Upset by the Church’s practices, he does not attempt to reform the institution or set up a useful alternative for his people, but merely encourages impotent rage throughout Johannesburg.
Suspicious that tribal customs are a white tool for suppressing black independence, Kumalo flat-out rejects the entire set of customs, including the useful tribal traditions of monogamy and family bonding.
But Kumalo quickly distinguishes himself from Dubula in his unwillingness to put aside grievances and work for tangible change.
Dubula, on the other hand, emerges as a hero, energetic and optimistic enough to drive blacks out of their cramped housing and into a makeshift Shanty Town.
During the time when the book was written, South Africa was struggling with the issues of the Apartheid rule by the whites.
The white people of the country feared the consequences of the local black people taking influential positions (Paton 21).This shared action shows that both men have a common interest in weakening institutions that reinforce the notion of black inferiority.Both men make concerted efforts to promote black citizens’ economic interests: Kumalo with his calls for an end to the Church’s oppressiveness and Dubula with his demands for a bus boycott.In the novel’s early scenes, the men seem to be one and the same, heroic yet interchangeable figures in the struggle for black equality.As the story unfolds, however, Paton makes it clear that John Kumalo primarily relies on anger and grievances to mobilize his black followers.The author writes about the problems of South Africa of that time and about the eternal problem of the generation gap.Thus, two of the major important themes of the story are racial inequality, its influence on the life of the South African community, and the development of relationships between fathers and their sons.Cry, the Beloved Country is a book that was written by Alan Paton, a South African writer.The novel describes the relationship between two fathers, Stephen Kumalo, John Kumalo, James Jarvisand , and their children, and the conflict between different races that live in their country (Paton 8).Whereas Kumalo merely rants about the economic plight of black citizens, Dubula proposes and carries out a bus boycott to lower the fares for black passengers—a boycott that has the added effect of changing white citizens from the unified, faceless enemy that Kumalo describes into allies in the struggle for racial justice, as many whites offer car rides to blacks during the boycott, risking courtroom trials of their own.Whereas Kumalo is merely an eloquent “voice,” Dubula is a strong, tireless “heart” that refuses to acknowledge “the fear that rules [Kumalo’s] land.” Dubula rejects a career of complaining in favor of brave, practical, and loving efforts to improve the status of South Africa’s black citizens.