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Fighting for a Cause: Human Experiences and Universality in Cry, the Beloved Country

In Patons book, Cry, the Beloved Country, he presents the idea that he was thinking beyond just the racial injustices taking place in South Africa during this time. The novel has one major theme that is seen in all cultures and all walks of life. That theme is, fighting for a purpose, cause, or idea.

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Common universal values in all societies are moral principles and human rights. Fighting for a cause exemplifies a persons morals and life values; every person has a cause whether it is big or small. Fighting for a cause is an experience in itself. Life is defined by human experiences, and alike, History is also defined by human experiences. These experiences are what gives a person and/or a culture its story, history, journey, and value.   Each cause that has ever been fought for has experienced bumps, snags, and hardships along the way.  In the end the success of the cause is worth so much more than the hardships that came before.

Experiences include the life of morality, religion, politics, and economics.  It is important to keep in mind that a humans historical experience can manifest the universal.  All societies and generations have weak areas that are overlooked and at some point must be worked out. South Africas blind spot, much like ours at one time, just so happened to be racial discrimination.  This is why exposure to history and others experiences alike is a GOOD thing. History can serve as a guide map so that nations will not fall into some of the same problems that have already been experienced. Then again it has been argued that experiences are to be discovered by each individual, generation, and society for themselves.

In this book, the problems facing South Africa lie within groups of characters and their abilities to change. The two characters that best demonstrate fighting for a cause are James Jarvis and Stephen Kumalo. The events they witnessed brought them to change their views, which previously had been to ignore the situation at hand. Both men were inspired by the words and works of others who were fighting for the same cause in South Africa. The quote I do not say we are free here. I do not say we are free as men should be You are not free to have an experience. (67) shows that the people of South Africa couldnt make their own causes and goals and could not have their own experiences.  The inspiration and change that was seen in Jarvis and Kumalo sparked a motivation to make progress for the conditions of the people.

In the end, the point is to have a purpose or cause and to share an experience. In cultures around the world progress can only be made by bringing about change in systems and in people. People must learn to work together for a common goal and not to lead in separate existences.

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