In the novel Cry, the beloved country, division, and separation in South Africa plays an influential role in the novel. The first incident of racial division that we see is when Kumalo takes a train from Ndotsheni to Johannesburg. Since most of the white people have cars of their own, the trains are mainly used by black people.
Still, the train is divided into sections for Europeans and natives, the native section is fairly crowded. Likewise is true for the facilities in the city. In Johannesburg, Europeans have high buildings, well-maintained houses, and sanitized hospitals. However native communities, “people can be found lying on the floors.
natives lie so close you cannot step over them.”Finally, the novel shows the rise of shantytowns, which are the result of nonwhites being pushed to the edges of their cities, where housing is unattainable. We can see more systematic racism through the areas allocated for the natives, Alexandra, Sophiatown, or Orlando are all examples of places where native black people are allowed to live, despite the six-year waiting list. The shantytowns are full of crime and sickness, only worsening the poverty of their inhabitants. Children die, desperate people commit crimes to try to escape poverty, men are thrown in jail, men are killed, increasing the resentment, fear, and poverty—the vicious cycle continues. This process is shown throughout the character if Absalom, and how he messes with the law.
All of the aforementioned examples demonstrate how separation and division affect the people of South AfricaAs all country trains in South Africa are, it was full of blacktravelersThought out chapter three Stephen Kumalo is taking the train to Johannesburg. We hear about “the Europeans of the district that all have their cars, and hardly travel by train anymore. This quotation illustrates the wealth separation, which uncovers the apparent abundance of riches on the European side of life and the poverty on the other side. This also demonstrates how traveling by train is the only was many natives are able to travel long distances.
“The section for non-Europeans, already full of people of his race”, unlike the European section which was abandoned by many for a car. Clear systematic racism can be found here, the train is split by skin color. This division between races is reinforced by the law.