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Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's by Harold Bloom (ed)

By Harold Bloom (ed)

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Additional resources for Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

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This is the second distortion of time for the sake of the fiction. Finally, there is another and possibly more revealing discrepancy. The month of the Bus Boycott was November; Shanty Town thus happened first. In the novel, Paton reverses this sequence: Shanty Town follows the boycott. One of his aims is clear from the extracts given: he wishes the physical upheaval, social suffering and individual misery depicted in the Shanty Town23 episode to be placed alongside a climatic fictional event—the murdering of Arthur Jarvis by Absalom and all its consequent misery.

Thus John Kumalo’s moral corruption is emphasized to the extent that his actual political worth, the substantial accuracy of his many brief analyses, are ultimately ignored and glossed over: “—Perhaps we should thank God he is corrupt, said Msimangu solemnly. For if he were not corrupt, he could plunge this country into bloodshed. He is corrupted by his possessions, and he fears their loss, and the loss of the power he already has” (p. 161). In short, because John Kumalo is not a good man, his politics are not good.

1957), 756–7. 9. Alan Paton, Apartheid and the Archbishop: The Life and Times of Geoffrey Clayton, Archbishop of Cape Town (Cape Town, Philip, 1973), 143. 10. Cry the Beloved Country, Bk I, ch. viii, 39–40. 11. I suspect that the reason Paton says ‘twenty or twenty-two’ in the first and not simply ‘twenty-two’ as he does in the novel is that he used Walker’s History when he came to write the later account; Walker appears frequently in the bibliography to Apartheid and the Archbishop. 12. Cry, the Beloved Country, Bk I, ch.

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