Disscus a character in Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, who has a personal journey from ignorance to enlightenment.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 knows the best way for things to be. He thus goes after his son, Absalom, to bring him back to the village from Johannesburg (a teeming city with chaos ruling the multitudes that literally swell the roads with people) to which Absalom has ventured against his father's will.

Stephen Kumalo is led on a horrible psychological journey of inner torment when he discovers that his son is not only now a thief but a murderer as well. Stephen can't understand and is anguished in his attempt to find the answer to who is to blame. Is it he himself who has failed as a father? Is it somebody or something else that has failed Absalom? Is it Absalom who has failed himself? After his son is executed and Stephen returns to the village, his enlightenment is the truthful one that cities (or chaotic places in general) are not inert places but are instead thriving, pulsating entities that have within their unordered chaos the power to destroy a good person's soul.

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Cry, the Beloved Country

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