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READ KINDLE ⚾ Cry, the Beloved Country Þ Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller inAlan 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, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear Let him not love the earth too deeply Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad many novels from poets, almost all thin 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 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 This book is one of those classics that I m glad I read, but will probably never read again The themes are important racial equality, morality, forgiveness and the writing is lyrical, but it s still hard to read Alan Paton doesn t use any quotation marks He chooses, instead, to preface each line of dialogue with a dash I could get used to this technique, if he were consistent with it, but he s not Sometimes the dialogue is in the middle of a paragraph, with no indication it s spoken aloud This book is one of those classics that I m glad I read, but will probably never read again The themes are important racial equality, morality, forgiveness and the writing is lyrical, but it s still hard to read Alan Paton doesn t use any quotation marks He chooses, instead, to preface each line of dialogue with a dash I could get used to this technique, if he were consistent with it, but he s not Sometimes the dialogue is in the middle of a paragraph, with no indication it s spoken aloud It drove me crazy, having to re read everything to figure out if someone was talking, or just thinking, or if it was just the writer giving us information.The story is set in South Africa, and it helped me understand why that country has been such a mess for so long There are so many different races, languages, belief systems, and classes, it s a wonder anything gets done there at all It s interesting to see the effects of apartheid, the growing pains of a country trying to find equality for all races It was written in the 40s, so things have changed enormously since it was first published, but it still functions as a cautionary tale It is infuriating, inspiring, slow moving but worth the time A few years ago, after twenty years out of high school, I made a point to start rereading all of the classics assigned to me in school It has been an arduous yet uplifting task as I have experienced these classic books again through an adult mind In this the third year that I am participating in classics bingo, I took the opportunity to revisit another high school book for the classic of the 20th century square Alan Paton s Cry, the Beloved Country seventy years later is still considered the A few years ago, after twenty years out of high school, I made a point to start rereading all of the classics assigned to me in school It has been an arduous yet uplifting task as I have experienced these classic books again through an adult mind In this the third year that I am participating in classics bingo, I took the opportunity to revisit another high school book for the classic of the 20th century square Alan Paton s Cry, the Beloved Country seventy years later is still considered the greatest South African novel ever written It exposes worldwide readers to the race relations that the country has experienced during the modern era and the gap that still exists today The message that Paton writes can go along way toward the issues that modern nations experience to this day.Stephen Kumalo is a simple parson who lives in the village of Ndotsheni Although he and his wife have always been happy with their lot in life, his siblings John and Gertrude as well as his son Absalom were enticed by the bright lights of Johannesburg Paton describes Ndotsheni with breath taking prose, and the people of the region till the land, hoping to make due with their station Yet, the land is parched, and as readers find out later on, the church is falling apart as well, as this is what the white man has allotted to the native Zulu and Sesuto people Thus, Johannesburg beckons.Yet, as Paton so eloquently writes, bigger isn t always better Problems upon problems befall native Africans from curfews and bus boycotts to wages in the diamond and gold mines and the unfortunate case of being black in a country ruled by whites Kumalo s daughter and son have fallen upon hard times, and it is up to the parson to use his influence within the church network to bring them to safety.Paton through his characterization of Absalom Kumalo and Arthur Jarvis, the man he is accused of murdering, reveals the disparity between generations in South Africa The younger generation is working toward change in racial relations, a change in which whites and blacks live side by side in peace and prosperity and Nkosi Sikelele Afrika becomes a reality The older, entrenched generation might respect these viewpoints, but for the most part, they are not ready for these changes Arthur Jarvis father James admits that his martyred son was of a brilliant mind, but he is not ready a unified South Africa in which blacks and whites live respectfully together That Paton wrote this novel in the years following World War II and the defeat of fascism show how slow the rest of the world was to change.I appreciated how the older generation in the characters of Msimangu, Stephen Kumalo, and James Jarvis showed magnanimity toward the end of the novel Even though a heinous crime had been committed, the fathers were not going to stand for the crimes of their sons and might even accept that a change is coming to a new South Africa In this era where race relations is unfortunately not a thing of the past, perhaps Cry, the Beloved Country would be an appropriate novel to discuss in high school English classes Yet, with the exquisite prose and mature topics addressed, I achievedfrom this book through adult eyes than I ever had during my high school years Classics bingo has given me the chance to revisit these lovely novels, and I am happy for the opportunity to do so.5 full stars This is a classic, written by a white South African about a time before apartheid Two fathers, one white, one black and their sons It is stylistically unusual Quotes are not used, for example Conversation is indicated by leading dashes Also the speech is quite formal most of the time, which conveys some of the culture of the place, I expect Dark forces are abroad, but hope shows its face here as well, as there are leaders trying to prevent a descent into the madness to come Zulu pastor St This is a classic, written by a white South African about a time before apartheid Two fathers, one white, one black and their sons It is stylistically unusual Quotes are not used, for example Conversation is indicated by leading dashes Also the speech is quite formal most of the time, which conveys some of the culture of the place, I expect Dark forces are abroad, but hope shows its face here as well, as there are leaders trying to prevent a descent into the madness to come Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absolom are the focus Absolom, as an adult, leaves to go to the big city, Jo burg He falls in with a bad crowd and is involved in a robbery He unintentionally shoots a man who surprises them The man, an idealistic white, is the son of Kumalo s neighbor out in the country Kumalo goes in search of his missing son, only to find him, and this horror, at the same time Characters are portrayed sympathetically, white and black There is much shared fatherly pain, much humanity here It is indeed a classic This isn t an infinitely quotable book, but occasionally it produces a line that is devastatingly clear and true Lines like, It was not his habit to dwell on what could have been, but what could never be and, It is the duty of a judge to do justice, but it is only the people who can be just made me put the book down and stare dumbfounded at the wall But mostly this isn t a highly quotable book it s a beautifully written, riveting book where passages or entire halves of scenes are compel This isn t an infinitely quotable book, but occasionally it produces a line that is devastatingly clear and true Lines like, It was not his habit to dwell on what could have been, but what could never be and, It is the duty of a judge to do justice, but it is only the people who can be just made me put the book down and stare dumbfounded at the wall But mostly this isn t a highly quotable book it s a beautifully written, riveting book where passages or entire halves of scenes are compelling streams of words, readily understandable for actions and conversations, and profound for their insights and suggestions into human life in adversity and prosperity.If you re going to write a borderline hopeless story, do it like this Paton s prose is mostly readable and occassionally beautiful, especially in his monologues, letters and prayers For example The truth is that our Christian civilization is riddled through and through with dilemma We believe in the brotherhood of man, but we do not want it in South Africa We believe that God endows men with diverse gifts, and that human life depends for its fullness on their employment and enjoyment, but we are afraid to explore this belief too deeply We believe in help for the underdog, but we want him to stay under And we are therefore compelled, in order to preserve our belief that we are Christian, to ascribe to Almighty God, creator of Heaven and Earth, our own human intentions, and to say that because He created white and black, He gives the Divine Approval to any human action that is designed to keep black men from advancement It goes on, but this should give you a sense of Paton s insight and rhetorical ability.Paton touches on almost every level of trouble in post colonial South Africa racism, classism, elitism, residual imperical feelings, how wealth corrupts natives, arbitrary segregation, the loss of family values, the loss of social pride, the abandonment of positive religious teachings, the inability of government and the misunderstanding of the new laws It doesn t blame white people or black people it creates individuals who embody multiple faults, and when such people make up a new nation, it shows how such a system could collapse and increase human suffering Paton does not rub this in your face even his foreward explains that several of these people are real or are based on real people, and his praises those who are working towards a better world This novel is every ounce about trying to do something This isn t literary bleakness or contemptable anti humanitarianism a strange view for any author to have, given that all our authors are humans There are good people stuck in all of this, and from the very first chapter you get a sense that this is, if not a good place, then a place that could be truly great The difference between Alan Paton here and Edith Wharton or Nathanael West in much of their writing is that the disappointment does not permeate the tone and the myopic view does not bias the story Paton is a farsympathetic writer, able to capture the most dangerous elements of humanity in a way that is uniquely his own, though we d be better off if it becamecommon