Alan Paton, a native son of South Africa, was born in Pietermaritzburg, in the province of Natal, in 1903. Paton's initial career was spent teaching in schools for the sons of rich, white South Africans, But at thirty, he suffered a severe attack of enteric fever, and in the time he had to reflect upon his life, he decided that he did not want to spend his life teaching the sons of the rich. He got a job as principal of Diepkloof Reformatory, a huge prison school for delinquent black boys, on the edge of Johannesburg. He worked at Diepkloof for ten years, and at the end of it Paton felt so strongly that he needed a change, that he sold his life insurance policies to finance a prison-study trip that took him to Scandinavia, England, and the United States. It was during this time that he unexpectedly wrote his first published novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. It stands as the single most important novel in South African literature. Alan Paton died in 1988 in South Africa.
Too Late the Phalaropeby Alan Paton
Racial segregation is odious in concept, impossible in application. To prove it, Paton tells us the story of Pieter, a
TOO LATE THE PHALAROPE is set in South Africa, as well as its predecessor, CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY. And like that earlier novel, TOO LATE THE PHALAROPE uses the lives of ordinary people to illustrate the inhuman quality of South African apartheid.
Racial segregation is odious in concept, impossible in application. To prove it, Paton tells us the story of Pieter, a white policeman, who has an affair with a native girl. He is betrayed and reported, and thus brings shame on himself and his family.
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- Publication date:
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- January 11, 1903
- Date of Death:
- April 12, 1988
- Place of Birth:
- Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa
- Place of Death:
- Durban, Natal, South Africa
- Maritzburg College, 1918; B.S., Natal University College, 1924
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It appeals educationally to us students to read more and intensively to scope what the author intents to give out from the novel
This book is beautifully written and very interesting. I highly recommend.
Alan Paton's novel describes Pieter van Vlaanderen and his tragic interlude with a black woman, Stephanie. More importantly, though, Too Late the Phalarope underscores the rigidity of Afrikaner society, especially here in its rural bastions. Paton demonstrates how South Africa's 'apartheid' program was in practice as a part of Afrikaner society even before it became the law of the land. There is some important South African history that might confuse the casual reader and which is probably not to be found in an encyclopedia (but who knows?) As well, the novel is written without the use of quotation marks, preceding quotes with a '¿' or nothing at all. In contrast to his previous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, this one is less about the conflict between Afrikaner and African; rather, it is about the Afrikaner conscience, soul and law.