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Cry, the Beloved Country Study Guide
Terms in this set (87)
Explain the symbolism of the following items:
the red soil:
the erosion of the land:
the high land and the land in the valley:
the red soil: tribes changing and losing their heritage (death of the culture)
the erosion of the land: tribes slowly fading away
the high land and the land in the valley: the separation of whites and blacks; high land = whites, valley = blacks
Who of Stephen's relatives (three people) have gone to Johannesburg and for what reason did each travel there?
John Kumalo (brother): to start a business as a carpenter
Gertrude Kumalo (sister): to look for her husband who's lost in the mines
Absalom Kumalo (son): to look for Gertrude
Explain the quote - "He was reluctant to open it, for once such a thing is opened, it cannot be shut again." What upsetting news is contained in the letter?
it means that when you find out something, you can't change it; Gertrude is sick
List 4 fears Stephen has as he travels to Johannesburg.
Stephen is worried about how he won't have enough money, taking the wrong bus (the city), long way to go, his sister, and his son
How is Stephen cheated when he arrives in Johannesburg?
a man offers to buy him his bus ticket, but runs off with the money
In addition to speaking of the sickness of the land, the broken tribe, and the broken house, what else does the priest talk about?
young people that leave forget their customs;
for example they become young and old criminals: white people are afraid of black people in Johannesburg
Initially, Rev. Msimangu says that Gertrude has no husband now. What exactly does Rev. Msimangu mean when he corrects himself and says that she has many husbands?
she is a prostitute, and makes and sells liquor
What bad news does Rev. Kumalo receive about his brother? Keep in mind that Stephen Kumalo is a man of God.
his brother is a politician and does not believe in God anymore
What has Gertrude Kumalo been doing that has shamed the family?
she is making and selling liquor, and she is a prostitute
What clues do we have that Gertrude has been lacking as a mother?
she doesn't know where her kid is; she is also a prostitute and sells liquor; her son is very dirty and does not go to school
Why are we told Rev. Kumalo is "light-hearted and gay like a boy" upon returning to Mrs. Lithebe's house?
he is happy that his sister is coming home
Describe John Kumalo.
fat, has no wife and mistress, authoritative, and loud
Why does Msimangu suggest that Esther might have left? What do you understand Msimangu to be implying about John Kumalo's behavior?
because she believed in fidelity; he's implying that he cheated on her
What does Msimangu say is the one hope for South Africa?
when people desire the good of the country instead of power
What example of foreshadowing do we see in the reverends' visit to Mrs. Ndela's house?
she warns about some friends of Absalom
Why are Reverends Kumalo and Msimangu asked not to use the buses going to Johannesburg?
other people are boycotting the buses to get lower fares
How does Msimangu describe the partnership between Tomlinson, John Kumalo, and Dubula? Why are we told the government is afraid of Dubula?
John Kumalo: voice
they are afraid because Dubula is afraid of nothing
What happens on the way to Alexandra that causes Msimangu to marvel?
a white man with a car went out of his way to give them a ride
Describe Shantytown. Why is Dubula described as clever for the way in which he leads Shantytown?
Shantytown: a collection of huts native miners lived in; Dubula was clever because the government began building more houses to get rid of tents
The mother has made a change in the traditional Christian Holy Trinity. What has been added, and what is the implication of this addition?
she added "the white man" this shows how much authority white people had over black people
Who tells reverends that Absalom has been sent somewhere? Where has he been sent?
Mrs. Hlatshwayos, one of the families that he stayed with; she said that Absalom was sent to a reformatory
What is Rev. Kumalo referring to when he says he remembers when Rev. Msimangu "first became afraid"?
Rev. Msimangu first became afraid about what happened to Absalom when they talked to the woman in Alexandria
How is Absalom Kumalo regarded at the reformatory? What does the staff think about Absalom and his future?
a good boy; the staff thought that he had a promising future
What does Paton tell us about the tone of the young woman from Pimville?
she has given up
What news do the reverends receive from the Evening Star?
an engineer was killed - possibly by natives
What is Rev. Kumalo's connection to the Jarvis family?
the father and son rode by his church occasionally
What was Arthur Jarvis writing about at the time of his death?
a book called, "The Truth about Native Crime"
Given Jarvis' efforts in the African community and the manuscript he was writing, how is the death of Arthur Jarvis both tragic and ironic?
death is always tragic; it is ironic because his death was a native crime, the same thing he had been writing about
What and who are we told to cry for at the end of chapter 11?
the broken tribe, for lost law and custom, for the dead man for women and children, and for the country
Why should the unborn child not love, laugh, or give too deeply? What is Paton referring to when he writes of "the unborn child"?
the more he loves, the more he has to love; future generations
In addition to the reverends, who else is vigorously looking for Absalom Kumalo?
What has Rev. Kumalo already begun to fear?
that Absalom killed Arthur
Besides education, what does Rev. Kumalo hope the schools in Ndotsheni will provide?
education for a good living/future
While sitting in the place of ashes, what does Rev. Kumalo finally admit to himself?
the tribe was broken beyond repair
When Paton tells us that Rev. Kumalo knows what blind man Rev. Msimangu is preaching to, who is it?
Who fired the shot that killed Arthur Jarvis? Who else was involved in the incident?
Absalom, Rev. Kumalo's son; Matthew Kumalo (John's son) and Johannes Pafuri (friend of Absalom)
What biblical story does John Kumalo mock and what moral idea does John Kumalo mock?
the prodigal son; fidelity
Why does the book say the murder of a white man is more shocking than murder by itself?
the white men are considered better
What are the two reasons for which Father Vincent says it is important to get a lawyer?
John is going to try to put all the blame on Absalom (Matthew Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri aren't telling the truth); Absalom killed accidentally
How does Rev. Kumalo compare himself to the sleeping man in the grass who is lying in the path of an oncoming storm?
he never knew what was coming
Why does Father Vincent say sorrow is better than fear?
sorrow can enrich, but fear impoverishes
Why does Rev. Kumalo take issue with his son Absalom's tears?
Absalom is only crying that he got caught
What happened to the young girl from Pimville's first two husbands?
they're in jail
What is the promise that Rev. Kumalo asks the girl from Pimville to make?
to not run away if she no longer wants to be with Absalom
What are Mrs. Lithebe's two complaints about Gertrude?
she is careless and talks to strangers - especially men
How are we told that the girl from Pimville is unlike Gertrude?
she is openly happy to be in Mrs. Lithebe's house
What does it mean when it is said that Mr. Carmichael will be taking Absalom's case "pro deo"?
he will do the case for free (for God) or almost free
What division does there seem to be between the whites in South Africa?
those who speak Afrikaans and those who speak english
Over what topic did James Jarvis not see eye to eye with his son?
What languages are we told Arthur Jarvis spoke? What does this say about him?
Zulu, Afrikaans, English, Sesuto; he was very well educated and bright/smart
Whom did Arthur Jarvis blame for native crime?
What does James Jarvis remember about the mission back home in Ndotsheni?
it was rundown and sad
According to Arthur Jarvis, what is the duty of the white civilization in South Africa?
educate the natives and set up a new ruling/moral system
What men exercised much influence over Arthur Jarvis?
What things did James Jarvis experience for the first time at his son's funeral?
he sat in a church with many different races and he later shook hands with black people
What justifications does Mr. Harrison offer for not allowing the native miners to go on strike?
they get housing - medical attention
What arguments for apartheid does Arthur Jarvis' manuscript list?
without whites, black people can reach their full potential
What argument does Paton make when he says, "The Judge does not make the Law. It is the People that make the Law"?
a judge has to judge according to the laws in place, even if it is unfair
What answer does Absalom give when he is asked WHY he carried a revolver?
to frighten the servant and to protect himself
What distracts Johannesburg from the trial of Arthur Jarvis?
more gold has been found
What statement does Paton seem to be making when he says that the Afrikaans names of the mines are unpronounceable? Who seems to be speaking in these paragraphs?
the Afrikaans language is different and and strange and less spoken; a white person speaking;
What does Arthur Jarvis mean when he says (in his writing) that he never learned of South Africa from his parents?
he was sheltered from hate, conflicts, and cultures of other people
Is the policeman's reason for why James Jarvis left by the front door correct or incorrect? Why?
incorrect; Jarvis was actually coming to grips with who his son was, and not falling apart
Why is Kumalo so shaken when he visits Barbara Smith's house?
he sees James Jarvis, the father of the man Absalom killed
Describe the conversation between Kumalo and James Jarvis.
Kumalo is afraid, but tells James Jarvis about his son. James Jarvis is not angry, but just accepts the fact that his son is dead
What is Dubula's and Tomlinsons's response to John Kumalo's speech?
contempt and envy. They say that John is not very smart
What does John Kumalo say the people are asking for? Do you agree or disagree with his point?
their fair share of what is produced by their labor; i agree, they are underpaid
Why does Mrs. Lithebe scold Gertrude? What does Paton mean when he says the term "talk carelessly"?
she talks carelessly to indecent people; that was the way she spoke when she was a prostitute
What does Mrs. Lithebe and Msimangu hide from Kumalo?
the newspaper that says another person was killed by a native
What decision does the Judge make about Matthew Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri? What reasons does he give to support this decision?
they're not guilty. the court did not have concrete evidence about them
How does Paton address the issue of a judge ruling on an unjust law?
it is ultimately white societies fault that native people are in such a bad place, but the law does not take that into consideration
What sentence does Absalom receive?
guilty - death by hanging
What custom is broken as the people exit the courtroom?
a young white man, supposedly James Jarvis, goes over to the black side and helps Kumalo walk out of the courthouse
Does Absalom seem remorseful about his crime as he says goodbye to his father?
no, he is afraid of death, not sad of his crime
What gift does James Jarvis give John Harrison?
1,000 pounds of money to do the things that he and Arthur wanted to do
What gift does Msimangu give Kumalo?
money - 33 pounds, 4 shillings, and 5 pence
What decision does Gertrude make?
How does the village respond to Kumalo's return?
they rejoice (very happy) and welcome him back home
What language is Jarvis' grandson trying to learn? Why is this significant?
Zulu: it shows that the Jarvis family is becoming more accepting to other people (native people)
What are the children in Ndotsheni lacking? How is it supplied?
milk; Jarvis donated it to the villages
Describe the symbolism behind the thunderstorm coming to the valley.
a sense of hope: drought has been going through a long time and the rain is helping droughts; things will get better
What change is happening in James Jarvis?
he is finally seeing injustice and wants to help the native people
List the different things that offer the umfundisi hope in chapter 33.
the agricultural demonstrator, the dam to occur, James Jarvis' grandson learning Zulu
What changes the Bishop's mind about asking Kumalo to leave Ndotsheni?
James Jarvis' letter; he thanks Kumalo for his condolences and tells him to rebuild the church because his wife is dying and that was her dying wish
Describe the young man's politics. Why would Kumalo caution the young man that his politics are dangerous?
he believes in communism; Kumalo warns him that power corrupts
Explain the symbolism of the coming dawn.
new day/new start (better times are coming)
Why do you think Paton chose to end his book like this?
South Africa is still not free of hate
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