When Mark arrives he is very lonely. ' Often in the first weeks Mark was beset by a sense of futility and always he was lonely.' This quote shows that found it hard to fit in and the word 'futility' shows that he didn't know if what he was doing was worthwhile and making any difference. The important change that happens to Mark is a result of a decision that Mark makes early on. This decision was to fit and to give even thought he was lobely. In deciding to serve the tribe Mark began to love the village and belong to people there.
The first major decision Mark made was regarding the dilapidated old vicarage that warped and sagging. 'There was no doubt about it, the vicarage was falling down.' Despite this, Mark decides that asking for help from the Indians is all wrong, "it was all wrong and he knew it." Mark knew he had been sent here to give and to serve the people and he did not want to start on the wrong foot. "I want this, I need that. I need paint."
Marks determined decision to serve well, pays off. Near the end of the book, the Bishop lets Mark know that he has served well, but is dying. He first alludes to this by saying, 'It has always been easier here, where only the fundamentals count, to learn what every man must learn in this world... which is enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die.'
This is the real reason that Mark has been sent here, to learn this lesson. The Bishop goes on to say, "I will begin at once to seek a replacement for you, Mark. Your work in the village is almost done."
As Mark realises that he is dying and must leave Kingcome, he recognises an enormous change within himself. Despite the loneliness and deprivation he felt at first; he...