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Cry, the beloved country

Terms in this set (34)

civilization.A theme of the novel. The main differences we see are the contrast between Johannesburg and the countryside. The countryside/nature is a generally healthier, more peaceful place, whereas Johannesburg has been corrupted by human nature and desire/indulgences. In addition, Ndotsheni is more "natural" because it is a tiny countryside village instead of a huge city. DIFFERENCES: Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa, while Ndotsheni is a tiny village. Johannesburg has a diverse population (even though they are kept segregated), while Ndotsheni is primarily Zulu. Johannesburg has lots of job opportunities, especially if you are willing to work on the wrong side of the law. Ndotsheni is primarily a farming village, with one opening for a dedicated priest. It's clear that Paton favors the moral qualities of the countryside over the excitement of the city. Kumalo's retreat to the mountain to meditate at the end of Cry, the Beloved Country symbolizes a journey to an individual, personal place outside of the novel's grand divisions between black and white, and between the city and the countryside. This mountain represents the possibility of a place that is not marked by racial or economic divides. The big difference between Cry, the Beloved Country's portrayal of Ndotsheni and Johannesburg is that Ndotsheni's difficulties with soil erosion and poverty can be fixed, while Johannesburg's greed and immorality seem built into the fabric of city life and thus cannot be changed.