“Cry, The Beloved Country” are very emotional words. This happens to be the title of one of Alan Patons most famous novels about turmoil in South Africa. The question of why he chose this title for his novel can be answered in several ways. Perhaps its because of the racial segregation in South Africa. Some could argue it is because of economic segregation in South Africa. Or perhaps it could be the chaos inside the South African families which persuaded Paton to name this novel what he did. In my opinion, I feel all of these were factors in the naming of this novel.
One of the reasons “Cry, The Beloved Country” is named what it is is the lack of racial harmony in South Africa. Whites acted superior to the blacks. They would mistreat them in the workplace by not paying them enough. This would force the blacks to steal and commit other crimes. Another example of racial problems was the fact that Arthur Jarvis, a great man who fought for racial equality and peace, was killed because of his bold efforts. Another reason why this novel has such a powerful yet mysterious title is the economic segregation of South Africa. Whites owned mines that the blacks had to work on. This only made the whites richer, and the blacks on the borderline of survival.
The life of the Black South Africans was miserable under the White rule. The history of Black South Africans is replete with a long tale of poverty, violence, usurping of the rights of the Blacks who were in majority but seldom enjoyed equal rights with that of the Whites who have become their masters as a result of Colonialism. The Whites expanded their rule in every sphere of society in South ...
In Johannesburg, whites owned their own cars and blacks couldnt even afford the bus. Blacks tried to strike against whites at times, but the whites were just much too powerful and easily ceased the threats. Throughout the novel, it just seemed that the whites were getting more and more powerful, blacks were getting weaker and weaker, and that progress was nowhere to be found. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why Patons novel is named what it is is the troubles of the family life in South Africa. I feel this is definitely the main reasons as to why people like Kumalo and Jarvis would ever cry. They both had many hardships involving their families. Kumalos brother lost all beliefs in his tribe, his sister Gertrude became a prostitute, and most importantly his son was executed for a murder which he was not responsible for.
If I was Stephen Kumalo, I would surely be crying. James Jarvis also has every right to shed a tear about his family life. His son, Arthur Jarvis, was murdered (by Kumalos son according to the courts, coincidentally).
Nobody knows (with the exception of Alan Paton) the absolute truth of why Paton named his novel “Cry, The Beloved Country.” However, many people have theories. My theory is that with all of the problems South Africa faced, such as racial and economic segregation, and problems within the South African families all equally contributed to making someone who loves their country want to cry. Therefore, I feel Paton is possibly giving permission to the people of the beloved country, South Africa, to cry over their hardships.