Essay on Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country - A Biblical Parable

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Cry, the Beloved Country, written by one of the greatest writers of South Africa, is the compelling story of how man-made evils in the city of Johannesburg affect the lives of each member of the Kumalo family. Stephen Kumalo, an old priest, has a major problem: he lost his brother, sister and son to the city. Losing them was one thing but later he is shocked to witness what his family has become. His brother, a politician and carpenter, has left the Church, his once decent sister has now moved on to become a prostitute and an alcoholic, but what he least expected was his own son committing crimes, such as robberies, and one going horribly bad. Naturalist writer, activist, and reformer Alan Paton has done an excellent job in …show more content…
Harrison, shows his determination to continually pursue his dreams of making a change in South Africa. In his own room were two highly significant pictures hung on the wall between the numerous books. “On the walls between the books there were four pictures, of Christ crucified, and Abraham Lincoln…” (Paton 176). These two pictures depict two heroes that died for their cause, just like Arthur. Both Christ and Arthur taught compassion and both cause spiritual growth after their deaths. Arthur can also be seen as a Christ figure because he was betrayed by his own people. When Absalom’s robbery when wrong and Arthur went downstairs to investigate he was literally walking to his death. “Then a white man came into the passage” Absalom recollected at the trial, “I was frightened. I fired the revolver” (Paton 194). On the eight of October, when Arthur went downstairs to investigate, he was walking to his death. In all, Arthur resembles a Christ figure in this novel for many reasons including the fact that he sacrificed his life for this cause, he died for the cause, he was determined to make a change, he endured agony because of his beliefs, and his death brought spiritual growth. One may now clearly see how Arthur Jarvis was intended to be a Christ figure. With Arthur as the Christ figure, one must also have noticed a God figure emerging from one of the characters in the novel. In Cry, the Beloved Country one can see a God figure, one who has the power to

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