Cry the Beloved Nation, by Alan Paton

Cry the Beloved Country

Cry the Beloved Nation, by Alan Paton is an unique influenced by the industrial transformation. Paton describes in detail the conditions in which the Africans were living during this time duration, 1946. This story tells about a Zulu pastor who goes into the city looking for his child and siblings who left in search of a better life. The pastor sees this enormous city where a ruling white group is oppressing the black population. This novel is more than simply a story, but it portrays the effects imperialism and the Industrial Revolution had on South Africa.

Although the federal government has intervened to safeguard the people, a few of these impacts are still present in our societies. The setting starts in a little town in South Africa where Reverend Stephen Kumalo receives a letter asking him to go to Johannesburg to assist his ill sis. Kumalo gets together all their savings and takes a train wishing to discover not only his sis but also his son who left and never returned. In the city he discovers the pastor who sent this letter who welcomes him and assists him discover his sis.

To his surprise, his sis was not ill however rather she had become a prostitute and was selling alcohol. After encouraging her to come back to the village with her boy, she helps him discover their brother, John. John has ended up being a successful entrepreneur and politician, and he directs them to the factory where his boy and Absalom when collaborated. After tracking him down from place to location, Kumalo lastly discovers that his boy has actually hung around in a reformatory which he has actually gotten a woman pregnant. Absalom is later on apprehended for the murder of Arthur Jarvis, a crucial white crusader for racial justice.

In spite of Kumalo’s effort to assist his child, Absalom is sentenced to death. He declares it was unintended and had help from John Kumalo’s kid. Reverend Kumalo then schedules his child to marry the lady he had gotten pregnant and for her to come back with him. In addition, he meets with Arthur Jarvis’s father, and together they grieve for the death of their boys. Ultimately Kumalo goes house with his new daughter-in-law, and Jarvis gets involved assisting him keep his town together; he helps with farming strategies and uses to build the churchgoers a brand-new church.

The novel ends as Kumalo weeps over his kid’s death on the valley, awaiting his execution. This novel takes place soon after the Second World War, and is struggling with the results of the age of imperialism and the industrial revolution. One of the effects the industrial transformation had was the growth of the cities; everyone moved into the cities in search of job chances. “All roads result in Johannesburg. If you are white or if you are black they result in Johannesburg. If the crops fail, there is work in Johannesburg. If there are taxes to be paid, there is operate in Johannesburg …” (83 ).

Here we can see how all the population was leaving their tribes and towns to go to this huge city due to the fact that they had no other choice; it was their only choice to get a job. Throughout this time the population in the cities was doubling every thirty years, and therefore, there was not enough housing. “They way we should get together the slabs and the sacks and the tins and the poles, and all move together. They state we need to all pay a shilling a week to the Committee, and they will move all our rubbish and set up bathrooms for us, so that there is no sickness. However what of the rain and the winter season? (86 ). Here we see the conditions individuals were living in; they started to build homes with planks and sacks due to the fact that they had no place else to go. Similar to in England, the capitalists were taking everything over and utilizing the people’s desperation to their advantage; they worked individuals long hours with very low wages. At one point the people boycott versus high fares for the buses; if the capitalists raised the fare lots of workers would not be able to manage it any longer. “We are figured out not to utilize the buses up until the fare is brought back again to 4 cent,” (73 ).

This indicated that many individuals had to stroll eleven miles to work, “And females, and some that are sick, and some maimed and children. They start walking at 4 in the early morning, and they do not get back till eight at night,” (74 ). Here we can see the extreme conditions these individuals wanted to operate in, and they only received thirty-five to forty shillings a week. Throughout this time, Imperialism was occurring, and England had taken over South Africa. Kumalo initially discovered this when he entered the city, “As all nation trains in South Africa are, it was full of black tourists.

On this train undoubtedly there were few others, for the Europeans of this district all have their automobiles …” (43 ). John Kumalo was a business guy in Johannesburg and he explains this to the reverend, “This terrific medical facility for Europeans, the most significant health center south of the Equator, developed with the gold from the mines … Go to our healthcare facility, he stated, and see our people resting on the floorings. They lie so close you can not step over them. However it is they who dig the gold.” (67 ). Here we see the inequality of classes; the Europeans took control of South Africa and are taking all the advantages individuals work so hard for.

The English control all the economic and political choices, therefore, they receive all the advantages and all the best services while they disregard the needs of the working class. I have found that even in this day and age, we still suffer from a few of the very same effects the commercial revolution had in the early twentieth century. We are currently residing in a capitalist country with unequal pay and advantages. Although the government has actually stepped in with the capitalists, by making a base pay a setting a restricted amount of hours, workers are still not being treated similarly.

We often see actors or professional athletes being paid unreasonably high incomes for mere entertainment, in contrast to nurses or garbage man who work to much better our society for very low salaries. Paton does an outstanding job portraying the image of what life resembled in those times. Through Reverend Kumalo’s journey to Johannesburg, the readers have the ability to understand some of the consequences of the commercial revolution and the age of imperialism. This is fascinating novel due to the fact that the problems Paton discuses do not just make the reader aware of the situation throughout the minute, however he is able to relate to existing problems of this age and time.

You Might Also Like