Cry, the Beloved Country Notes

Cry, the Beloved Country Notes

Cry, the Beloved Country Notes

Cry, the Beloved Country Notes


The original CliffsNotes study guides offer a look into critical elements and ideas within classic works of literature.

CliffsNotes on Cry, the Beloved Country takes you into a compassionately told story set in the troubled and changing South Africa in the 1940s.

Focusing on a people who are caught between two worlds -- the old with its rituals and and respect and the new with its lack of values and order -- this study guide explores a novel of social protest through character analyses and critical essays. Other features that help you figure out this important work include

  • Profile of the author Alan Paton's life and work
  • Historical background of the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s
  • Character web and in-depth analyses of the major roles
  • Summaries and commentaries for each chapter within the book
  • Review questions and suggestions for theme topics

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Alan Paton presents Cry, the Beloved Country in three “books” subdivided into a total of thirty-six chapters. the first two books describe events that forever link the lives of two men from different societies, and the third book shows how the two men’s tragic experiences move them to action in a new common cause.

Book I

Stephen Kumalo searches for his son while trying to understand changes taking place in his black world. Tragedy overtakes him.

Book ii

Tragedy also strikes James Jarvis, who belatedly tries to understand his son as well as the changes taking place in his white world.

Book iii

Kumalo and Jarvis, separately and together, struggle not only to survive the tragedy in which they are linked but to go beyond it and initiate positive change in their converging worlds.

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