Cry, The Beloved Country In Comparison To The Bible Patons novel, Cry, The Beloved Country was written in 1946. The novel has many correlations with the Bible. Paton obviously knew the Bible very well. We see parallelism between the novel and the Bible through the theme of faithfulness in God. We also see similarities between characters of the novel to Biblical characters. The first sign we find in the novel that connects it to the Bible is in Kumalos sons name.
His sons name is Absalom. Absalom is the name of King Davids son. Absalom, son of David, rebelled against his father by killing his brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13:30).
Absalom fled away from his fathers land (2 Samuel 13:37).
David mourned for his son. 2 Samuel 13:39 says, And the heart of the king went out, yearning for Absalom. David is like Kumalo. His son has also left.
Absalom Kumalo had left Ndotsheni and gone to Johannesburg. Kumalo has not heard from his son. Kumalo worries about his son and wishes to see him again. Absalom was Kumalos only son (Paton 8).
King Davids and Kumalos sons had both been involved with murders. In chapter 16, Paton shows us that Kumalo suffered from the crime his son committed (112).
David also showed suffering on behalf of his sons actions (2 Samuel 13:31).
David forgave Absalom (2 Samuel 14:33).
Kumalo also forgave his son for the sin he committed. We see this by the way he gave his son hope. Kumalo takes Absaloms hand and gives it strength as he holds it (Paton 122).
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This is symbolic of Kumalo being there for his son, and his son knowing he is. The day before Absaloms death, Kumalo went up to a mountain.
He wanted to be alone with his thoughts and to pray (Paton 273).
David also went off by himself when he heard of his sons death. He went up the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30).
Absalom, the son of David, had said, If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will worship the Lord in Hebron (2 Samuel 15:8).
Absalom Kumalo wanted to return to Ndotsheni and worship the Lord. In Ndotsheni, people worship God and have faith. We learned through out the novel that it was when the people left their tribe that they lost faith. Therefore they became lost in Johannesburg.
Absalom Kumalo is not the only character that resembles one from the Bible. Stephen Kumalo can be compared to Job. Job was a blameless and upright man. He feared God and turned away form evil (Job 1:1-2).
He was much like Stephen Kumalo. Job looses his family and land, as does Kumalo. Job suffers deeply.
He manages to maintain his integrity (Job 27:1-4).
Kumalo also manages to keep his faith and integrity through his hardships. Both could have very easily have given up. Kumalo almost does loose all his faith, but his friend Msimangu helps him through his troubles. Msimangu tells Kumalo to rest and pray for others not to think about himself, because he will pray for Kumalo (Paton 110).
Job also prays for others, not himself (Job 42:7).
In the end of the book of Job, God restores Jobs fortunes and doubles them (Job 42:10).
In the end of Patons novel, we see the hope of Kumalos family and land being restored. When Kumalo returned from Johannesburg , the bishop tells him it would be best if he left the tribe in Ndotsheni (Paton 260).
This upsets Kumalo. He feels that all is taken away from him now. Kumalo later receives a letter from James Jarvis. Kumalo excitedly announces that it is a letter sent from God (Paton 262).
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The letter tells of Jarviss plan to rebuild a new church. For the people of Ndotsheni. This is a symbol of hope for the future of Ndotsheni. The church had been leaky and falling apart (Paton 263).
Kumalo is allowed to stay and be the priest in Ndotsheni (Paton 253).
Jarvis had also arranged for a demonstrator to come help the people of Ndotsheni to restore the land (252).
This would be a long process, but a new start. Cry, The Beloved Country, is a book not only about South Africa, but also about faith. Faith is shown throughout the novel. We can see the acts of faith in different characters lives.