Essay on Analysis Of ' Paton ' By David Paton

1210 Words Mar 8th, 2016 5 Pages
Paton argues that despite social pressure keeping customs in place, empathy and compassion drives people to break those customs and help those in need. Throughout the novel, it is evident that pressure from society influences people to conform to customs set in place. However, while these customs have a very strong hold on people, they can be broken through empathy and compassion. Many times throughout the book, there is an event that shakes the very morals of the customs that are in place. One such instance is when Stephen Kumalo and Msimangu run into the black protesters boycotting the busses in Alexandra, “... I have heard that they are trying to prevent the white people from helping with their cars… and there were still cars stopping to give them lifts, especially to the old people, and the women, and the cripples. When he sees one of his people helped in public by a white man, for such a thing is not lightly done.” (50-51) Again, we can see the customs in place, and the effect that they have on people, as they are referred to again as acts that are “not lightly done”. This phrasing has been used through the book and helps to tie this event back to main customs that are apparent throughout. Again, it is implied that these “customs” are in place to keep the white man above the black man, and are not easily crossed. Despite this, this time we can see that compassion has allowed these to be broken. The black people in this scene are boycotting the busses, in protest of…

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