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Cry, The Beloved Country

Essay by   •  June 9, 2011  •  409 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,262 Views

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Humans, no matter their job description, no matter their upbringing, are all faced with some sort of conflict throughout the course of his or her life. Every human deals with such conflict in different ways. In Alan Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country, the protagonist, Stephen Kumalo, faces all sorts of conflicts in a short period of time. With the help of friends and a strong faith in God, Kumalo is able to overcome these conflicts.

The book opens in a small South African town, where Kumalo presides over the local Anglican parish. As a minister, Kumalo faces both every day struggles, such as earning enough money to buy food or household furnishing, and the spiritual struggles of those in his church. He is a spiritual leader, but he is not perfect. In several instances throughout the book, Kumalo's temper gets in the way as he allows his anger over a situation cloud his judgment. However, after each instance, Kumalo is quick to seek the guidance of fellow ministers, such as Reverend Msimangu, or his brother, and repents quickly. He is an example for his parish and those around him.

As a minister, it can be assumed that Kumalo has high standards. Right and wrong are outlined clearly in the Bible, and he will not have them taken lightly. So when he travels to Johannesburg and finds his son, the reader can only imagine the grief it must have caused him to learn that his son, Absalom, is suspected of murder. To worsen the blow, Kumalo finds out that his son is expecting a child out of wedlock. Kumalo is not a young man and the long journey has tired him out enough. Grief does something to the body that only those who have experienced it can know how terrible it is. However, with the help of his brother, John, Msimangu, and his newfound friendship with the father of the man Absalom is suspected of murdering, Kumalo leans heavily on his faith in God.

Had Kumalo not believed in God or even had such a strong faith, grief and anger and

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