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Compare and contrast Alan Paton’s Cry, the beloved country and Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Gradual erosion of tribal life in Things Fall Apart.
  3. Okonkwo's observations.
  4. Cry, the Beloved Country, Kumalo's journey to Johannesburg and back.
  5. Plight of native blacks under white rule.
  6. Conclusion.

Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart are both groundbreaking novels intertwining multifarious aspects of the human condition and human relationships to highlight the conflict between the white colonizers and native blacks in Africa at different points in African history. Achebe's narrative signals the first indicator of tribal decline in Africa, exploited by the white colonizers to exert power in their expanding empire. The death toll of tribal life in Africa in Things Fall Apart symbolizes the human predisposition towards conflict as the ethnic tensions are replaced with the tensions between the whites and blacks.

[...] He had court messages that brought men to him for trial?. (Achebe 174). Similarly, the white influence in Cry, the Beloved Country changes Kumalo's life where he is faced with further evolution of the white colonial judiciary system. ?They come out of the Court, the white on one side, the black on the other, according to the custom. But the young white man breaks the custom, and he and Msimangu help the old and broken man, one on each side of him . [...]


[...] In Cry, the Beloved Country, Kumalo's journey to Johannesburg and back portrays how Paton felt about unity and the importance of family. Indeed a central theme of Cry is the symbolism of family life being broken in South Africa. This is primarily illustrated through the Kumalo family with references to other broken families as a symptom of apartheid Africa. The troubles in Johannesburg are utilized as a microcosm for the broken villages in Isopod. Kumalo's is used by Paton as a symbol of hope in healing broken South Africa, which contrasts with the destruction that unfolds in Things Fall Apart. [...]


[...] The fragmentation of the traditional African family unit in Things Fall Apart is juxtaposed with the quest for unity in Cry, the Beloved country where through the journey of the Kumalo family, the central themes branch off to highlight the family as the essence of the home, whether white or black. Kumalo dreams of a house united by family, which in turn is symbolic of the hope for a South Africa united by family without racial barriers. Indeed, Kumalo's journey to find his son interweaves the underlying darkness of apartheid as a key facet of his justification for unity of the races. [...]

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