Cry the Beloved Country Essay - When They Fall So Does the Tribe The Kumalo Family as an Allegory for the Deterioration of the Zulu Gavin Driggers

Cry the Beloved Country Essay - When They Fall So Does...

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When They Fall, So Does the Tribe The Kumalo Family as an Allegory for the Deterioration of the Zulu Gavin Driggers
Apartheid: beginning in the year 1948 and ending in the year 1991, it is often spoken of as the worst period in South Africa’s history. It is defined as a time of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination in Africa. Alan Paton chronicles how the terrible circumstances of the time affected the lives of two men and their families in his famous novel Cry, the Beloved Country . Stephen Kumalo is one of these men, and his family by far suffers the worst: he loses his sister, his son, and his brother to the city of Johannesburg, whereas the Jarvis family only loses a son. Stephen Kumalo is a parson in the small Zulu village of Ndotsheni. Before Apartheid, the land around the village is beautiful and flourishing, with the tribe prosperous and full of youth, but when the novel begins it has clearly deteriorated. Stephen and his wife are the only remaining members of the Kumalo family in the village, the land is empty and unfit for farming, all the young people have left for the city, and the village is poor. Paton utilizes the splintering of the Kumalo family as an allegory for the fall of the Zulu society during Apartheid, with each member that has left for Johannesburg representing a different aspect of the ways Apartheid has affected the Zulu tribe. Stephen Kumalo himself represents the few tribal people that still remain with the tribe. He is old, he is tired, and he’s desperate to save his people. His position is represented in this quote from the end of the first chapter: “They are valleys of old men and old women, of mothers and children. The men are away, the young men and the girls are way. The soil
cannot keep them anymore” (Paton, 34). Paton uses imagery here to

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