Cry, the Beloved Country Alan Paton 1903-1988
Pre-Writing • Pre-write anything that you know about South Africa. • We will later explore some of the features of South Africa as they relate to Paton's work and as they give a context for contemporary South Africa.
- Born on January 11, 1903, on the east coast of southern Africa (formerly Natal) to evangelical Christians - South Africa did not yet exist; it was established in 1910 following the Anglo-Boer War. Alan Paton
Paton was principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory for black youths in Johannesburg where he improved conditions and sought to rehabilitate Alan Paton
Paton’s Social Conscience • Paton is considered a reformer and used his novels, short stories and essays as vehicles for his strong philosophical and moral viewpoints. • Strove to promote social change, particularly with regard to the treatment of native South Africans and the preservation of the land
Cry, the Beloved Country • Published in February 1948 • Novel was a huge success in Europe and U.S. but unpopular in South Africa • The novel was translated into Zulu and a number of other languages and has sold well over 15 million copies
Johannesburg • In 1886, gold mines were discovered and gave rise to the creation of this city. • The setting for Cry, The Beloved Country, it provides a realistic stage for the unfortunate racially based tension that mounted at the end of World War II due to the increasing number of people moving to Johannesburg from nearby outlying rural areas in Africa.
Johannesburg, a major setting in Cry, the Beloved Country Current Population: 1,675,200
The tension between British imperialists and the Afrikaans, or white South African inhabitants descendant of the Boers, pales in comparison to the struggles between the Afrikaans and native black Africans. The respective languages of these two groups, Afrikaner and Zulu represent a pronounced difference in culture and perspective. English vs. Afrikaner vs. Zulu
History of South Africa • Dutch arrived in 1652 and established Capetown. Within 5 years they began importing slaves. • Over the next 100 years, Dutch, German, and French Huguenot immigrants settled South Africa, pushing deeper in to tribal regions.
History of South Africa • These settlers were known as Afrikaners, or Boers, who developed a common language know as Afrikaans. • In 1795 Britain wrested control of Capetown from the Dutch, which led to a century of sporadic fighting over control of the region.
SA History, Continued • In 1820, British immigrants settled on the eastern coast of South Africa, in an attempt to push back the native tribes in that region. • British missionaries, opposed to slavery, arrived in the early 1800s and caused further division between the British and slave-owning Dutch.
And More Boer History • After Britain outlawed slavery, the Boers began a moving north and east of Capetown and formed two republics—the Orange Free State and the Transvaal or ZAR. • This division led to the Boer Wars in the from the late 1880s-early 1900s, in which Britain emerges as the victor.
Apartheid—”Separateness” • 1948-1990—Laws aimed at segregating races and maintaining strict control over non-whites—legalized racial discrimination by: • Prohibiting inter-racial marriages • Barring blacks from holding jobs classified as “skilled labor,” or almost all well-paying jobs • Mandating separate schools and hospitals • Restricting the movement of blacks through “pass laws” which required blacks to carry passes with ID and fingerprints • Restricted land ownership by blacks • Required all South Africans to register by race
Apartheid in the 50s and 60s • 1951—government established reserves or “homelands” and assigned Africans to these homelands according to their tribe of origin. • This stripped native blacks of their South African citizenship. • 1960s—the UN called for sanctions against the Republic of South Africa to protest apartheid and human rights but had little effect for three decades. • 1964--Nelson Mandela, the leader of the anti-Apartheid movement, was tried for treason and sentenced to life in prison.
End of Apartheid • 1976—a peaceful march by Soweto schoolchildren turns deadly when police fire into the crowd, sparking rioting and international outrage. • 1980s—international pressure mounted • 1990—South Africa freed Mandela and began repealing apartheid laws • 1994—blacks and mixed-race South Africans were allowed to vote, electing Mandela president. He served until 1999.
Sophiatown • a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. • was a legendary black cultural hub that was destroyed under apartheid, rebuilt under the name of Triomf, and in 2006 officially returned to its original name. • was one of the oldest black areas in Johannesburg and its destruction represents some of the excesses of South Africa under apartheid. • Despite the violence and poverty, it was the epicentre of politics, jazz and blues during the 1940s and 1950s. • It produced some of South Africa's most famous writers, musicians, politicians and artists.
Looking only at the title, Cry, the Beloved Country, write what you might assume is a central theme to the novel. Consider questions like the following: Is “Cry” the name of the country? Is there irony in the title? Is this an imperative statement? Is “beloved” being used in the present or past tense? Title Inference