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Cry The Beloved Country - Corruption

Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004

Corruption is one of the most prevailing themes in Cry The Beloved Country, as well as in today’s world. In this story the author pictures many different characters in order to represent this wide spread illness of society, John Kumalo, Gertrude, Abasalom, just to name a few. Johannesburg itself is the summary of all that is wrong with cities of today. There is corruption and poverty. Crime runs rampant, and law-abiding citizens are forced to survive as they can.

One of the most typical products of corruption in Cry The Beloved Country is John Kumalo. He has a woman living with him that he hasn’t married; he has no problems with hiring a lawyer that will lie, effectively condemning his nephew to death. His one good trait is that he uses his political power to help further the cause of the African natives, and even this is tarnished by the fact that he only wants to further his own ambitions. He doesn’t have the heart necessary for a revolutionary leader and that will be his downfall. If he was willing to go to prison and make sacrifices for what he believed in or wanted he would have much more power than he has now.

Abasalom is a good example of corruption that doesn’t come from the heart. Unlike John, Abasalom does not want to be corrupt, and he is not proud of what he has done. When he killed Arthur he was horrified, and when the police found him he didn’t deny what he had done, but confessed. Abasalom was corrupted by Johannesburg and by his "friends", and was a victim of circumstance.

Allan Paton presents Johannesburg as a nest of corruption in the book. As a matter of fact all the other corruption mentioned in the story is stemming from Johannesburg: John, Gertrude, Abasalom, crime, prostitution, racism, segregation. Johannesburg isn’t only corrupt in itself; it corrupts all most all that it touches. This city is very much a downscaled version of anyone of numerous major cities in the world today. It is a sad day when a man of the cloth cannot go unmolested through the streets. The city is overcrowded and everyone is so poor that they must stoop to rob priests just to feed themselves.

A good example of what this city does to a person is Gertrude, the most pathetic character in the book. She has...

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Uploaded by:   Quest4Glory

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (621 words)

Views:   13551

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