Cry, the Beloved Country

This reflection paper briefly analyzes Allan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, outlining the continuing racial problems in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century in the Third World.

The following paper gives a brief, but thorough plot summary of the novel. It then discusses what Paton’s novel reveals about the nature of Colonialism, and post-independence Africa and Imperialism. The novel raises several questions about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and these are discussed in this essay.
At the beginning of the novel, Kumalo, the pastor in the village of Ndotsheni in the Ixopo region of South Africa, gets a letter from a Reverend in Johannesburg. The Reverend requests that Kumalo go to Johannesburg to get Kumalo’s ailing sister, Gertrude. Kumalo learns that Gertrude’s husband has remained in the mines where he was recruited to, and Gertrude has had affairs with many men, was jailed for making illegal alcohol, and has sold herself as a prostitute. In Johannesburg, Kumalo is exposed to many changes in the simple rural people that once lived in Ndotsheni. Kumalo visits his brother, John, who reveals that his wife has left him, and is living with, surprisingly, another woman.