Change and James Jarvis

Topics: South Africa, Change, Alan Paton Pages: 3 (812 words) Published: April 22, 2013
In any journey, a person learns and changes. Change, whether it be good or bad, comes in many different forms; spiritual, mental, and physical. Every important life journey shares a common pattern. The journey begins with a question, a challenge to the meaning of one’s life, a question that can’t be answered by the journeyer’s current life situation. Therefore the questioner leaves his comfort zone, and journeys into the unknown to seek an answer. There, in the new world, his old beliefs are proven wrong as he wrestles with calamities that confront him. This process transforms the journeyer, and in the end, the journeyer always comes out of the journey different than he was before. Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis both undertake many journeys in Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, and they develop and change. Kumalo and Jarvis’ journey start from opposite beginnings, but brings them to a common understanding. Every journey starts off with a question. It just so happens that Kumalo and Jarvis have similar questions. Who is my son and what is the meaning of his death? How do I understand my country, South Africa?

 Not long after Stephen Kumalo begins his journey, he realizes "this is a bitter journey"(Paton, 55) upon hearing the occupations and practices of his sister which he finds out is a prostitute. Kumalo goes through more pain and suffering as he learns of his brother's loss of faith in the church, and the murder his son has committed. But, soon enough he comes to an understanding of this world in Johannesburg. He learns why there is so much crime and poverty. Kumalo then has hope in the success of his daughter in-law and his nephew in Ndotsheni. He then gains hope for the rebuilding of the tribe. Stephan Kumalo comes away from his journey changing spiritually and knowing that there is "comfort in a world of desolation"(94). He changes emotionally and becomes stronger. Also, he changes psychologically and learning the troubles of Johannesburg...

References: Paton, Alan. Cry, The Beloved Country. C. Scribner’s Sons. New York. New York. 1948. Book.
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