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Cry, the Beloved Country

Uploaded by PaulCao on Oct 13, 2001

In Cry, the Beloved Country, the author, Alan Paton used two main characters to present both the whites and Africans’ point of view. James Jarvis, Paton’s European characters experienced a subtle but yet also impacting transition; His indifference towards the evolving problems of the society later surprisingly transformed into the courage to take actions in solving these problems. Through his journey in Johannesburg, trying to understand his son’s “liberal” view and witnessing a downfall of an African girl, Jarvis found out that his apathy only worsened the predicaments faced by his country; For he could not be a spectator after his son’s death, Jarvis decided to “…about doing whatever good is within his power.” However, Jarvis discovered that “such thing [helping Africans in anywhere he could] is not lightly done”, but required boldness and determination to fulfill these goals.

As the book II of Cry, the Beloved Country unfolded, Paton described Jarvis as a white British farmer looking down at the valley from his “high place”, an narrow minded person who only saw things from his point of view, “… if they [Africans] got more land, and if by some chance they could make a living off from it, who would work on the white man’s farm?”. In his stay at Johannesburg, Jarvis learned that his recent murdered son, Arthur Jarvis who fought and spoke about the very problems of the society that his father ignores and avoids. “Yes, he [Arthur Jarvis] was always speaking here and there … Native crime, and more native schools, and he kicked up a hell of a dust in the papers about the conditions at the noneuropean hospital.”. Devastated by the death of his deceased son and confused by “this boy of his who had gone journeying in strange water”, Jarvis found himself beginning to doubt his principles and moral. “I didn’t know it would ever be so important to understand him [Arthur Jarvis]” Indeed, Jarvis found that indifference is slowly degenerating the society around him, “…she went to the bad and started to brew liquor …she was arrested and sent to jail… I do not know… And I do not care.” Later, as Jarvis comes upon an essay written by his son, “From them [James and Mary Jarvis] I [Arthur Jarvis] learned all that a child should learn of honor and charity and generosity. But of South Africa, I learned nothing at all.” Jarvis...

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Uploaded by:   PaulCao

Date:   10/13/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (667 words)

Views:   1657

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