Cry, the Beloved Country

The interplay of languages in the South African social life in the novel cry, the Beloved country

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Language represents ethnicity which is such a strong theme in this book. In chapter 4 the train passes the mines outside of Johannesburg, which Kumalo suspects might be the city, and the signs shift from Kumalo's Zulu language to the Afrikaans language that dominates the city.This gives us an emotional shift from a "friendly" language to a language of "intimidation" and oppression.