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Cry the Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved country.

"I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it." (71)

Cry, the Beloved country is the story of black versus white, in a white man's world in the black man's country. It is a story of struggle, destruction, doubt and mortality. But most of all, beneath all that is amiss, it is a story of hope. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had and that events will turn out for the best. Which in Cry, the Beloved Country is what is holding together a broken country to the broken tribes, the broken tribes to the broken families, the broken families to the broken people, and the broken people to what is left of themselves. It is strong because it gives one something to hold on to when all is lost. It is strong because it gives one a chance to rise out of the darkness. Hope is strong because it the only chance for the black man and the white man to see eye to eye to help mend what is left, of a broken country.

Hope is a difficult concept to grasp as a reader of this book because it ranges from extreme to very minimal, from crucial to forgotten. The book is written with hope as the focus, whether it was that hope was at its peak, and pushing the characters and the storyline forward, or it was at it's lowest and everything seemed to be going wrong. Certainly some parts the story has you wondering whether hope is as ethical as it is often portrayed, but there are also parts that you feel as if hope is superior.

The first sign of hope that is given to Stephan Kumalo in the story was after he had arrived in the great city of Johannesburg. His first impression was inadequate, the lights were bright, the streets a mess with people, and he had been scammed by a young man who he thought was there to help him. He had no hope in what was to become of his journey, until he met Msimangu, and a glisten of hope sparked. Following meeting Mr. Msimangu, hope seemed to be at favour of the umfundisi, he had found his sister and had convinced her to return with her young child with him to Ndotsheni, he found his brother, a well-known politician and a shop owner, and finally he got his first hint to where his son Absalom maybe living.

But of course poor old Kumalo is let down several times on the pursuit of his so. He finds out that Absalom is a thief and was stealing from the white men. As well, he is also beginning to see how hard it is to be living in Johannesburg and the surrounding areas as a black man. There are many things that prevent the blacks from having a well off life, mainly being the white minority who run the laws, control the bussing, and keep the black's wages well below that of their own. But also, every time one of his leads to find his son ends up dry, a new one arises. Also, he see's



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