Literary Precedents for Cry, the Beloved Country

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As a novel of protest, Cry, the Beloved Country was strongly influenced by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and in several ways the two novels are very similar. The protest novel as a genre goes as far back as the eighteenth century when Samuel Richardson wrote Pamela (1740), using the novel to attack many of the evils of life in his age. Other possible influences could have been Richard Henry Dana's Two Years Before the Mast (1869)and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906), and even Charles Dickens, Paton's favorite author as a teen-ager.

Within a South African context, Cry, the Beloved Country as a protest novel sets a tradition. (William Plomer's Turbott Wolfe, published in 1925, by Hogarth Press, although a protest novel, does not really fall within the classification of modern South African literature.) Paton's work has been the forerunner of a whole body of subsequent South African protest literature...

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This section contains 250 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cry, the Beloved Country Study Guide
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