The Struggle of Forgiving
Forgiveness is something encountered many times throughout life. People will forgive and will be forgiven within their lifetime, however the strength of forgiveness is understanding that it is the individual’s choice to forgive. According to the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, forgiveness is defined as: - stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) - stop blaming (someone)
- stop feeling anger about (something)
- forgive someone for (something wrong)
- stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)
Although Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, is centered around the apartheid in South Africa, he explores forgiveness and the choice to cast someone aside. Paton’s two main characters, James Jarvis, a white farmer, and Reverend Stephen Kumalo, a black pastor, search to forgive throughout the novel. These men chose to welcome the ability to forgive and be forgiven in their lives. Many people don’t realize that forgiveness is a choice - it is an integral part of our lives - perhaps even one of the most important ones because it helps us move on and find closure in our lives. Forgiveness is a part of human nature and is important in our lives; it enables people to move forward and find closure from a past event of one’s life. The two main characters are found on personal journeys that take a tragedy for them to be able to find it in their hearts to be forgiving and be forgiven. Both men have challenging relationships with their sons. Reverend Kumalo travels from his small town of Ndotsheni to help his relative and find his son, whom he hadn’t seen in a very long time, in the city of Johannesburg while Jarvis struggles to understand his son’s advocacy for the black population in South Africa. The path of the two men cross when Reverend Kumalo’s son accidentally murders Jarvis’ son in a burglary. Reverend Kumalo spends time with his estranged son who awaits his death while Jarvis spends time getting to know...
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