Cry the Beloved Country - Timeline

  • Quote - Chp. 1-2: Ndotsheni

    Quote - Chp. 1-2: Ndotsheni
    pg. 40 - "All roads lead to Johannesburg. Through the long nights the trains pass to Johannesburg. The lights of the swaying coach fall on the cutting-sides, on the grass and the stones of a country that sleeps."
  • Explanation - Chp. 1-2: Ndotsheni

    Explanation - Chp. 1-2: Ndotsheni
    This quote unveils the great influence of Johannesburg, and how the novel’s plot revolves around the city, much like the industries and economy of South Africa revolve around it. The quote also shows the “lights falling,” being the beginning of an awakening to South Africa, the “country that sleeps,” in that the country is still hindered by the segregation and racism of a developing country.
  • Quote - Chp. 3-4: Ixopo (on the train to Johannesburg)

    Quote - Chp. 3-4: Ixopo (on the train to Johannesburg)
    pg. 44 - "The journey had begun. And now the fear back again, the fear of the unknown ... Deep down the fear of a man who lives in a world not made for him, whose own world is slipping away, dying, being destroyed, beyond any recall."
  • Explanation - Chp. 3-4: Ixopo (on the train to Johannesburg)

    Explanation - Chp. 3-4: Ixopo (on the train to Johannesburg)
    This quote tells of how the people of South Africa, mainly the natives, are hesitant to travel to more urban, developed areas for the fear that they will not be able to function in the advanced society, for they fear of what they have heard of the big cities, and also for the things which they have not yet heard of. They fear that their own world is being lost, and they are being thrust into a new world which they can not comprehend.
  • Quote - Chp. 5-6: Sophiatown

    Quote - Chp. 5-6: Sophiatown
    pg. 56 - "The white man has broken the tribe. And it is my belief—and again I ask your pardon—that it cannot be mended again."
  • Explanation - Chp. 5-6: Sophiatown

    Explanation - Chp. 5-6: Sophiatown
    These words, spoken by Reverend Msimangu, convey his views on the damage brought about by Apartheid. He believes that the segregation of Africa has broken, beyond repair, the tribal customs and the family values. He tells that these key concepts of culture have been left in a state of disrepair, and even without Apartheid, there may be no way of bringing them back.
  • Quote - Chp. 7-8: Johannesburg

    Quote - Chp. 7-8: Johannesburg
    pg. 74 - "Men as old as you are doing it every day, umfundisi. And women, and some that are sick, and some crippled, and children ... I cannot stop you taking a bus, umfundisi, but this is a cause to fight for."
  • Explanation - Chp. 7-8: Johannesburg

    Explanation - Chp. 7-8: Johannesburg
    This quote is spoken by Dubula, one of the three head politicians for the native South Africans. He tells this to Kumalo and Msimangu when they try to get onboard the bus to Alexandra. He speaks of how men and women who are worse of than them go every day between cities by foot. He does not press them not to take the bus, but he explains how important of a cause the boycott is to him and to the progress of the natives.
  • Quote - Chp. 9-10: Shanty Town

    Quote - Chp. 9-10: Shanty Town
    pg. 94 - "And this is Shanty Town, my friend ... Even here the children laugh in the narrow lanes between these tragic habitations ... there is a smell of food, there is a sound of voices, not raised in anger or pain, but talking of ordinary things."
  • Explanation - Chp. 9-10: Shanty Town

    Explanation - Chp. 9-10: Shanty Town
    Msimangu speaks this to Kumalo during their visit to Shanty Town, in search for Absalom. This quote shows that even in the horrid and unfit conditions of a Shanty Town, life goes on. Children are not restrained by the inadequate conditions, and continue to play, and the inhabitants continue to speak of ordinary life at meals, without acknowledging the pains of their unpleasant environment.
  • Quote - Chp. 11-12: Sophiatown

    Quote - Chp. 11-12: Sophiatown
    pg. 104 - "Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end."
  • Quote - Chp. 17-18: High Place

    Quote - Chp. 17-18: High Place
    pg. 162 - "They knew how year by year there was less food grown in these reserves ... the fields were eroded and barren; each new field extended the devastation. Something might have been done, if these people had only learned how to fight erosion."
  • Explantion - Chp. 11-12: Sophiatown

    Explantion - Chp. 11-12: Sophiatown
    This quote shows the grief produced through Apartheid. The segregation has broken the tribal way of life, through neglect and deficit. The segregation has stripped a family away of its father, by bringing even the son of a parson to such despicable acts as murder. And even as these terrible events have ensued, the tragedy brought by Apartheid has not finished taking its toll.
  • Explanation - Chp. 17-18: High Place

    Explanation - Chp. 17-18: High Place
    This quote reveals the thoughts of James Jarvis about the farmers of Ndotsheni. He views them as ignorant and untaught, unable to grow much crop from their land, though it was the white man who stripped them of fertile land and refused to teach them how to make use of the insufficient land they were provided. This shows the clouded viewpoints of the white man in South Africa. The individual white men are not to blame, but the apathy of all white men causes much of the turmoil in the country.
  • Quote - Chp. 13-14: Ezenzeleni

    Quote - Chp. 13-14: Ezenzeleni
    pg. 120 - "For a moment he was caught up in a vision, as man so often is when he sits in a place of ashes and destruction ... Yes—it was true, then. He had admitted it to himself. The tribe was broken, and would be mended no more."
  • Quote - Chp. 19-20: Pietermaritzburg

    Quote - Chp. 19-20: Pietermaritzburg
    pg. 174 - "There was a mission near him, at Ndotsheni. But it was a sad place as he remembered it. A dirty old wood-and-iron church, patched and forlorn, and a dirty old parson, in a barren valley where the grass hardly grew. A dirty old school where he had heard them ... reciting things that could mean little to them."
  • Explanation - Chp. 13-14: Ezenzeleni

    Explanation - Chp. 13-14: Ezenzeleni
    This excerpt tells of Stephen Kumalo’s reflection of the condition of the tribal culture of South Africa. He confesses to himself that the way of life had been destroyed and is to be no more. This is significant because it marks the beginning of rural natives acknowledging the sufferings brought about by Apartheid.
  • Explanation - Chp. 19-20: Pietermaritzburg

    Explanation - Chp. 19-20: Pietermaritzburg
    In this quote, Jarvis recalls back at his hometown how there was a mission from the church, but how defective of a state it was in. He notes the primitive construction and the filth he associates with the church and school of the mission, but the reader knows from Kumalo’s point of view that this shabby church is much more than wood and iron, but a home to him, his outlet to help his village.
  • Quote - Chp. 15-16: Sophiatown

    Quote - Chp. 15-16: Sophiatown
    pg. 139 - "There is a man sleeping in the grass ... And over him is gathering the greatest storm of all his days ... People hurry home past him, to places safe from danger. And whether they do not see him there in the grass, or whether they fear to halt even a moment, but they do not wake him, they let him be."
  • Explanation - Chp. 15-16: Sophiatown

    Explanation - Chp. 15-16: Sophiatown
    These words, spoken by Kumalo, show how he sees his past self while he was still in his village as a man sleeping, unable to recognize that which is happening in his country around him, and how others saw a foreboding “storm” gathering, and fled, but never stopped by to notify him of this upcoming danger, and instead let him lie in his slumber.
  • Quote - Chp. 21-22: Johannesburg

    Quote - Chp. 21-22: Johannesburg
    pg. 191 - "In South Africa men are proud of their Judges, because they believe they are incorruptible. Even the black men have faith in them, though they do not always have faith in the Law. In a land of fear this incorruptibility is like a lamp set upon a stand, giving light to all that are in the house."
  • Explanation - Chp. 21-22: Johannesburg

    Explanation - Chp. 21-22: Johannesburg
    At the beginning of Absalom’s trial for murder, the Judge speaks this quote. This shows how the people of South Africa rely on their system of justice to see them through, fairly and justly, even when they are faced with other terrible circumstances in the country.
  • Quote - Chp. 23-24: Odendaalsrust

    Quote - Chp. 23-24: Odendaalsrust
    pg. 205 - "No second Johannesburg is needed upon the earth. One is enough."
  • Explanation - Chp. 23-24: Odendaalsrust

    Explanation - Chp. 23-24: Odendaalsrust
    This excerpt explains the disappointment that many South Africans felt in opposition to the delight of others when gold was struck in Odendaalsrust. They saw Johannesburg as a corrupt, destructive city, filled with evil, and when others spoke of “the next Johannesburg”, the hearts of these men grew weary.
  • Quote - Chp. 25-26: Johannesburg

    Quote - Chp. 25-26: Johannesburg
    pg. 224 - "In the deserted harbour there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except fools."
  • Explanation - Chp. 25-26: Johannesburg

    Explanation - Chp. 25-26: Johannesburg
    This quote details on the fact that even in the most barren and desolate situations, life and motion remains, and so this lies as an example for the actions of men. People are compelled to speak up and take action, and those who lie silent and refuse to are foolish and unwise.
  • Quote - Chp. 27-28: Sophiatown

    Quote - Chp. 27-28: Sophiatown
    pg. 226 - "These were the headlines that men feared in these days. Householders feared them, and their wives feared them. All those who worked for South Africa feared them. All law-abiding black men feared them."
  • Explanation - Chp. 27-28: Sophiatown

    Explanation - Chp. 27-28: Sophiatown
    The headlines depicting murder of white men by natives send the country into a state of fear and unrest. Not just the white men and their wives feel uneasy about these murders and outbreaks, but the native South Africans feel anxious about it too. These disobediences set the entire country into panic.
  • Quote - Chp. 29-30: Ndotsheni

    Quote - Chp. 29-30: Ndotsheni
    pg. 256 - "There is a calling here, and in the dusk one voice calls to another in some far distant place. If you are a Zulu you can hear what they say, but if you are not, even if you know the language, you would find it hard to know what is being called ... It is Africa, the beloved country."
  • Explanation - Chp. 29-30: Ndotsheni

    Explanation - Chp. 29-30: Ndotsheni
    This quote shows how the Zulus of South Africa hold their own feeling of nationalism to their homeland, a feeling which can not be understood by outsiders, even those who understand many of the Zulu customs. It shows how, even when their people are deprived of land and rights, the Zulus retain their own values of culture.
  • Quote - Chp. 31-32: Ndotsheni

    Quote - Chp. 31-32: Ndotsheni
    pg. 266 - "He sat frowning and perplexed ... And while he was waiting he looked at the counsellors ... and he saw too that they were frowning and perplexed ... For the counsellors of a broken tribe have counsel for many things, but none for the matter of a broken tribe."
  • Explanation - Chp. 31-32: Ndotsheni

    Explanation - Chp. 31-32: Ndotsheni
    This quote describes how Kumalo sat distressed, as did the tribal counsellors, for they held advice for many topics, but could speak nothing on the topic of their own tribal system failing. It shows the helplessness the tribal South Africans were left with due to Apartheid.
  • Quote - Chp. 33-34: Ndotsheni

    Quote - Chp. 33-34: Ndotsheni
    pg. 297 - "After the Bishop had gone, Kumalo stood outside the church in the gathering dark ... And while he stood there looking out over the great valley, there was a voice that cried out of heaven, Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, these things will I do unto you, and not forsake you."
  • Explanation - Chp. 33-34: Ndotsheni

    Explanation - Chp. 33-34: Ndotsheni
    After the Bishop’s visit to Ndotsheni, Kumalo stepped outside and recognized nature calling to him with comfort. After the Bishop had allowed Kumalo to continue his priestship in Ndotsheni, the clear, dark night sky showed him a promising outlook for what is to come.
  • Quote - Chp. 35-36: Umzimkulu Valley

    Quote - Chp. 35-36: Umzimkulu Valley
    pg. 312 - "Yes, it is the dawn that has come. The sun tips with light the mountains of Ingeli and East Griqualand. The great valley Umzimkulu is still in darkness, but the light will come there. Ndotsheni is still in darkness, but the light will come there also. For it is the dawn that has come."
  • Explanation - Chp. 35-36: Umzimkulu Valley

    Explanation - Chp. 35-36: Umzimkulu Valley
    This final quote in the book depicted a sunrise, symbolic for the future of South Africa. The “light,” the progress from segregation, was already reaching the tips of South Africa, and it was soon to come to Ndotsheni and the Umzimkulu Valley. This was a new dawn for South Africa.