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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

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CHAPTER 11

On the train back to Sophiatown, Msimangu asks Kumalo to join him two days later at Ezenzeleni, a settlement for the blind, where he can rest and pray and gain strength. The evening at the Mission House is pleasant until a white priest brings in the Evening Star: headlines report that three black youths have broken into the home of Arthur Jarvis and have killed him. The item reports that Arthur, a city engineer, fighter for justice, Anglican, and president of the African Boys' Club in Claremont, was the son of James Jarvis, the owner of High Place near Ndotsheni. Kumalo remembers Arthur as a cheerful boy who sometimes rode past St. Mark's. Arthur's wife, nine-year-old son, and five-year-old daughter were away on vacation, but he was home working on a paper on native crime when the crime occurred. "Cry, the beloved country," the narrator says; "these things are not yet at an end." It's the first time you've heard the title of the book used. Now you see that it contains the comma because its grammatical form is direct address to the land itself-the country should weep at how its inhabitants live.



Msimangu walks Kumalo to Mrs. Lithebe's. Kumalo is deathly afraid that Absalom was among the attackers. Msimangu tries to soothe him, but Kumalo feels beaten and old. Shock after shock has greeted him in Johannesburg, and now he feels he has no prayer left in him. Readers feel a growing sense of disaster about to occur, and whatever their own beliefs, can sympathize with Kumalo. It would be for him the greatest loss of all if Johannesburg destroyed even his faith.

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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
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