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However, though the tale is one of forgiveness, hope, and learning, there is a feeling of resignation to the misguided policies of what the world would soon know as Apartheid.Alan Stewart Paton was born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal (now part of South Africa), on January 11, 1903.This renewal is made possible by a change in the attitude of a rich white landowner whose son was murdered by Absalom.
Introduction Author Biography Plot Summary Characters Themes Style Historical Context Critical Overview Criticism Sources For Further Study Alan Paton1948 Alan Paton's novel exploded on the English reading public in 1948.
Since then, the society of South Africa has evolved dramatically.
Unfortunately, the hope of a harmonious South Africa lasted only as long as Hofmeyr's reign in government.
One year after becoming principal, Paton joined the South African Institute of Race Relations. When World War II was declared, Paton volunteered but was found ineligible.
At the age of twelve, he entered Maritzburg College (a secondary school).
After graduating, he enrolled in courses at the University of Natal.At the same time as this novel's publication, Jan Hofmeyr died, and the National Party won the election.Apartheid policies were almost immediately enacted. The international success of Cry, The Beloved Country enabled Paton to be financially independent[Image not available for copyright reasons]as well as allowing him to write in opposition to the government and travel abroad.In 1944 he addressed the National Social Welfare Conference, and this paper was later published in 1945 as "The Non-European Offender." Then in 1946 he began his tour of penal and correctional institutions in Europe, the United States, and Canada.While on this tour, he began Cry, the Beloved Country, published in 1948.In 1942, he was appointed to an Anglican Diocesan Commission whose function was to report on church and race in South Africa.In the following year, he authored a series of articles on crime, punishment, and penal reform.His son, Absalom, has also disappeared into the city, and Kumalo hopes to gain word of him as well.After a long and intimidating journey by train and bus to Johannesburg, Kumalo visits a parish priest named Theophilus Msimangu who helps him to locate his sister.Being known internationally as an author and spokesperson of the conditions in South Africa kept Paton out of trouble with the government.However, the government did confiscate his passport in 1960, not returning it until the early 1970s.