Throughout Earth’s history imperialism has done more harm that good, to the smaller overpowered territories. The greater more dominant nation would use and exploit the people and the land for their own use without much concern to the devastation it is causing to the land and the society of these territories. The native people of the land most often loose their traditional ways of life and are thrown into the ways and ideals of the dominating nation. However these people are usually taken advantage of and do not share the same equality in pay, jobs, and living standards as the people of the dominant nation. Such an example can be seen in Cry, The Beloved Country written by Alan Paton in 1946. This novel is talks about the deteriorating state the South African people and their land is in, caused by modernization from the British society. Stephen Kumalo, a priest, is brought to the city of Johannesburg from his simple country life, to seek the fates of his lost family members. IN the great city he sees for the first time how imperialism has affect his people, their land, and their society as a whole for the worst. Imperialism has caused much devastation in South Africa and the only way to salvation is for the people of South Africa to regain control over their own land, society, and lives.
The deteriorating situation that Imperialism has caused on South Africa can be seen throughout the land. South Africa use to be a land of beauty where even “the ground is holy” (3) and the people of the land use to be part of it, treating it with respect. After the Imperial nations began to settle in South Africa, the abuse and rape of the land and its people began. The land is “not kept,.. or cared for” anymore and a “sickness of the land” (22) is poisoning everything from and of the land. They build and alter the land as many times as they can to create roads, pollution, waste, and great cities. However these great cities that the great imperial Empires built is any nothing but great cities of chaos where “you can see liquor running in the streets” (23) and “there was much prostitution” (45).. Sin and evilness flood the streets and allies. The land is becoming more desecrated as more and more people flee from their traditional lives and become another victim of this great imperial illness that is spreading throughout the land.
Yet this imperial illness is allowed to continue throughout the land because the people are afraid to stand up and find a cure to this illness. Much or Africa’s population is in a state of “sleep” (184) caused by the fear of the man. This fear that is cast upon them prevents them to awaken and “rise… with thoughts of rebellion and dominion” (184). Kumalo believes that in order to remove this fear they must take action and show the people they are not afraid anymore. They must arise and strike (185) by not continuing to work in the mines. For their pride and honor is better than the “wages” (185) that they receive from working for the people who oppress them. By closing down the mines they will create fear back to their oppressors. Once the mine owners see the “thoughts of rebellion” (184) of the mine works and discover they can no longer cause fear among the workers, their power to control them will fade away. Without this power of control they will become uncertain as to what will happen to them and it will “spread to every kind of industry”(189). However unity among all of the workers must first be established. The people must be able to unite and stand together without fear and declare for themselves that they will no longer surrender to this illness that has sicken them for so long.
The cure to South Africa’s illness is unity of both black and whites to retake what right fully belong to them, their land and society. As Kumalo is praying for the restoration of Ndorsheni, he realizes that for Ndorsheni and South Africa as whole to become free “men must come together” (229) and unite. They must “do something” (229) to regain what they have lost since they fell for Imperialism, and their lives were taken away. Both the chief and the white man must “hold the pieces together” (230) in order to begin the process of unity. Once they united they can work together to preserve what they have left and to grow from there. By reaching to the children they reach to the future, so they must start at the schools and provide the necessary tools to the children to learn and use what they gained for the future.
In the end the Africa’s situation will continue. For changes do not occur over night. The Kumalo brothers may have planted the seeds of change in Africa, but as to whether they my see the fruits of the seeds is another story. They have done all they could do and now all they can do is wait and let the next generation of children and leaders fight the Imperialistic rule and declare in one voice that they want to be free. They want to work, and have more money. They want to control the destinies’ of their own lives and the fate of South Africa.