Cry, the Beloved Country was the forerunner of a whole body of subsequent South African literature protesting apartheid. Like many twentieth-century African novels, Cry, the Beloved Country is the story of a journey, both an actual journey from a village to Johannesburg and a spiritual journey through a hostile society. The Reverend Stephen Kumalo, an Anglican priest and a Zulu, sets out to visit his dying sister and locate his son, Absalom, who has not been in contact since he left the village. With the help of his brother John and a fellow clergyman, Msimangu, Kumalo discovers that his son is in jail, accused of murder. After Absalom’s conviction, Kumalo returns to the village with Absalom’s wife and newborn child. The events that befall Kumalo during his journey through a society torn by the oppressive system of apartheid force him to confront suffering and assess his values.

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