Cry, the Beloved Country Questions and Answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Stephen and John are brothers, so they share a common upbringing in addition to both being black men living during apartheid in South Africa. Beyond that, they are quite different people. John is a...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2019, 1:39 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country provides readers with obvious similarities and differences between the two characters of Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis. Both men live in South Africa. By the...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2018, 12:17 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

An important aspect of the way that the rural/urban divide is presented in this amazing novel is the way that both settings are linked to the overwhelming theme of inequality and the vicious cycle...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2011, 7:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The quotation in this question comes from Chapter 11, which indicates a shift in the novel as the narrator urges the reader not to focus on the lovely African landscape and beautiful nature that it...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2013, 7:05 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

It is the Judge's job to uphold the law, and when he does, justice has been served. It is not up to him to determine whether the law itself is just or fair; the law is made by the society, and if...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2009, 7:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Ezenzeleni provides Stephen Kumalo a moment to reflect. The chaos of Johannesburg has confused the unfundisi and without the hopeful environment of Ezenzeleni, Stephen's epiphany would not have...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2009, 1:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

While many may argue that the foils are obvious (James/Stephen and John/Msimangu), another argument could be that the sons are foils of the fathers. Absalom Kumalo is a foil to Stephen Kumalo, and...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2019, 7:11 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Chapter 13 when Kumalo accompanies his friend, Msimangu, to Ezenzeleni, the colony for the blind where whites work and help blacks who are blind or are going blind, is a turning point for Kumalo in...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2010, 7:19 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

In this novel it is very clear from the start that "all roads lead to Johannesburg." Unfortunately, it is not a very easy road to travel and the final destination ends up being a misfortune to...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2011, 12:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The answer to this question can be found in Chapter Eight of this excellent novel. Msimangu and Kumalo have been just been persuaded to observe the boycott of transport, in spite of the distance...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2011, 9:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The mountain called Emoyeni is a place of inspiration for Kumalo. He goes to the mountain in times of great crisis in his life. Three times he has gone to Emoyeni - once when his son Absalom was...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010, 2:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The major difference between James and Arthur at the beginning of the story lies in how they view the native population. James was a very liberal man who felt very strongly that the underlying...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2011, 8:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Paton is using the laughter of Gertrude and Absalom's girlfriend to symbolize the kind of lifestyle of which these two women had been a part. It represents their loose morals and lifestyle. When...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2010, 12:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

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...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2011, 1:07 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Ndotsheni is a small, remote village, one of many such villages in South Africa where the vast majority of the country's black population lives. Paton describes it as a beautiful village, a place...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2020, 9:02 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Father Vincent gives the gifts of friendship, consolation, and hope to Kumalo. He also secures a good lawyer who will defend Kumalo's son Absalom without pay. Father Vincent is an English priest...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2009, 7:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

When Gertrude first sees Kumalo, there "is fear in her eyes," and she "draws back a step, and makes no move towards him." Gertrude lives in the squalid town of Claremont, which is "the garbage-heap...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2010, 1:02 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Absalom Kumalo has gone off the rails in a big way. His father, the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, is shocked to discover that he's become a serial criminal, regularly committing robberies with his...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2021, 8:42 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The murder of Arthur Jarvis is an especially tragic blow for the native people of Johannesburg because he was sympathetic to their situation and had been prepared to work actively to improve it. In...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010, 8:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry the Beloved Country, written in 1948, is about the changes in South Africa after Black South African tribes were largely broken up and many people moved to the cities. The characters represent...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2016, 11:59 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The contrast between the hills, where Jarvis lives at High Place, and the valley, where Stephen lives in Ndotsheni, is both stark and symbolic. The hills are lush and green, well nourished and...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2009, 5:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

You have asked a fascinating question, and tracing the development of this key character casts light on some of the main themes of the novel and the author´s hope for South Africa, in spite of all...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2010, 11:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Absalom, a black South African, is the son of Reverend Stephen Kumalo. When he moves to the city, he gets entangled in all the vices it has to offer. Refusing to see the value of helping others and...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019, 1:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Dubula is a political organizer who fights for the rights of the black people in South Africa. He discourages Kumalo and Msimangu from taking the bus to Alexandra because there is a boycott of the...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2009, 7:16 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The first inkling the community gets that a dam is going to be built is when sticks appear in the ground, with the chief being given strict instructions that these sticks are not to be touched....

Latest answer posted August 11, 2021, 9:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The three natives accused of murder in Cry, the Beloved Country are angry and disillusioned young men, whose lot in life reduce them to the act of violent robbery. Absalom Kumalo is the only one of...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2019, 9:57 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

I would argue that Johannesburg actually operates as more of a symbol than a metaphor. Throughout the novel, in the way that both Kumalo and Arthur Jarvis travel to Johannesburg, it seems to...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2011, 8:28 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

In Cry, The Beloved Country, Kumalo is grieved when he finds out that it was his son Absalom who was responsible for Arthur Jarvis' death. Absalom tells the court that he was afraid when he fired...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2015, 7:44 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

I must admit that there isn't much to add to the first answer in that this is one of the first things that happens to Stephen Kumalo in the book (and we are not very far along in the plot when this...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2015, 8:32 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

From his journey to Johannesburg, Stephen Kumalo learns that there are great changes taking place in South Africa, and that they are represented, for better or for worse, in the city of...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2009, 7:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Msimangu plans to retire "into a community" where he will be able to live the life of an ascetic. He will "forswear the world and all possessions;" it is "the first time that a black man (has) done...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2010, 3:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

This is a fascinating question. The part of the story you relate occurs in Chapter 32, when Jarvis inquires of Kumalo if there is mercy for Absalom. However, when I first read this question I...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 7:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

This is an interesting question to consider, because in some ways the novel seems to offer little hope for social justice compared to the many different examples that we are given of racial...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2011, 9:51 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Kumalo is reunited with his sister, Gertrude, and her son, in Chapter 6 of this novel that is focussed on pre-apartheid South Africa. When he comes to where Gertrude is working, it is clear that...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2010, 9:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

In the title of Alan Paton's work Cry, the Beloved Country, the land is personified. Paton urges the reader not to be misled by the "fields and hedges" or the beauty of the land. Instead, Paton...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2022, 4:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The character of Jarvis is shown before Chapter 24 to be a character who is typically white and South African in terms of his prejudices against black South Africans and his view of what is wrong...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2013, 5:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Above all else, Cry the Beloved Country is a book about the hope that is found in reconciliation. Reconciliation begins between men and then extends to reconciling with the land so that all people...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2009, 12:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

This is an excellent question. Of course, when we refer to tone, we think about the attitude of the author towards his subject matter. What is distinctive about this novel is the simplicity of its...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2010, 10:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton is a novel that explores the issues of family and faith in the midst of the racially-tense backdrop of South Africa. Throughout the novel, Paton gives several...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2018, 10:24 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Absalom, a cousin, and a friend were attempting to rob Arthur Jarvis, and unfortunately, Absalom was carrying a gun for protection. When Jarvis returned home unexpectedly, Absalom shot and killed...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2011, 12:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

This is a very interesting question. I would want to focus on the journey of the two central characters, Kumalo and Jarvis, and the way that their parallel journeys to the city of Johannesburg and...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2011, 2:50 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

The novel Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton takes place in the era just before official apartheid in South Africa. It tells of Reverend Stephen Kumalo, a black minister in a remote village, who...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2019, 5:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Refer to the early portions of the text referring to the color of the hills. (This is wonderful imagery describing the correlation between the death of the land and the death of the tribe. Hint:...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2007, 2:53 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

I think the clearest example of a character who experiences an epiphany is in Chapter Thirteen, when Kumalo goes to Ezenzeleni with Msimangu and is given time to think, reflect and take stock of...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2011, 8:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

During a conversation between brothers Stephen and John Kumalo (in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country), they discuss the differences between being a nobody in Ndotsheni (their home growing up)...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2018, 10:33 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Cry, the Beloved Country

Msimangu believes that the only hope for South Africa lies in the power of love. He says, "...there is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2009, 6:45 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Although she claims that the reason she is trembling is because she is cold, the landlady, Mrs. Mkize, is actually trembling because she is afraid. Mrs. Mkize had housed Absalom Kumalo and his...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2008, 10:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The "great duty" of a Judge in South Africa is "to judge and to pronounce sentence, even sentence of death." The Judge does not make the Law; the People make the Law, and if the Law is not fair, it...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2010, 9:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

Only Alan Paton could really explain his reasons for the rather abrupt break in his narrative represented by Chapter Nine, but the author of Cry, The Beloved Country died in 1988. We can,...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2015, 1:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Cry, the Beloved Country

The central moral character in Cry, the Beloved Country, Stephen Kumalo, is one character who undergoes a person journey from ignorance to enlightenment. In the beginning, he is confident that he...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2009, 5:38 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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