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Word Count: 636
The major conflict in the novel Cry the Beloved Country is an inner uncertainty within the characters The author Alan Paton shows this inner conflict from two perspectives the Europeans and the Native South Africans These two groups also have inconsistencies in their conscious to resolve The black Natives are struggling between tradition and the new world The Natives are forfeiting their old values as they progress towards the mode of the big city life The Europeans are also confused Many Europeans want to help the Natives but are faced with following old tradition Conventionally these two groups should live independently The changing of customs and values created apprehension and fear for both groups of peopleSteven Kumalo a Native priest faced inner conflicts throughout the book Kumalo had dreams of restoring the tribe and reuniting his family He received a letter telling him his sister was ill in Johannesburg Steven overcomes his fears of the big city and attempts to reunite his broken family Steven hoped to find his sister Gertrude brother John and son Absalom Each of these characters rejected their old values His brother John was a corrupt politician Kumalos sister Gertrude was a prostitute Absalom Stephens son killed Arthur Jarvis Kumalo struggled with feelings about his family members He continued to encounter the clash of two different worlds affecting their lives The Europeans were caught between tradition and the modernistic ways The Europeans had been taught they were a superior race Many Europeans doubted their traditional views and lifestyles During the Natives bus boycott a few Europeans voluntarily drove the Natives so they did not have to walk The old routine customs were questioned and challenged In this case the rules were ignoredCustoms were also ignored during Absaloms trial Absalom Kumalo Stephens son was found guilty of murdering Arthur Jarvis Absaloms white friend broke the color line while leaving the courtroom Carmichael ran to help Stephen who was about to collapse
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