"Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the
inheritor of it all. Let him not love the earth to deeply. Let him not
be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give to
much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of
all if he lives too much. Yes cry, cry, the beloved country" "Cry The
Beloved Country" by Alan Paton. "Cry The Beloved Country" was a
magnificent work of art and my words alone would do it an injustice.
Its pages echo with the dirge of a battered country that has suffered
far to much for far to long.

The book takes you to South Africa, where the land itself is the
essence of a man. It as if the mountains, soaring high above the
clouds, are the high moments in life, and the valleys are those low
and suffering times. Next, you will take a journey to a place called
Johannesburg. While reading the pages, begin to envision Johannesburg
being a polluted, very unkind, and rushed city. The setting is more of
a emotional setting than a physical setting. As I stated it takes
place in South Africa, 1946. This is a time where racial
discrimination is at an all time high. The black community of this
land is trying to break free from the white people, but having little
success. It is this so called racism that is essential to the setting
of the story. Without it, the book would not have as much of an impact
as it does.

The story begins, as many great stories have begun, with a
solitary man taking a long and dangerous journey to a distant land.
The man is an Anglican Zulu priest, Rev. Stephen Kumalo, and the
journey is to the white-ran Johannesburg in 1946. Like a weary prophet
taking a biblical sojourn to Sodom, Kumalo is seeking out lost members
of his family who have left the townships for the lights of the big
city. He is looking for his sister Gertrude, who has become a
prostitute: and mostly, his son Absalom, who has disappeared into the
darkness as surely as the original Absalom of the Old Testament was
lost to King David. Once he arrives, the nave Kumalo is immediately
robbed, and it isnt until he finds the enigmatic but helpful Father
Msimangu that he is able to begin his search, a search that will
change his life forever.

He finds his sister, who is not expecting his arrivial, so, he
tells her that she and her child will go back with him. Next he wanted
to find his son, but he had no idea where to start, so Kumalo had
told Msimangu that his brother lives in Johannesburg. Msimangu
immediately knows who he is, for Kumalo's brother was a big time
politician who has no need for the church. After talking to his
brother Kumalo learns the location of his sons girlfriend, and goes to
meet her. Upon arriving he finds that his son has gotten this girl
pregnant and has left her. The girl knew where he was supposed to be
going. Doing a little digging Kumalo finds his son has killed a man.
Ironically, Arthur Jarvis, killed by Absalom, had dedicated his life
to fighting apartheid.

Upon finding this Kumalo searches out for James Jarvis, white
wealthy land-owner, father of Arthur, to apologize and give him money
for his sons wrong doing. Jarvis then comes to a realization and
decides to build Kumalo a church because he now understands what
Kumalos people were going through.

Rev. Stephen Kumalo was a man of great moral value. He was very
firm in his beliefs, yet very nave when it came to the "real world."
Kumalo could not imagine why his son did what he did nor did he want
to except the fact that it was solely his sons fault for killing a
man. The same goes for his sister, the prostitute, he thought that
she did what she did because she enjoyed it, but in all actuality she
was a prostitute so her son could have a better life. Kumalo was a
very emotional man, who dealt with his problem to