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Free Study Guide-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 5

Summary

The trial begins; Absalom Kumalo, Matthew Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri, the three accused are brought before the court. The first accused, Absalom admits to killing but pleads that he did not mean to kill; the other two accursed say they are not guilty and deny being present at the site of killing. Absalom is cross-examined, he gives the whole story of the crime but maintains that he had not planned to kill the man, he fired the shot because he was afraid. The court is adjourned. Kumalo spots Jarvis; he is deeply mortified and trembles to look at him.

Notes

Paton uses the camera-eye technique to give a detailed account of the courtroom proceedings. All the details are delivered from an objective platform to avoid the chances of rousing sympathy for Absalom, because he is a culprit and deserves to be punished. There is no trace of emotion and the trial is described in a superficial manner. Only at the close of the chapter, there is a hint of tension, when Kumalo spots James Jarvis. The chapter also highlights the objectivity and impartially of the Judges. The South African Judge enjoys a spotless reputation even amongst the blacks. The ‘incorruptibility’ remarks Paton is "like a lamp set upon a stand, giving light to all that are in the house."


CHAPTER 6

Summary

Gold has been discovered in Odendaabrust. People are hopping mad with excitement. The share market is booming. People are professing that a new Johannesburg will rise there. However, there is a group of people who feel that the whites are exploiting the natives, while the natives themselves are getting a raw deal. The same people are demanding for better wages and housing facilities for the natives. They believe that mines are for men, not money.

Notes

Another intercalary chapter is introduced. This time it focuses on the gold-mania rocking Johannesburg. More and more gold is coming from the mines, they people are frenzied for not having waited to cash their mines, hacks out gold from the bowels of the earth but himself does not enjoy the gold of his labor. There are few voices are lost in the din of the gold frenzy. There is strong protest from the church; people like Father Beresford who are trying to drum sense and compassion in the whites. These people draw inspiration from the legendary leader of the mining group Sir Ernest Openheimer. It is he who strives for humane working environs for the natives and believes that ‘mines are from men, not for money.’ The chapter ends with a terse comment from the author himself. "No second Johannesburg is needed upon earth one is enough."

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