Imagine being ridiculed amongst the lighter-skinned humans blatantly for the color of one’s skin. Often resulting being restrained to poor living conditions, lack of education, and denial of unalienable human rights. Unfortunately, there is a heaping amount of racial tensions amongst immigrants to regions of South Africa, Johannesburg for example. In the novel, Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, portrays the plummeting structure in the society of South Africa and the destructive racism that occurs. This introduces an understanding to the reader about people’s hardships and the injustice amongst the populace. Through labeling human beings as inferior off of their background, the author discusses prejudice and reveals that racism is not essentially based upon ethnic background, but the individual’s differences with an individual that alienates one human from another.
The ability of getting along in mankind is often being hindered by selfishness and stubbornness. A heavy amount of conflict has been occurring between the Afrikaners and the British of settlers attacking the wealth in the depths of South Africa. This is exemplified from Jarvis’s father, “Indeed Ixopo was full of Afrikaners now, whereas once there had been none of them. For all the police were Afrikaners, and the post-office clerks, and the men at the railway-station, and the village people got on well with them one way and the other. Indeed, many of them had married English speaking girls, and that was happening all over the country. His own father had sworn that he would disinherit any child of his who married an Afrikaner, but times had changed.” (Paton 164) Due to contrasting cultures and backgrounds of the Afrikaners, the violence and hatred towards one another escalates, especially when marriage between these settlers is present. In the past, these settlers’ only concern, being the rich and illustrious mineral mines in South Africa, is still tampering with how communication towards each other, resorting to violence rather than a peaceful approach. However, this conflict is not only regarding the white population in South Africa, but rather has much more emphasis amongst the white and non-white individuals
Peaceful communication is the largest contributing factor to a livelier society. Revolting against people of the same species is an everlasting occurrence in South Africa, where non-whites are essentially being looked down upon with no hope of receiving fair treatment as a human being from white “superior” individuals. Msimangu illustrates an experience regarding a slim chance of faith that not white-skinned individuals communicate with violence, “The white people are treating more and more of them. It is strange how we move forward in some things, and stand still in others, and go backward in yet others. Yet in this matter of nurses we have many friends amongst the white people. There was a great outcry when it was decided to allow some of our young people to train as doctors at the European University of the Witwatersrand. But our friends stood firm, and they will train there until we have a place of our own.” (Paton 95) Underneath the massive amount of criticism the non-whites receive, there is the appreciation to few activists achieving a different agenda than other, more racist, whites. These white nurses provide a stronger sense of hope for black residents of South Africa until they feel stable financially, which revolts against having one race receiving proper education. This is a rare occasion of revealing brighter prospects in the future and communicating in a peaceful manner. Education is such an admirable experience and should not be under any restrictions because of one’s differences, consequently resulting in alienation.
The novel by Alan Paton brings attention to the destructive society, that is South Africa, providing the public about how to create a profound change to this society, before redemption is no longer a possibility. Achieving redemption implies accepting the differences that make each population unique from another to move forward as a community. From removing prejudice, alienation, and fear of one another, South Africa can coordinate a community without denial of basic unalienable human rights.