Alan Paton: "Cry the beloved country" - To what extent did culture help to overcome Apartheid in South Africa?

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Abstract In my Extended Essay, I want to investigate the influence of culture and to what extent it helped to overcome Apartheid in South Africa. Cultural events in South Africa were often discussed in the media. It started when the FIFA appointed South Africa as the venue for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. Discussions about the provide of appropriate of appropriate stadiums and sporting facilities heated up. Critics are also anxious due to the crime rate and the high rate of AIDS in the South African society as a consequence of certain traditional social structures and behaviour. To answer the research question, I need to consider many different aspects. The concept of culture is not sufficiently clear as such and people often have different perceptions on whether or not certain areas can be considered as culture. Therefore, I start off clarifying the expression of culture. To gain a solid background of the country’s history, I continue with a survey about Apartheid and the post Apartheid conditions. I will talk about the origins and the legislation of Apartheid, the consequences for the social reality and the black movements against Apartheid. The literary example “Cry, The Beloved Country” will show aspects of the racial problems in South Africa. Even though the novel takes place before the time of Apartheid, it shows very well the problems and how culture, especially religion, could help to overcome racial differences. The social structure and the racial separation prior to the Apartheid are also well described in the novel. Other interesting points to study are how the whites are affected by native crime and how young natives become criminals in times of social instability due to the broken tribal system. Having analyzed the novel and the historical background, I came to the conclusion that culture indeed helped to raise hope amongst coloured

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