Timeline Assignment for Cry, the Beloved Country (do this first)
The novel Cry, the Beloved Country takes place in South Africa in 1946, just
before the 1948 elections and the onset of apartheid, or the separation of races.
As the novel shows, however, long before the South African apartheid era, racial
inequality existed; apartheid laws merely institutionalized it. Since its publication,
Alan Paton's poetic story of tragedy and hope has helped to raise the
consciousness of the world about the injustices of apartheid.
During the apartheid era, both black and white South Africans fought
against legalized racism. In this activity, you will demonstrate an understanding
of the recent history of South Africa by creating an annotated timeline, that will
give you a historical context for the novel.
The Task: Creating an Annotated Timeline – In pairs or alone, no groups
Create a dual annotated timeline that illustrates significant major events
in the life of Alan Paton and the major events and people in South African history,
including apartheid and the anti-apartheid movement. One side of the timeline
will be devoted to Alan Paton and the other to South African history. Your timeline
should begin in 1903 with the birth of Alan Paton on one side and begin in 1900
and end in the present on the South Africa side.
Begin by visiting web sites about Alan Paton´s life and websites on South
African history, including apartheid and anti-apartheid movements. At each site,
take notes on important events and people and why they were significant. Below
are some resources for you to try. You do not have to use these, you may find
Alan Paton’s life
Read the intro to Cry the Beloved Country p. 19 -30
Apartheid and Anti-Apartheid
The Story of Africa - Southern Africa
History of Apartheid in South Africa
Brief History of South Africa on South Africa’s travel page
South Africa Online
After you take notes, sort the people, events and annotations to go on your
timeline. Make sure you include important people like Nelson Mandela and Steven
Biko. To annotate the timeline, explain briefly in your own words the significance
of each person and event.
How You Will Be Graded -
Your annotated timeline must:
Include brief annotations, in your own words, that explain the significance of the
people and events listed.
Demonstrate a good grasp of appropriate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Have an original design that includes illustrations, symbols and pictures.
Include at least 10 key events in Alan Paton’s life and at least 20 historical events
and people in South African history (1900 – present).
Include a Works Cited using MLA format.
Don’t know what MLA format is? Here is a great resource:
This activity was designed by Holly Sancomb