Similarities Between Kumalo And Paton In Cry The Beloved Country By Alan Paton

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Kumalo and Jarvis: The Differences and the Similarities

In the prodigious novel Cry The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, Paton conveys a great amount of details to help the readers visualize the scenery of South Africa. Paton does an exquisite job to show the problems of Africa. Paton writes in a way so the readers must ponder about Africa. In the novel there are several main characters that face problems due to the situations in Africa. Many conflicts occur between Msimangu, Absalom Kumalo, Stephen Kumalo, and James Jarvis. The main story is about a man named Kumalo who is struggling to find his family, and is facing problems with the situations in Africa. Along the way, the secondary main character, Jarvis, is fighting himself about
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This is shown when Paton first introduces Jarvis and Jarvis starts thinking “Something might have been done, if only these people had only learned to fight erosion,” (130) this proves that Jarvis definitely cares about the country, but never does anything to help the country. Likewise, Stephen also thinks of his family and the country in the beginning. Kumalo starts wondering about why people go to the cities and stay there, but never come back. Kumalo is also worried for the country because of the crimes in Johannesburg and the tribal ways being broken. This also bring out the differences in Stephen and James. The difference is that Kumalo never distinguished the differences between black and white people, while James Jarvis was more on the selfish side till the end. In the story Jarvis says “If they had built walls to save the soil from washing, if they had ploughed along the contours of the hills,” (130) this shows that James Jarvis blames the blacks for not knowing how to farm properly, rather than understanding that the blacks have no one to teach them. Kumalo on the other hand is a priest, so he only cares for the tribe and his family. The fact that he is a priest makes him love his tribe and family rather than look at the white and blacks racial strife, but still acknowledges …show more content…
One difference between them is that Jarvis understands the inequality of South Africa as the story progresses while Kumalo feels and understands the pain of losing his tribal customs. Basically, the major difference is that they change differently. An example of this is shown when the agricultural demonstrator comes to teach the people of Ndotsheni how to farm. This shows that as the story progresses Jarvis starts to understand the problems with South Africa. Kumalo on the other hand experiences life in Johannesburg and sees new customs and he understands the pain of knowing that the village is dying and the customs are being broken down. He first saw this when the young man cheated him and stole his pound. The last major difference between Jarvis and Kumalo is that they both have different believes now and become more faithful because of their son’s deaths. Jarvis has become more like his son, helping the blacks and understanding the situation in South Africa and believes in helping the blacks, while Kumalo gains hope of the tribe being mended together. An example of this is shown as Napoleon Letsitsi introduces himself and tells Kumalo that he has come to teach farming and Patons says “Kumalo’s face lighted up, and he sat there with his eyes shining,” (251) this shows that Kumalo gains hope after his son’s death and and because of Jarvis’s kind acts. Jarvis changes after

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