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Cry, the Beloved Country Response - Stephen Kumalo

Essay by   •  June 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  523 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,238 Views

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Kumalo is a man who has lost everything to Johannesburg. His sister, his brother, and his son have all left and he has no contact with them. When he is called there because of his sisters mental state and well being he is thrown into a completely different world.

When the letter was delivered to him he was shocked. Fear overcame him at the thought of losing his sister. Although Kumalo and his wife are middle class citizens they knew that their life savings would be diminished greatly if he went on the trip. The pair decided that family was more important that new clothes and appliances, and off he went.

On the journey to Johannesburg, Kumalo met many people. The further he got, and the more industrialized the cities became, the more afraid he became. Upon first entering the city he was lied to and stolen from. After that he was introduced to Msimangu and things started looking up. He had a place to stay, a place to eat, and a companion for the journey.

Stephen Kumalo and Msimangu started off to find Kumalos family. At first they ventured into the town where Gertrude was. It was very dirty and dangerous. There were prostitutes and random children in the streets. Gertrude accepted their help and agreed to go back with Kumalo when he was done with his mission. Finding his son was much harder. He went from place to place, walking great lengths and spending great sums of money. His savings are depleting and he worries that he will go home with nothing.

Kumalo and Msimangu finally find another lead. They come to a young girl who is pregnant with his son's child. Kumalo wants to stay and help, but Msimangu yells at him for trying to help everyone.

After seeing everyone's fear at the mention of his son, Kumalo is worried about his safety and wellbeing. When they retrace their steps they find out that the police have been everywhere looking for Absalom. He finds out his son is a thief and possibly a murderer yet he still continues the search because of his love for his child.

Stephen Kumalo grew up in a world where to be black it was like having a disease. Black people were forced to work for no money, they did not have homes or shelter, and they were treated with absolutely no respect. He had many brothers and sisters and two wonderful parents. His father was secretly a man of god and led all the other black slaves in prayer every day. One night while Kumalo was watching his father preach, and he was looking around at all the people who trusted him he knew that he wanted to be just like him when he grew up.

Kumalo grew up to become an Anglican priest. He is completely devoted to his wife, family, and his people. Although he is constantly on the move, his sense of self as well as his sense of place remains in tact. He is the moral compass of the novel and he guides the people around him.

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