Hero s journey in cry the beloved country

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Reconciliation Between Fathers and Sons Cry, the Beloved Country chronicles the searches of two fathers for their sons. For Kumalo, the search begins as a physical one, and he spends a number of days combing Johannesburg in search of Absalom.

Hero s journey in cry the beloved country

Kumalo is an elderly Zulu priest who has spent all of his life in the village of Ndotsheni. He is a quiet, humble, and gentle man with a strong moral sense and an abiding faith in God. He is not perfect, however, and occasionally gives in to the temptation to hurt others with harsh words or lies.

The dignity and grace with which he accepts his suffering, however, along with his determination to help his people in spite of his limitations, make him the moral center of the novel.

Read an in-depth analysis of Stephen Kumalo. When he first appears in the novel, Jarvis is a relatively conservative farmer and a man of few words. But the tragic news that his only son, Arthur, has been murdered leads him to Johannesburg, where he begins to rethink his opinions and his relationship to the villagers that live below his farm.

Read an in-depth analysis of James Jarvis.

Hero s journey in cry the beloved country

A tall, young minister at the Mission House in Sophiatown, Msimangu has an acute understanding of the problems that face South Africa. He sometimes speaks unkindly, but he quickly repents. His eventual decision to enter a monastery is a final testament to the depth of his faith and generosity.

Read an in-depth analysis of Theophilus Msimangu.


After fleeing home for Johannesburg, Absalom quickly goes astray, but even after he commits murder, he is able to reclaim his fundamental decency. His decision to move to Johannesburg is part of a larger trend of young black people fleeing their villages for the cities. Seeming to lack a reliable moral compass, he is influenced by bad companions and begins a criminal career.

Read an in-depth analysis of Absalom Kumalo. Formerly a humble carpenter and a practicing Christian, John Kumalo becomes a successful businessman and one of the three most powerful black politicians in Johannesburg.

He has a beautiful and powerful voice, which he uses to speak out for the rights of black South Africans, but his fear of punishment prevents him from pushing for actual radical change, and he is considered by many to be without courage. An engineer and fierce advocate for justice for black South Africans, he is shot dead in his home by Absalom Kumalo.

Read an in-depth analysis of Arthur Jarvis. Kumalo and her husband make household decisions as equals, and she bears hardship gracefully. When Kumalo is inclined to brood, she rouses him to action, and it is she who supplies the courage needed to read the bad news that the mail brings from Johannesburg.

Gertrude, twenty-five years younger than Kumalo and living in Johannesburg, is easily influenced.

Hero s journey in cry the beloved country

When Kumalo reminds her of her Christian duties and obligations, she attempts to return to them, but she lacks real determination. He brings comfort to Kumalo during his troubles. Lithebe is an Msutu woman who lives in Sophiatown and takes in boarders, especially priests.

She is a good and generous Christian who believes that helping others is simply her duty.

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He is warm and understanding, and he possesses deep faith. She has run away from her dysfunctional family but still seeks a family structure and bonds. She is sexually experienced but essentially innocent, obedient, and grateful for adult protection.

Margaret takes the death of her son very hard.Cry, the Beloved Country is a great novel, but not because it speaks out against racial intolerance and its bitter effects. Rather the haunting milieu of a civilization choking out its own vitality is evoked naturally and summons our compassion.

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