering to go to Pretoria himself to facilitate action. Stephen overhears the magistrate say to one of the white men that Jarvis must be losing his mind as well as his money. The church roof leaks everywhere, and the two men have difficulty staying dry even inside the church.
Before Jarvis leaves, he asks if the court has found mercy for Absalom, and Stephen shows him the letter from Absalom. Commentary The tribal community, headed by the chief, seems tenuous and outdated in present circumstances. The tribal officials are rigid in their protocol, and later the chief and his followers are made to 55 look naive, even foolish, in their efforts to help the surveyors.
Stephen himself recognizes that he must go further than custom would allow if he is to bring change to his community. These chapters dramatize the changes taking place in both Stephen and James.
In Chapter 31, he has a period of self-revelation and then finds unprecedented directness and persistence in himself to move the chief to action; he tries unsuccessfully to move the headmaster.
His actions here illustrate how anger and grief can be transformed into positive action. Also, James decides to do something about the agricultural problems, including the lack of water and the lack of sound farming knowledge. He, too, shows signs of not accepting the slow pace of change and offers to go to the capital to push things along.
He also arranges for a young agricultural demonstrator, Napoleon Letsitsi, to spend time in Ndotsheni teaching the natives more prudent methods of farming. Napoleon assures Stephen that the dry valley can eventually recover. He confirms that a dam is to be built to create a supply of water for farming. As Stephen prepares for a confirmation service, he learns that the elder Mrs.
Jarvis has died. Since he cannot — because he is black — go to the Jarvis house to express his sorrow, he sends a message of condolence to James Jarvis. Along the way, he meets James, who asks if Stephen and his congregation will accept the new church from him. James tells Stephen that he is going to Johannesburg to live with his daughter and grandchildren but will return often to observe the progress in the valley and to expand the agricultural effort to nearby areas. After an exchange of emotional farewells, James rides away on horseback.
During his lonely vigil, Stephen confesses to God his lies and his hurts of others in recent weeks and gives thanks for his many blessings, while pondering why recent events have happened to himself and to Jarvis.
He sleeps for a while, waking just before 57 dawn, wondering how Absalom is coping with his final moments on earth. He prays through the appointed hour of the execution. We work for the land and the people. We work for Africa. Instead, he writes a respectful note in English and sends it with a child. When James meets Stephen on his way to the mountain, Stephen weeps openly as he tells James of his mission on the hilltop. In their encounter on the mountain, James reveals much about his own change and his intentions to continue to work for changes in the land, both here and in other areas.
He realizes that true freedom for his people is a long way off because the whites fear the blacks and their numbers. Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
Only two years later, the National Party of the Afrikaners won South African elections with large majorities. Almost immediately, the racial policies of apartheid were made law, furthering the separation of the racial groups in South Africa. Unfortunately, Paton did not live to see the following monumental changes: De Klerk became prime minister, although his own National Party was losing support of many Afrikaners.
He also released several black political prisoners and lifted bans against black political organizations.
In early , De Klerk finally released Nelson Mandela, who spent twenty-seven years in prison as a political prisoner. Struggles for power among the black political groups erupted into violence in both Natal and Transvaal, putting tremendous strain on the developing relationship between Mandela and De Klerk.
From to , non-white leaders negotiated with key figures in the white government, much of it in secret, to develop a new constitution for South Africa, eliminating apartheid and insuring representation of all South African citizens in the political process. In , the first elections were held under an interim constitution, and Nelson Mandela was elected the first President, as well as the first black head of government, of South Africa. Apartheid was finally dead, at least on paper. In , the final version of the South African constitution was officially adopted by a parliamentary vote of to 2, with 10 abstentions.
Subsequent to the assumption of government leadership by the blacks, many white English and Afrikaners, as well as representatives of the coloureds, expressed concern about their political status and the protection of their rights as minorities.
To the credit of his talent, most of these themes are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago: Readers bringing their personal histories to the story as they read may see additional themes in the book.
People grow and change by accepting their personal responsibility for serving a cause greater than themselves. For much of the book, Stephen Kumalo views himself as a victim of his circumstances with no responsibility or authority for changing those circumstances. Similarly, James Jarvis first blames a society that cannot adequately protect its citizens from inevitable racial retaliation.
He realizes what his son has achieved even in his short life. Patterns of inequality in human rights, living conditions, and personal empowerment based on racial or ethnic differences are unjust and ultimately intolerable. From his childhood and parents, Paton learned tolerance of race and ethnic differences, yet he was frequently confronted by discrimination and prejudice in many forms: Paton lived in a nation in which the white race was officially declared superior to all other races, and separation of whites from all other racial groups was 61 mandatory under the law.
The novel clearly portrays both the facts of the inequitable conditions and the attitudes that sustain them. Anger and grief can be transformed into positive action. One theory of human emotion proposes that all human energy comes from the same source and is capable of being utilized for either constructive or non-constructive purposes. Thus, the natural emotions of anger and grief can be nurtured and magnified, sometimes leading to destructive actions, or they can be purposefully transformed into more positive emotions and constructive actions.
Many times in his life, Paton transformed strong emotions of anger, grief, disappointment, and loss into renewed efforts. His opposition to injustice, ignorance, and exploitation led him first to his writing and subsequently to his political advocacy for the non-whites. In the novel, both fathers — Stephen and James — learn to transform their anger and grief into action designed to help solve the problems.
Fathers and sons often experience cycles of separation and reconciliation. Paton was occasionally pessimistic about eliminating racial discrimination, but he never gave up hope for it in his own life.
He always felt that the future held hope for the repudiation of apartheid, and it did, although he did not live to see it. In the novel, hope is a dominant theme from the very first chapter.
Even when Stephen is at his lowest emotionally, he finds and magnifies glimmers of light and hope, finally expanding his attitudes and actions to bring about changes in what he knows best: Rural populations tend to migrate toward urban centers, contributing to the deterioration of rural society. Paton would have liked to stay in the beautiful rural areas of South Africa where he spent his childhood.
He recognized that, not only for himself, but for many South Africans, the cities were hubs around which clustered potential employers of those with limited education and skills. The soil cannot keep them any more. An important part of this theme in the novel is the associated deterioration of the tribal culture in the rural areas. The attractions of civilization, as well as the imposed British law and government, undermined the tribal group traditions and unity.
The story, however, had to be set in South Africa at the time of its writing: For example: Throughout the novel, settings serve not only as backdrops for the physical happenings of the story but as reflections of the life of the people who live and work in them. In the short opening chapter, Paton contrasts the living environments of the blacks and those of the whites in South Africa in This famous opening chapter of Book I, substantially repeated at the beginning of Book II, uses many sensory words and phrases to breathe life into the rural setting: In the next several chapters, Paton depicts a variety of living conditions for urban blacks, the most emotional of which is in the interpolated chapter about Shanty Town Chapter 9.
Small yet telling details include: In Cry, the Beloved Country, consider how Paton brings to life the three central characters: Some literary critics would call him the suffering hero: He must experience suffering before he attains a complete awareness of life and makes the most of his talent and creativity.
Even his first name recalls the Christian saint who underwent martyrdom through suffering. Stephen is not without faults.
He has his share of pride as first seen when he boards the train and pretends to be someone of importance and even a measure of quick anger as seen with Gertrude, Absalom, and John. His job is to help his black parishioners cope with the present circumstances because there is no return to the past. But most white men do not know this truth about power, and they are afraid lest we get it.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating. His voice rose into loud and angry words. Go up and ask the white man, he said. Perhaps there are letters. Perhaps they have fallen under the counter, or been hidden amongst the food. Look there in the trees, perhaps they have been blown there by the wind.
James Jarvis, too, is revealed through his words and actions. In our first encounter with him on his farm, James reflects on the typical disparaging conversations among whites about the black farmers and their abilities: I understand what I did not understand.
There is no anger in me. Were your back as broad as heaven, and your purse full of gold, and did your compassion reach from here to hell itself, there is nothing you can do.
And if he were, how many more such have you? Shall we search them out, day after day, hour after hour? Will it ever end? In Book III, he retreats briefly into concern about how his parishioners and his bishop will accept him, now the father of a murderer. But when his friends demonstrate their support and love for him, and when his extended family settles in at home, he becomes an activist trying to restore life in his community. When he meets with his tribal chief, Stephen displays unprecedented audacity by pushing the old chief into action, thus precipitating change in the community.
Stephen is a muchchanged man as the result of events and actions presented in the novel. James Jarvis also changes remarkably during the novel: He is willing to spend personal resources to help the villagers through a milk crisis and to build a new church. He even persuades the government to help build a dam and teach the black farmers new skills. Although Msimangu has become almost jaded by the circumstances he witnessed every day in his parish, his interaction with Stephen and his crises apparently brings his own life to a crisis point.
He chooses a new life of retreat and poverty, the first black to do so in South Africa. The reader may be left wondering if this is an act of resignation because he can personally do so little to change circumstances that he must retreat from them.
Or is this the ultimate dedication of his life to the spiritual future of his people?
He may not have consciously selected all his literary tools; in fact, he probably made some choices instinctively. The resulting whole cloth is so beautifully woven, both in story and in style, that the reader is unaware of the separate threads that Paton uses in its creation. Lyrical Style. This brief chapter is virtually a narrative poem with several notable literary devices and wordplays; for example: The alert reader will recognize several memorable passages of this chapter when they recur in later chapters, especially at the beginning of Book II.
The style does not use conventional quotation marks at the beginning and end of conversation segments. Instead, it usually but not always signals the start of dialogue with a dash —. And the questioning goes on. The reader is never in doubt who is talking, so the exchange in the courtroom, for example, seems very rapidfire and blunt, as indeed it is. If other words are necessary to describe an action, the dash may not be used. The first word spoken aloud may be capitalized, but not always.
The accused looked down at the floor. The white man fell, he said. Keep in mind: Simple sentences may be repeated with slight changes so that the resulting conversations seem repetitious or even redundant in words and phrases, adding to the appearance of formality and translation. This language formality occurs in the extended conversation between Stephen and his wife in Chapter 2, in the conversation between Stephen and his friend at the train station, and in the first conversation between Stephen and Msimangu relating to Gertrude.
The natural formality among the native black people is further represented early in the book by two idioms in their conversation: By contrast, the conversation among white speakers in later chapters seems considerably more informal, more like the English we are used to hearing see the conversation in Chapter 19, for example.
Interpolated Chapters. Chapter 1, with its lyrical description of the countryside, sets the stage for what follows but gives little hint of the primary themes of the book. This fascinating chapter, with its many short scenes, has several emotional story lines of its own: It also has its repeated theme of anxiety: Such chapters are sometimes referred to as intercalary chapters. Point of View.
From whose particular viewpoint is the story being narrated? Paton uses several points of view throughout the novel. He was reluctant to open it, for once such a thing is opened, it cannot be shut again. She mustered up her courage, and said, it is not from our son. The scene in which Stephen and his wife decide he must go to Johannesburg closes with a final paragraph in the poetic style of the first chapter.
It serves as a brief unlimited and impersonal omniscient comment on what is happening and what is to follow. This viewpoint allows the reader to identify more strongly with Stephen and his feelings. Although mostly in the past tense, the narrative occasionally uses present tense to emphasize immediacy and narrative tension. Black people, white people, some going, some coming, so many that the tunnel is full.
Unconventional Story Structure. Traditional structure of a novel uses a series of scenes, actions, and events that contribute to a sense of rising action in which the main conflicts and problems are identified. Suspense builds toward a climax, a resolution, or an unexpected outcome. In Cry, the Beloved Country, Books I and II tend to follow this traditional structure, allowing for the switch in focal characters and the asides presented in interpolated sections.
In the traditional sense, the climax is near the end of Book II. So how does Book III fit into the structure? He later decided it should not be changed, and it was published as Paton wrote it.
It was made still more painful for me by the fact that the song belonged to the death-of-God genre, or to put it more accurately, to the desertion-of-God genre. Many South African blacks were cast in minor roles and as background people. It was filmed on locations in South Africa including Soweto , which contributes significantly to its impact on the viewer.
In addition to these three major adaptations of the novel, Cry, the Beloved Country has been adapted for several small stage productions and audibly recorded in whole or in part. One abbreviated tape recording is notable because it is read by Alan Paton himself. Suggestions to Readers Who View the Film If you have read the novel first, you will view the film with a set of expectations different from someone who has not read the book.
You may find it helpful to make brief notes about: Here are eight convenient, easily recognized stopping points: After viewing the film and making notes as suggested, you might compare your notes with the comparisons and comments in the next section. The film focuses on the parallel personal stories of two very different men, Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis: James Jarvis is barely mentioned until the beginning of Book II.
In the film, their lives are presented virtually side 76 by side. For example, James Jarvis appears in the opening scene of the film, and then Stephen is introduced in the letter scene. Also, James appears again at the train station waiting for the arrival of his daughter-in-law and grandson, as Stephen prepares to leave for Johannesburg.
And James is seen driving home with his family just as Stephen is seen on the train. None of these Jarvis appearances occur in the book.
The Agricultural Crisis. In fact, in the opening scene, the child delivering the letter runs across a bridge over a wide, rushing stream; in the book, the stream beds are dry, contributing to the native farm crisis. A significant part of Book III shows how the two men begin to devote themselves to realistic community action for agricultural reform, transforming their anger and grief into positive action on behalf of others. This theme is not treated in the film, which focuses instead on the personal adaptations each of them makes in his life in the early days after Johannesburg.
Describe and compare their relative social and political positions at that time. Illustrate with descriptions from the novel. Identify and illustrate as many of these as you can find. For each, identify what group is represented. Identify what makes each unique.
Discuss how they contribute to or detract from the novel. Support your position with examples from the novel.
Discuss why Paton may have decided not to name these characters and how this literary decision contributes to or detracts from the story and its themes. Support your views with incidents from the novel. Do you feel the screenwriter was justified in making the major changes he did? Illustrate your points with examples. New York: Too Late the Phalarope. The Life and Times of Jan Hofmeyr.
Oxford University Press, Apartheid and the Archbishop: An Autobiography. Journey Continued: South Africa: