Racism and Segregation

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As Malala Yousafzai once said, “There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion.” The novel Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton takes place in South Africa in 1946. The novel is based upon Kumalo, a Zulu pastor and his son Absalom, in which they face the absurd racial injustices that are taking place in South Africa at that time. The most important theme in this novel is racism and segregation which causes tension between the whites and the black South Africans allowing the way the black South Africans are let to live in poverty, and how the superiority of the whites affects the way the black South Africans are treated in the judicial system.

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Many people in Johannesburg are forced to rent out rooms to strangers, because of the lack of money the black South Africans are dealing with. Shanty towns are large settlements of very poor people where the residents build shelters or shacks out of tin, sheet iron, and whatever materials they can find.

There are so many shanties that shanty towns began to form, forcing a lot of people to live really close together and in extremely poor conditions, “Shanty Town is up overnight. The child coughs badly, and her brow is as hot as fire. I was afraid to move her, but it was the night for the moving. The cold wind comes through the sacks. What shall we do in the rain, in the winter? Quietly, my child, your mother is by you. Quiet my child do not cough anymore, your mother is by you” (Paton 89). These people are living in such horrifying conditions that children are dying due to the weather, malnutrition and many other factors. This causes tension because although the whites and the blacks are living in the same city the white South Africans are doing nothing to help with this problem. It is obvious that they are aware of the situation because this is happening all over Johannesburg. The two races are separated in many ways, but the most repulsive way the segregation and racism are resembled through the novel is by the way the black South Africans are living. And this problem is not only happening Johannesburg but also in Ndotsheni, “Why is there no milk in Ndotsheni? Is it because the people are poor?

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