By Harold Bloom (ed)
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Additional info for Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
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. Yet, ironically, he is the one person in the novel who displays something of a real political understanding. The immediate result of this ideological clash being dissolved and disposed of through moral condemnation is that the ﬁnal political vision which emerges from Cry, the Beloved Country is naïve in the extreme.
52. 18. , 52–3. 19. Roux, Time Longer than Rope, 322–3. 20. , 323. 21. It is worth noting that, in the novel, Dubula organizes both the Bus Boycott and the building of Shanty Town. In fact, they were two different men; Gaur Radebe and Sofazonke Mpanza respectively. Another example of artistic distortion. 22. Cry, the Beloved Country, Bk I, ch. ix, 50. 23. There were other ‘shanty town’ incidents that occurred in 1946 at Pimville and Albertynsville, which were recent in Paton’s memory when he wrote Cry, the Beloved Country in 1947.
The happening could be imaginary, but the timing real. He may wish the reader to understand that an action could have occurred at a precise point in history, and that the reader could have experienced it. Such a blending of the invented and the real gives more convincingness to his story. In such instances, reality and fantasy do not conflict. But if, for example, a character is described as going to the police with information about a murder that has just happened on the day before the murder occurs, we sit up incredulously.
Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Harold Bloom (ed)