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Similarities and Differences Between Kumalo and Jarvis
In the novel ¨Cry The Beloved Country¨ by Alan Paton, a white man named James Jarvis and a native man Stephen Kumalo has many differences and similarities. A man who judges natives and is also a farmer, was told that his son died by the hand of a native, and a native who was looking for his son to finally figure out he killed a white man’s son and will be hanged for what he did.
One similarity is that both of them is going through the heaviest thing in their life because Jarvis” son is dead because of Absalom and Absalom is going to be hanged for killing a white man. Another similarity is that they both live in Ndotsheni but one lives in the rich valleys and the other lives in the poor area of Ndotsheni but they both love and care about where they live. After Kumalo’s son, Absalom kills Jarvis son, Arthur, Kumalo goes to speak with James Jarvis in Johannesburg. Kumalo broaches the subject in an indirect manner, saying that “this thing that is the heaviest thing of all my years, is the heaviest thing of all your years also.”(Pg.213)James understands at once what he means and says, «I have heard you. I understand what I did not understand. There is no anger in me.”(Pg.214)The difference between Kumalo and Jarvis is that Kumalo is just a poor old man who is an Umfundisi for a church on the poor side of Ndotsheni and the dirt for them was red because it was erosion so they couldn’t grow crops there». Jarvis was a rich racist who judged natives lived on the top of the mountain where he owns a farm with beautiful grass that is well tended that has very little animals that live there.
Both fathers look to understand something about their sons. Kumalo struggles to talk with Absalom about killing another person. James attempts to get to know his son through his son’s book that he was writing and through his son’s private papers and library, the things he didn’t know about him before his son died. Both fathers grieved over the losses of their son’s, are only truly reconciled when James helps Stephen rebuild his church, and Kumalo became friends with Arthur’s only child. The city of Johannesburg destroyed both of their families apart but outside of the city broken families can be healed again. In the end both Kumalo and Jarvis would wish that there kid can be home with them if they were still alive.
In conclusion even though both Kumalo and Jarvis have been through rough times both had put their differences aside and the both became friends. Both have attained knowledge from their trip to Johannesburg.
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