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Cry, the Beloved Country
on September 5, 2012
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton was such a deep, thought provoking novel. Paton really gives an incredible view of the events going on in South Africa and especially in Johannesburg. The main character is Reverend Stephen Kumalo who travels from Ndotsheni to Johannesburg to find his ailing sister. When he arrives he finds that his sister is not sick in the traditional sense of the word, but rather living in such a lifestyle that is not good for her physically, morally, or emotionally. She has resorted to prostitution to make a living for herself. Unfortunately, in Johannesburg this is typically the rule, not the exception. Johannesburg is a place where many devestating events occur and many people are changed for the worse. Through the eyes of Stephen Kumalo we see various parts of South Africa and most of them are scary and dark. Paton does a wonderful job showing this through the events that occur and people that are affected. He also shows the hope of a better South Africa through Kumalo's son Absalom. Absalom murders a white man and is prosecuted and later executed. He starts out feeling sorry for himself and being very dark and empty, but by the end he has repented within himself and sets up a future for his unborn son. Absalom represents the transformation it takes to create a better South Africa.