Cry, the Beloved Country Style
Point of View
"Cry. the Beloved Country" is sympathetic to the plight of native South Africans who find that they are oppressed and sometimes exploited by the European settlers who dominate the country socially, politically and economically. Paton, who is a white South African writer of European descent himself, chooses the character of Kumalo, an elderly native minister, to present his narrative from the point of view of someone who has seen great changes in his lifetime and who is troubled by where they have led. The character has watched as his tribe has been pulled apart by economic conditions that draw young people into the cities. At the same time, he has seen his own home village devastated by drought and poor farming practices.
Paton also shifts point of view to the character of James Jarvis, the successful European farmer whose farm is near Kumalo's village. Jarvis lives in a kind of...