In Alan Patons Cry, The Beloved Country wealthy versus poor is contrasted to show the past, present and future of South Africa. In doing this Paton shows his hope for change of the treatment and lives of the South African natives to make South Africa society equal.
The equality as well as the lives of the wealthy and the poor is a central theme in the novel that is contrasted throughout it. ‘Old Couple Robbed and Beaten in Lonely House. Four Natives Arrested. That happens nearly everyday (Paton 52)’. When these crimes happen it is the white people who fear the natives as well as the natives themselves despite the fact that it is known that some crimes are done out of desperation. The majority of the wealthy turn against the poor masses in general rather than trying to help.
They’d work if they were enforced.
but I tell you they’re enforceable. Do you know that we send one
hundred thousand natives every year to prison, where they mix
This passage refers to the pass laws that were trying to be enforced which would have only resulted in hurting the masses rather than helping them.
Not only do the white Afrikaners turn against the poor but also non-whites are not as innocent as one would think when it comes to the treatment of poor.
Well, well I shall not say it is a bad thing. Johannesburg is not a place for a woman alone. I myself tried to persuade her, but she did not agree, so we did not meet any more (69).
John Kumalo made this statement in reference to Gertrude. While he is an advocate for the poor he seems as though it didn’t occur to him to help his own sister who is obviously poor or at least less fortunate. Gertrude is, at this point, working as prostitute and one would think that while making a name for himself he would try to look in on the welfare of his sister if not for her sake but to maintain his own dignity and that of his family.