Essay about James Jarvis

822 Words Feb 2nd, 2013 4 Pages
James Jarvis

In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country there is two protagonists, Reverend Stephen Kumalo, and James Jarvis. Both characters play significant roles to the story but James Jarvis’ situation is noteworthy and inspirational. James is an influential, dynamic character because his opinion dramatically changes upon reading his son’s manuscript. A series of events influences James to shift his mindset into the mindset of his son. An analysis on James Jarvis’ changing mindset reveals that his son’s manuscript, realizing his shortcomings, and Reverend Kumalo are all things that cause him to change drastically.

When James’ son, Arthur, dies he visits Arthur’s home and finds his incomplete manuscript. When reading his
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“Jarvis filled his pipe slowly, and listened to the tale of his, to this tale of a stranger” (172). James reads his sons speeches and understands his country’s segregation, relieving him of his ignorance. This comparison enables James to better understand his son and realize how concerned and devoted Arthur was for a change in humanity.

After James discovers his son’s views, James starts to realize his shortcomings, and realizes that the problems of others and not only of his own. James begins to help the minority. Since his son’s death and the acquaintance of Stephen, James donates 1000 pounds to the African boy’s club. Jarvis is not just giving the money as a gift; instead he gives the money to the club because he knew the club would improve the country’s condition. Using his son’s views again, James decides to do something about Kumalo’s village, which is falling apart. He sends milk for the children, an agricultural expert, and builds a church for Ndotsheni. James builds the church because the current church in Ndotsheni is old.

James and Stephen both live in the farming areas of South Africa, share the love for the same land, and what is in their lives. They each have a son of whom they consider a stranger but after they lose their sons, they begin to understand them. They both learn the problems in South Africa through their sons, and after realization, they both try to do something to improve the social,

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