Cry, the Beloved Country

Describe Shanty Town and the problems associated with it.

Chapter 9

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In Chapter Nine, we learn of a Shanty Town that has been built nearly overnight in Orlando. In this Shanty Town, children suffer from sickness, and Dubula must arrange for doctors. When white men first come to Shanty Town, they do so to take photographs, but when more blacks come to Shanty Town from other areas, white men return out of anger and the police drive the people away.

It is in this chapter that Alan Paton departs from the quest of Stephen Kumalo in this chapter to describe the conditions of Shanty Town and the way in which it came about. The Shanty Town arises mostly out of the prohibitive housing conditions in Johannesburg as well as the intense poverty of its inhabitants, but the efforts of politicians such as Dubula make life at Shanty Town more palatable. For the first time, Paton departs from his sensitive treatment of the whites in South Africa to indict them for their actions; in blaming the whites for the police action that forces the removal of the Shanty Town population, Paton takes his first step toward a definitive political statement.