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Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country

by Alan Paton

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary References

Biblical References

Historical References

  • World War II (2.18.12)
  • Abraham Lincoln (2.20.3-5; 2.20.20; 2.21.59; 2.24.1); "The Famous Speech at Gettysburg" (2.20.20); "Second Inaugural Address" (2.21.59)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (2.23.15) is referenced as a model of natural resource management.
  • Napoleon (3.33.46, 3.35.7)

South African Cultural References

  • "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" ("God Bless Africa") (1.9.87, 3.30.62, 3.35.47, 3.36.50)
  • Vergelegen (2.20.3, 2.20.5, 2.24.1)
  • Jan Smuts (2.20.4; 2.23.6)
  • Cecil Rhodes (2.20.4)
  • "coloured people" (2.21.1): In the South African context, this racial term generally refers to people who have mixed black and white parentage. While this term first came into use in the nineteenth century, it became an official racial designation with the Population Registration Act of 1950, when it was one of the four official, legal racial categories that could be used to register South Africans (the other three were white, African, and Indian).
  • Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr (2.23.6): An early South African Liberal activist and friend of Paton's. Alan Paton was a huge admirer of Hofmeyr's politics, and bitterly regretted Hofmeyr's death in 1948 (the same year that the Afrikaner National Party first declared apartheid). In recognition of his influence on Paton's views, Paton wrote a biography of Hofmeyr after his death.
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