By Harold Bloom (ed)
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Extra info for Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
11 Yet Mphahlele never fully articulates this failure. In a very real sense these two characters embody the distinction that Arthur Koestler draws in his essay “The Yogi and the Commissar”. Stephen is an advocate of “Change from Within”, of spiritual puriﬁcation, and is in favour of passivity, submission, meekness and guidance; John is a proponent of “Change from Without” and of the activism, domination and calculation which this programme for social change demands. John Kumalo believes “that what God has not done for South Africa, man must do” (p.
So, together with this ‘aftermath’ function, the illusion is kept up that the events are also happening right now. Often, the ‘nowness’ of the present tense is emphasized by small linguistic changes that suppress or play down the ‘aftermath’ function. By the use of a simple demonstrative ‘this’, for example, the ‘nowness’ of the night is brought vividly out and the ‘aftermath’ eﬀect diminished: This night they are busy in Orlando. 17 Now, we are in the middle of the African slum building itself around us, witnessing the actual process of the erection, subtly made part of it and partly responsible for it.
For who would bother to write a novel to persuade people of the obvious? The ‘Author’s Note’ was just the ﬁrst shot in his arsenal of persuasive rhetoric, which is the novel itself. No t e s 1. Alan Paton, ‘Author’s note’, to Cry, the Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1960), 5. 2. Apart, that is, from the date on the letter to Stephen Kumalo sent by Msimangu (25 September 1946) which starts off the entire action of the novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, Bk I, ch.
Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Harold Bloom (ed)