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An active and intelligent child, Paton went on to attend Natal University, where, among other activities, he wrote poetry and served as student body president. Ten years later, he left teaching to pursue a career as a reformatory worker. He was appointed principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory, a prison school for black youths.
While at the reformatory, Paton attempted to loosen the restrictions placed on the youths and emphasized preparation for life outside the reformatory walls. He also traveled extensively to study reformatory schools worldwide.
It was on one such trip, shortly after World War II, that he wrote Cry, the Beloved Country, the novel that earned him his fame as an author. Black South Africans found themselves adrift as the traditional tribal cultures gave way to the lure of the cities, and many South Africans were left without any moral or social organization to turn to.
Whites held a monopoly on political power, and they did nothing to alleviate the extreme poverty among black South Africans, which in turn led many young black men to crime. But those in power inevitably broke up attempts to strike or seek a better wage. And yet, the message of the novel is one of hope.
Characters such as Stephen Kumalo, James Jarvis, and Theophilus Msimangu reveal a potential for goodness in humankind, and are able to defuse hatred, overcome fear, and take the first steps necessary for mending a broken nation. Its story unfolds against a backdrop of economic and political tensions that have a lengthy, complicated history.
Thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived, southern Africa was populated by various African tribal groups, including the San, the Khoikhoi, and, later on, Bantu-speaking peoples who were ancestors of the modern Zulus.
The first European settlers in South Africa, the Dutch, arrived in the mids. The Dutch wanted only to set up bases for trade, not to colonize the country, and they met with little resistance.
But by the mids, the Dutch, who had come to be known as the Boers and who had developed their own language, Afrikaans, had begun to settle deeper and deeper into the country.
In a process similar to the displacement and destruction of Native American life in the United States, African tribes were forced off their traditional lands, decimated by disease, and defeated in battles against the well-armed Boers.
English settlers first arrived in Unlike the Dutch, by the early s the English decided to make South Africa a full-fledged colony. Inevitably, the two groups clashed, fighting a number of bloody battles before the Zulus were defeated. The Boers created several independent republics, but when diamonds and gold were discovered in the Boer territories, the British moved to annex them, leading to the first Anglo-Boer war in The Boers regained the independence of their territories, but when gold was discovered near what is now Johannesburg inthe British invaded the area again.
The second Anglo-Boer war lasted from to The victorious British were able to establish rule, and they officially established the Union of South Africa in Cry, the Beloved Country takes place after these upheavals and immediately before the implementation, inof apartheid, which codified the systematic inequalities depicted in the novel.
Inthe Natives Land Act radically limited the amount of land that black South Africans were permitted to own. The resultant overcrowding led many black South Africans to migrate to Johannesburg to work in the mines.
Those in power welcomed the influx of cheap labor but failed to provide adequate housing or services to address the mass migration. These are the circumstances under which the character Stephen Kumalo leaves his impoverished rural village to search for his son in Johannesburg.
Inthe National Party representing Afrikaner and conservative interests gained power and introduced apartheid. Under apartheid, every South African was classified according to race, and the Group Areas Act enforced the physical separation of blacks from whites.
Every aspect of South African life was racially segregated. Under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress ANCwhich had been founded in as the South African Native National Congress and renamed inbegan protests against the new laws in the form of strikes and marches.
After decades of struggle and bloodshed, the ANC prevailed, and South Africa held its first free election in Mandela was elected president, apartheid was dismantled, and the country ratified one of the most liberal constitutions in the world.In Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony." Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice.4/5(89).
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as we know The wave hill walk off them today. are a fairly The horrors of the south african apartheid in alan patons novel. Need writing essay about james jarvis? Buy your excellent college paper and have "A+" grades or get access to database of 44 james jarvis essays samples. Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty/5(K).
In the novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, written by Alan Paton and published during the time of predicament caused by extreme practice of political, legal, and economic discrimination toward blacks, troubles based on the true history of Africa are discussed.
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