Cry, the Beloved Country

Footprints in the Sand

"'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?'" (Matthew 7:3). Scholars are fast to uphold the severe wisdom of this advice, yet very few are entirely capable of following it. Numerous authors have written upon this topic, one of whom is Alan Paton, author of Cry, the Beloved Country. Many debates have been sparked by this book due to Paton's ability to examine the plank in his eye, South Africa. Even the essence of the book's title examines South Africa and declares the presence of the inner conflict of its citizens. The importance and meaning of the title of Cry, the Beloved Country is visible in Paton's efforts to link the reader to forthcoming ideas in the novel, Paton's description of South Africa's problems, and Paton's prayer for the solution of South Africa's difficulties with race and racial oppression.

One way Paton connects the reader to the racial tension in the novel is through the repetition of the thematic title throughout key events in the novel. Paton often uses the wording of the title within the text to express the pain inflicted by South Africa's moral conflict, racial segregation and...

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