Cry, the Beloved Country is, in part, a story about those who stayed and those who left. What happens to the people who stayed in the tribal villages? What happens to those who left and went to Johannesburg? What is Paton's point of view of this mass migration? Does he feel it was necessary? Inevitable? What is your opinion?
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This topic touches on the very title of the novel, "Cry, the Beloved Country." The cry from the title and the opening chapter illustrate the beauty of the country and what is being lost by those that the leave the countryside because it is not necessarily viable for them anymore. The country is in a sad state due to poor farming methods and the general poverty of the tribal people, and Paton's portrait of life in the big cities is also completely unpleasant. The novel suggests that being connected to the land and the countryside is what will ultimately heal South Africa, but it may not be an easy thing to accomplish.
Lots of questions here. Well, I think as represented in the character of Kumalo, Paton is against the urbanisation that caused so many to leave their tribal homes in the countryside and go to the city. Those that left inevitably became involved in crime, such as Absalom and Gertrude, and suffered a massive loss of identity. But, at the same time, what can be done when there is such a massive division between rich and poor?
I think Paton does not want all the people to move to the urban environment. He does not want all the crime like with Absalom and Gertrude. I also think the people in the small villages with get there freedom before some of the big citys like Johannesburg, because there are not as many people.
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