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Word Count: 380
A major theme in Cry the Beloved Country was how the families became separated and how so many left their homeland for the big city The effects of this separation were shown in many ways but mainly though tribal breakdown Some examples that were used to show this breakdown were crime among black youths pressures on the blacks and fear of the opposite race The book starts with Stephen Kumalos worried thoughts involving the breakdown of the tribe as he arrives in Johannesburg As the story unfolds it becomes evident that the members of his own family have gone their own separate ways His sister has found it necessary to support herself by crime his brother has abandoned religious values and moral standards based on family unity his son is a thief and his brother and nephew will lie to save themselves no matter what effect it has on other members of the family The pressures on blacks are seen gradually as the story progresses It first starts to become apparent as Kumalo searches for his son in Johannesburg The pressures continue throughout the story and seem to never end Some of the most talked about examples of these pressures are the problems dealing with housing crime and the gold strike Outside the cities causes of moral decay and tribal breakdown include the assignment of blacks to lands too poor for good farming and the workers being carried off to mines where the pay is poor and working conditions are dangerous In the cities breakdown is caused by lack of jobs and laws of separation that do not provide blacks with housing and other facilities equivalent to those available to whites A main part of the breakdown is fear itself Whites fear not just black crime but also a black uprising if speakers such as John Kumalo are allowed too much freedom Blacks fear white retaliation for strikes and boycotts Kumalo is afraid
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