Commentary on a Passage from Cry, the Beloved Country

Capee novel, Cry, the beloved country is written by Alan Paton, a great South African writer. The book was published in 1948 and became world wide bestseller. Alan Paton mainly discusses the struggle for Africa and especially the conflicts between the Whites and the Blacks in South Africa. He wants the people to realize that the destruction or breaking apart of a country like South Africa can be mended through hope and this hope can only be reached if people accept and love each other as fellow human beings.
The Whites gained power through force and compulsion. The chosen passage shows Western style of thinking which lead to this particular destruction of South Africa. The passage illustrates a manuscript from Arthur Jarvis and is the last thing he wrote before he was shot by the natives. He described that the Christian civilization is “riddled through and through with dilemma”. The manuscript by Arthur shows that although the Westerners have suppressed the natives and destroyed their culture, their own civilization is full of destruction and tragedy.
The Westerners think of themselves as superior and suppress the natives. From the passage it is shown that they deny giving education to the natives because they think that it would not help the country anyways. “We say we withhold education because the black child has not the intelligence to profit by it; we withhold opportunity to develop gifts because black people have no gifts. Arthur also describes: “We believe in help for the underdog, but we want him to stay under”, which indicates their need to be superior. The word underdog even makes the natives inhumane. They describe them as underdogs, as animals, which is a really arrogant tone. Arthur also writes in his manuscript that the Westerners think, because they achieved their own advancement in a long period relationship.

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