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Alan Patton's Cry, the Beloved Country (Bloom's Guides) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

Alan Patton's Cry, The loved nation, a part of Chelsea residence Publishers' Bloom's publications assortment, offers concise serious excerpts from Cry, The cherished kingdom to supply a scholarly evaluate of the paintings. This entire research consultant additionally positive aspects "The tale in the back of the tale" which information the stipulations less than which Cry, The liked state used to be written. This identify additionally encompasses a brief biography on Alan Patton and a descriptive record of characters.

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Additional info for Alan Patton's Cry, the Beloved Country (Bloom's Guides)

Sample text

The contrast between the agonised mind of the African priest and the assurance and patience of the faith of the English priest could not be bettered. Paton succeeds in that most difficult of tasks—making goodness seem not only attractive, but inevitable. For sheer delicacy in the handling of pathos and in the exposition of a creative mutual forgiveness, it would be difficult to find a better example than the encounter, already mentioned, of Stephen Kumalo and the father of Arthur Jarvis. Here indeed are thoughts that lie too deep for tears.

He seemed to be waiting for the car, and with something of a shock he realized that it was Jarvis. (241) One suspects that black men converted to Christianity by white men picture God as white, Marc Connelly notwithstanding, and that Paton’s symbolic use of Jarvis is particularly apt. Jarvis’s personal growth is paralleled by Kumalo’s until at the end of the book Kumalo replaces Jarvis on the mountain. Kumalo, too, has a son. In fact, all sons, in Paton’s book, bring salvation. The dying valley which runs blood and is resurrected represents the death of both sons, all death, and the life which springs therefrom.

There Kumalo’s sister sells her whiskey and herself. The green valley of home now runs only red earth when it rains, for energy has shifted to Johannesburg. There black and white collide in violence, which at last miraculously causes water to flow from Carisbrooke down to Ndotsheni. Because we see mostly through Kumalo’s primitive eyes, the symbolism of mountain and valley comes naturally to Paton’s book. Kumalo is “a Zulu schooled in English” (15), a Zulu wearing an Anglican collar. The language we are to suppose is Zulu takes on the rhythms and phrases of the English Bible, which Kumalo, of course, uses in its Zulu version.

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