Western Civilization in Cry, the Beloved Country and Brave New World

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The Theme of Cultural Globalization in Literature

The subject of cultural globalization has been long due to authors throughout history describing scenarios where cultures undergo diversity and share their unique symbols. Two of such authors are Alan Paton who wrote Cry, the Beloved Country, and Aldous Huxley who came up with Brave New World (Lester 271). In both books, it is apparent that the protagonists had to undergo experiences that involved exploring new worlds and learning new cultures from that which they had been accustomed. The theme of Western civilization is used to demonstrate the challenges associated with integrating new cultures in a globalized world that feature diversity.

The Concept of Freedom in Western Civilization

One key aspect of civilization that is typical of the west and that is described in the books is the concept of being free from manipulation and conversion of any kind relative to one's social discourse. The western culture is distinguished by the fact that human rights have ensured that element that deprives one their freedom are discouraged and people have the chance of exploring the world as they deem appropriate. Brave New World is a narration demonstrates some of the characters' yearning for the freedom as they seek to disentangle themselves from the limits of the social imbroglio. For example, when conversing with Lenina, Bernard talks about the desire "to have wonderful time" which is illustrative of the wish that he could have the chance to tour places and live the life he desired. He, therefore, longed for the opportunity to get out of the hypnotic state where he was limited to the society's discourse and that he could not question anything. Thus, through desiring freedom, he was depicting the feature of Western civilization that is founded on the principles of human rights and freedom. The theme of seeking freedom in the West is also described in Cry, The Beloved Country where it is described that Kumalo had left to seek freedom but has never returned (Rashid 19). It is stated that "We had a son, [Kumalo] said harshly. Zulus have many children, but we had only one son (Ngcobo 99). He went to Johannesburg, and as you said—when people go to Johannesburg, they do not come back. They do not even write any more" (Saul 429). The inference is that because of the effect of western civilization, Kumalo had changed and embraced a new lifestyle.

Cognitive Thinking and Awareness in Civilization

The theme of civilization is also demonstrated through the ability to think cognitively and gain an awareness of one's surroundings. Human civilization typical of the west is founded on the principles of explaining issues through the conception of knowledge and demonstration an insight into the inquiry. The mastery of knowledge and ability to think is describing in various scenes in the novel Brave New World with the author's goal being to demonstrate how characters used knowledge to define social constructs. It is presented in a cautious way that makes it appear that humans ought to be ignorant sometimes because the knowledge could make them lose their worth as they would abuse it. It is an aspect of civilization that is typical of the west where one notes that as a result of the conception of a lot of issues, people are fond of making controversial choices because of the assumption that they are informed and prepared to handle the consequences. The same subject is described in the book Cry, The Beloved Country when the author focuses the theme on the need for the public to be accountable for the actions that they take lest they are consumed by them. The ability to conceive knowledge and act accordingly is what enables the appreciation of knowledge that is a new concept that was not typical of the native South Africa culture. The author writes that "I have a place for you to sleep, my friend, in the house of an old woman, a Mrs. Lithebe, who is a good member of our church. She is an Msutu, but she speaks Zulu well. She will think it an honor to have a priest in the house" (Lajtha 4). The basis of this statement is that religion as a foundation of knowledge from the Western Civilization had been integrated into South Africa and the locals were able to relate well. It thus builds on the conception of knowledge as a unifying feature when it is integrated well into the society (McGiveron 27).


In summary, the theme of western civilization is described in both the novels Cry, The Beloved Country and Brave New World following the author's focus on the way characters tried to embrace new conceptions of life and new adventures. Western civilization is demonstrated through seeking freedom by exploring other regions of the world and changing one's culture in the process. It is also presented as a way of seeking information and overcoming the limits of entanglement due to the lack of it. Therefore, the authors express the theme of globalization from a multifaceted perspective and thus demonstrate the varied ways that the west is having an influence on the way people perceive their social lives.

Works Cited

Lajtha, Kate. “Brave New World.” Biogeochemistry 2017: 3–5. Web.

Lester, Helen. “Brave New World.” The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 62.598 (2012): 271. Web.

McGiveron, Rafeeq O. “Huxley’s Brave new world.” Explicator 57.1 (1998): 27. Web.

Ngcobo, Sandiso. “Cry, the Beloved Country’s isiZulu Translation: Speech Act of Naming.” Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 33.1 (2015): 99–110. Web.

Rashid, Ahmed. “Cry, the Beloved Country.” New Republic 242.7 (2011): 19–23. Web.

Saul, John S. “Cry for the Beloved Country: The Post‐apartheid Denouement.” Review of African Political Economy 28.89 (2001): 429–460. Web.

December 12, 2023



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