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Analysis

Literary Devices in Cry, the Beloved Country

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The general setting of Cry, the Beloved Country is the country of South Africa. As we've mentioned, it's the "Beloved Country" of the title. But we talk a bit about the general themes of racial opp...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator of Cry, the Beloved Country often focuses on Stephen Kumalo, but it also feels free to weave in and out of the thoughts of the other characters. In fact, this narrator is unusually fle...

Genre

Cry, the Beloved Country is a complicated coming-of-age story for one big reason: our main character Kumalo is already technically of age. In fact, he's quite elderly—we know that his hair is whi...

Tone

Tone in a novel generally means the feel of the book, or in other words, the kind of emotions it produces with its language. And since Cry, the Beloved Country uses its deeply sad subject matter to...

Writing Style

There are obviously lots of ways to write a book to inspire people to change the injustices of the world around them. One particularly common way is through critical realism, where an author tries...

What's Up With the Title?

In Alan Paton's note on the 1987 edition of Cry, the Beloved Country, he tells us a story: apparently, when the first two readers of his manuscript, Aubrey and Marigold Burns, asked him what he wou...

What's Up With the Ending?

Cry, the Beloved Country is a tragedy, so it makes sense that the ending is, well, sad. At the same time, there is a ray of hope: this book won't leave you feeling miserable. After all, Paton does...

Tough-o-Meter

Cry, the Beloved Country isn't supposed to be hard. After all, Alan Paton wants to influence his readers against the racism of South African pre-apartheid society. It's tough to convince people of...

Plot Analysis

Wait, Where Is Everybody?Here's the sitch: a Christian priest named Stephen Kumalo lives in Ndotsheni with his wife, but all of his other family members—his sister, his brother, and his only son...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

A hero falls under the shadow of the dark power. Christopher Booker's "dark power" makes it sound like Cry, the Beloved Country is actually Lord of the Rings, but sadly, there is no Sauron inv...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

In Book 1, we follow Reverend Stephen Kumalo's quest to find his lost brother, sister, and son.The first—and longest—part of Cry, the Beloved Country deals with country priest Stephen Kumalo's...

Trivia

Alan Paton was on a European tour when he started writing Cry, the Beloved Country. He started off in England, as the South African delegate of the International Conference of the Society of Christ...

Steaminess Rating

With a serious, idealistic, practically biblical title like Cry, the Beloved Country, you can bet that this isn't a dirty novel. And you would be right. In fact, this novel is so tragic and full of...

Allusions

Sarah Gertrude Millin, Life of Rhodes (2.20.4) F.V. Engelenburg, General Louis Botha (2.20.4) William Shakespeare (2.20.5)Isaiah 42:6-7 (1.13.31)Isaiah 42:16 (1.13.32) Isaiah 40:28 (1.13.36) Isaiah...
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