Cry, the Beloved Country
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Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country Front Cover
Photo Retrieved From: Aarthi Chapathi

Plot Overview

In the peaceful village of Ndotsheni, Stephen Kumalo, Reverend of a church, receives a message asking for his presence in Johannesburg. Though Kumalo is aware of the cost and harshness of the journey, he decides to go to Johannesburg in order to bring his family together and to find his son, Absalom. With a guidance of young Reverend, Theophilius Msimangu, Kumalo finds his family members one by one. Much to his surprise, his family have changed since they left Ndotsheni to Johannesburg. His carpenter brother becomes a talented politician corrupted by power and abandoned his faith as a christian. His sister becomes a disgrace by selling alcohol and prostituting herself. Worst of all, to Kumalo's dismay, his one and only son commits a sin he can never  be forgiven for. From his Journey, Kumalo witnesses growing fear of Black people’s crime, loss of African customs and gaining of western customs, and risk of diversion between black and white. 

The journey of Stephen Kumalo parallels to the journey of James Jarvis, the second protagonist of Cry, the beloved Country.  James Jarvis travels  to Johannesburg after hearing about his son's murder.
Distraught, he searches the town and his son's study  to gain a better understanding and appreciation for his deceased son. His journey leads him to Stephen Kumalo, challenging Jarvis to overcome one of the most burdensome acts that one can perform; to meet the father of your own child's murderer and bear him with love and affection. Jarvis's thirst for knowledge and his forgiveness towards his child's murderer's father showcase the empathy that one can have, and desperation one feels after a significant loss or struggle.

Book Reviews

    "An immediate worldwide bestseller when it was published in 1948, Alan Paton's impassioned novel about a black man's country under white man's law is a work of searing beauty. 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. 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. "A beautiful novel, rich, firm and moving...its writing is so fresh, its projection of character so immediate and full, its events so compelling, and its understanding so compassionate that to read the book is to share intimately, even to the point of catharsis, in the grave human experience treated."

-- The New York Times

"The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time."

-- The New Republic

 The trailer for the movie production of Cry, the Beloved Country by Miramax Films, as shown by Turner Classic Movies

Originally Uploaded on Youtube