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Cry, the Beloved Country

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Context Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa Birthday: January 11, 1903 Father: Scottish Farmer Mother: South African of English heritage Attended Natal University ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cry, the Beloved Country


1
Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Context

2
Alan Paton, author
  • Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Birthday January 11, 1903
  • Father Scottish Farmer
  • Mother South African
  • of English heritage

3
Paton, cont.
  • Attended Natal University
  • At 22, became a teacher and taught at two of
    South Africas elite, all-white schools.
  • Ten years later, became principal of the
    Diepkloof Reformatory, a prison school for black
    youths.

4
Paton, cont.
  • While principal, he tried to loosen the
    restrictions on the students and prepare them for
    life outside the reformatory walls.

5
Paton, cont.
  • He traveled to study reformatory schools
    worldwide.
  • It was on one of these trips, shortly after WW2,
    he wrote Cry, the Beloved Country.
  • It was published in 1948.
  • After its success, he resigned to pursue writing
    fulltime.

6
Setting
  • Set in South Africa in 1940s.
  • The story is set against a backdrop of economic
    and political tensions that have a lengthy and
    complicated history.

7
South Africa without Europeans
  • Thousands of years before the first Europeans
    arrived, southern Africa was populated by various
    African tribes
  • The San ?
  • The Khoikhoi
  • Bantu-speaking
  • people (ancestors
  • of modern Zulus)

8
The Dutch arrive
  • The first European settlers in South Africa were
    the Dutch in the 1600s.
  • They only wanted to set up trade, not colonize
    the country, so they met with little resistance.

9
The Dutch get pushy
  • By the mid-1700s, the Dutch had
  • Come to be known as the Boers
  • Developed their own language, Afrikaans
  • Begun to settle deeper into the country

10
The Dutch get pushier
  • In a process similar to the displacement and
    destruction of the Native Americans in the US,
    African tribes were forced off their lands.
  • Many Africans died from disease and loss in
    battle against the well-armed Boers.

11
The English arrive
  • English settlers first arrived in 1795.
  • Unlike the Dutch, by the early 1800s, the English
    decided to make it a full-fledged colony.

12
Dutch and English clash
  • Concentrated in the coastal cities, the English
    soon found themselves in conflict with the Boer
    farmers, who called themselves the white tribe
    of Africa.
  • The Boers moved north, away from the coast,
    leaving the English alone.

13
English and Zulus fight
  • While the Dutch moved north, the Zulus (led by
    the famous warrior-leader Shaka), pressed south
    on a military campaign.
  • They and the English fought many bloody
    battles before the Zulus were defeated.

14
English pick a fight with the Dutchagain
  • The Boers created several independent republics
    and kept to themselves.
  • When diamonds and gold were discovered in their
    territories, however, the British moved to annex
    them.
  • This led to the first Anglo-Boer war in 1881.

15
Dutch winkind of
  • The Boers regained independence of their
    territories, but when gold was discovered on
    their land in 1886, the British invaded the area
    again.
  • The second Anglo-Boer war lasted from 1899 to
    1902.
  • The British won and officially established the
    Union of South Africa in 1910.

16
Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Cry, the Beloved Country takes place after these
    upheavals and immediately before the
    implementation of apartheid (in 1948).
  • During this time, black workers were permitted to
    hold only unskilled jobs and were subject to
    pass laws that restricted their freedom of
    movement.

17
CBC
  • In 1913, the Natives Land Act radically limited
    the amount of land that black South Africans were
    permitted to own.
  • As the character Arthur Jarvis states in the
    novel, just one-tenth of the land was set aside
    for four-fifths of the countrys people.

18
CBC
  • This led to massive overcrowding.
  • Because of this, many black South Africans moved
    to Johannesburg to work in the mines.
  • Those in power welcomed all the cheap labor that
    was coming into town, but they didnt build
    sufficient housing for all of them.

19
CBC
  • These are the circumstances under which the
    character Stephen Kumalo leaves his impoverished
    rural village to search for his son in
    Johannesburg.

20
CBC
  • Though Patons novel helped raise the social
    consciousness of white South Africa, things got
    much worse before they got better.
  • In 1948, the National Party introduced apartheid.

21
Apartheid
  • Under apartheid, every South African was
    classified according to race.
  • The Group Areas Act enforced the physical
    separation of blacks from whites.
  • Every aspect of South African life was racially
    segregated.

22
Nelson Mandela
  • Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress
    (ANC) began protests against the new laws in the
    form of strikes and marches.
  • After decades of struggle and bloodshed, the ANC
    prevailed, and South Africa held its first free
    election in 1994.

23
Mandela, cont.
  • Mandela was elected president and apartheid was
    dismantled.

24
Themes
  • Cry, the Beloved Country is set in this tense and
    fragile society, where the breathtaking beauty of
    the nations natural landscape is tainted by the
    fears of the people.
  • And yet, the message of the novel is one of hope.

25
Themes, cont.
  • Characters such as Stephen Kumalo, James Jarvis,
    and Theophilus Msimangu reveal a potential for
    goodness in humankind.
  • They are able to defuse hatred, overcome fear,
    and take the first steps necessary for mending a
    broken nation.
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