Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton :: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays

Chapter wizThe first chapter of Alan Patons Cry, the passion Country begins with a description of a path that runs from the village Ixopo into the hill and then leads to Carisbrooke and to the valleys of Africa. The grass is rich and matted, a set apart ground that must be kept and guarded for it keeps and guards men. AnalysisAlan Paton begins Cry, the pricy Country with a description of the land surrounding Ixopo, the village where the government minister (and protagonist) Stephen Kumalo lives. Paton establishes this as a rural and isolated area, which is significant to develop the caliber of Kumalo and his relationship to the larger urban area of Johannesburg where he will in brief find himself. The style of this first chapter is grandiose, equating the survival of the soil to no less than the survival of the human race, but this serves an important function, relating the life and health of the country (in both its meanings) to the health of its inhabitants and, by extens ion, the novels characters. Chapter TwoA diminished child brings a letter to the umfundisi (pastor) of the church, Stephen Kumalo, who offers the little girl food. This letter is from Johannesburg, and therefrom may be from either his sister Gertrude, who is twenty-five years young than he, his brother John, a carpenter, or his only child Absalom, who had gone and neer returned. Both Stephen and his wife hesitate when opening the letter, thinking it may be from their son, but it is instead from the Reverend Theophilus Msimangu, who relates to Stephen that Gertrude is very ill and advises him to come to the electric charge House in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, to help her. Kumalo sighs, and tells his wife to get him the money intend for Absaloms education at St. Chads, for now that Absalom has gone to Johannesburg, he will neer come back. His wife tells Stephen to take the entire twelve pounds, five shillings and cardinal pence, just in case. AnalysisThis chapter serves as the in troduction to the protagonist of Cry, the Beloved Country, the pastor Stephen Kumalo, establishing his main conflicts and character traits. From his first encounter with the small child, Paton establishes Kumalo as a kind man yet powerful and respected inside his community despite his poverty, as shown by the small savings that he and his wife had scraped together for their sons education.

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