Cry, the Beloved Country

Solace 10th Grade

For thousands of years, people have believed devoutly in an omnipotent spirit who watched over them, cared for them, loved them, protected them. A homely priest sheltered from the world in the rural South African countryside comes face to face with the blatant reality that pervades the urban jungle when he journeys to Johannesburg in search of his son. Taken aback by the harsh truths of the ravaged and segregated city, he relies solely on his Christian faith to withstand the brutalities that the city hosts. In Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, in light of living as a black South African under Apartheid and grieving over how his son has gone astray, Stephen Kumalo’s Christian faith helps him to overcome his hardships by bringing him solace in his darkest hours.

When Stephen Kumalo discovers his son’s moral transgression and his apparent lack of conscience, he turns to Tixo (the Xosa word for “God”) for solace in his time of trouble. In the wake of learning of his son’s immorality, Kumalo sinks into the depths of despair; however, Msimangu’s preaching to the blind in Ezenzeleni restores Kumalo’s faith. The tone is one of hope; the Lord will “open the blind eyes” and “make darkness light before them” (Paton, 124). With...

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