Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom


Some of my favourite extracts/ quotes from Alan Paton’s ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’ so far (busy reading it):

Paton, A. Cry, the Beloved Country. A Story of Comfort in Desolation. 1948. London: Penguin, 1988.

“Then she sat down at his table, and put her head on it, and was silent, with the patient suffering of black women, with the suffering of oxen, with the suffering of any that are mute.” (12)

“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 end. The sun ours down on the earth, on the lovely land that man cannot enjoy. He knows only the fear of his heart.” (66-67)

“…it is nevertheless foolish to fear that one thing in this great city, with its thousands and thousands of people.” (67)

“We do not know, we do not know. We shall live from day to day, and put more locks on the doors, and get a fine fierce dog when the fine fierce bitch next door has pups, and hold on to our handbags more tenaciously; and the beauty of the trees by night and the raptures of lovers under the stars, these things we shall forgo. We shall forgo the coming home drunken through the midnight streets, and the evening walk over the star-lit veld. We shall be careful, and knock this off our lives, and knock that off our lives, and hedge ourselves about with safety and precaution. And our lives will shrink, but they shall be the lives of superior beings;… (73)

“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear…” (72)


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