Alan Paton, an author of a masterpiece novel called Cry, the Beloved Country, was a white male who was born and raised in South Africa. Given that South Africa is known for its apartheid regime, Paton becomes an activist because he was against the oppressive government (Bloom 2). After Paton got a degree from the University of Natal he became a teacher and was empathetic towards the black people because they were suppressed by the government and were stricken by poverty despite working long hours in the mines and factories. Paton was filled by emotions when he understood the type of social injustice the black people had to go through their home country (Bloom 5). Thus, Paton was involved in anti-apartheid groups. The title of his book is crucial because it is crying for justice, equity, end of apartheid, ending racial segregation among other negative things that the white government imposed on the black South Africans.
Paton writes, “For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing (Bloom 87).” This means that Paton is hopeful that the black South Africans who had been pushed in reserves and enslaved in their own country will be emancipated. The novel believes that Africans need to unite and stop being fearful to fight the British who had settled in the country (Baker 42-5). Paton was passionate towards fighting for a just system because he believed that black people were not savages or not intellectual as perceived by the white people in South Africa. Though Paton was white, he was a Christian and liberalist such that he became an abolitionist given the racial inequality in South Africa was prevalent (Baker 45). The white people in South Africa had embedded a monopolistic system that would ensure that they would remain in power despite being a minority group. It is evident that the black South Africans had to live their rural homes, which tore families apart, in order to work in the cities (Baker 122). This was because the white government imposed taxes on the entire clack South Africans, which would give them an incentive to provide cheap labor in the cities. This shows how the white government in South Africa oppressed the black South Africans through imposing laws that would undermine the Africans. Thus, Paton believes that Africans should form an alliance that would enable them to resist the government and that Africans should not fear to fight for their individual rights and freedoms.
Baker, Sheridan Warner, and Alan Paton. Paton's Cry, the beloved country: the novel, the critics, the setting. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1968. Print.
Bloom, Harold. Alan Paton's Cry, the beloved country. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. Print.