Restoration Through Symbolism
Restoration is a beautiful thing. Watching something go from nothing to everything is amazing. In the book Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, restoration is one of the main themes of the book. I am going to talk about two main examples; a quotation from a character and the significance of a certain character. The first thing developing the concept of restoration is the character Napoleon. Napoleon was an allusion used in the story. He was a demonstrator that came to the city of Ndotsheni to help them 'get back on their feet again' by teaching them how to efficiently farm. However, his advice was not exactly received with open arms. As a character, he is quite similar to Napoleon Bonaparte, a French leader. Both of them had very helpful ideas to improve life for everyone, but not everyone appreciated his suggestions. The Napoleon in the story also symbolizes starting the process of restoration. When Ndotsheni finally accepts his advice and begins doing things more efficiently, it's an enormous turning point for the city. Also symbolizing the restoration process is the words of another character, Father Vincent. "Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arriving", he says, while comforting Stephen Kumalo. When he says this, he also hints at the concept of restoration, because later in the quote, he references building a house, directly saying that you can rebuild what you have lost. I've just given two examples on how different types of material in the same book can mean almost the exact same thing. Watching restoration is still thrilling for me, whether it be in real life or in a fictional town.
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