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Word Count: 1,491
Suffering Brings Understanding and Compassion In Cry the Beloved Country Alan Paton sought to show the disorder and the deep racial segregation of South African nations after World War II To do this he centers his story around the happenings in a large industrial city As a result of the break-up of South American tribes by greedy white men and the desolate land left for the natives one mans son is shot by another Unforeseen but inevitable it affected the lives of many By focusing on the two main characters in Cry the Beloved Country Paton shows that suffering brings understanding that in turn brings compassion Kumalo the main character in Cry the Beloved Country is confronted by a number of problems throughout the book At first he suffers as he tries to adapt to the new place When Kumalo receives a letter telling him that his sister is sick he decides to venture to Johannesburg When he gets there he is robbed then treated with kindness Callan 38 This makes him uneasy and wary of the new place He visits places of despair and then places of hope 38 This contrast between the two makes him understand the gap between the two He ventures into this new society and is presented with the worst and best elements of it Stine 361 The circumstances presented mold his thoughts on the town During this time he develops new insights into the nature of life and society Fitzwater 20 He has difficulty until a kind minister named Msimangu helps him adapt to the new town He is also faced with the task of trying to bring his personal family back together Fitzwater 21 Many of the people of Ndotenshi and other towns have left The lands desolation has driven them away The soil cannot keep them anymore Paton 4 While in Johannesburg he finds his sister who has turned into a prostitute with a child
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