The differences between Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis are most obvious in the novel, but it is their similarities that are thematically most significant and satisfying. These two men of South Africa represent the reality of apartheid as it was practiced. Kumalo is a poor African, living in the barren and impoverished village of Ndotsheni, located symbolically in a valley. Jarvis, in contrast, is a wealthy white man living on a lovely estate, High Place,...
The differences between Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis are most obvious in the novel, but it is their similarities that are thematically most significant and satisfying. These two men of South Africa represent the reality of apartheid as it was practiced. Kumalo is a poor African, living in the barren and impoverished village of Ndotsheni, located symbolically in a valley. Jarvis, in contrast, is a wealthy white man living on a lovely estate, High Place, near Ixopo. High Place is located near Ndotsheni geographically, but exists culturally in another world. Stephen and James live as neighbors who never meet because of the political and cultural divide enforced by apartheid, as well as by centuries of social tradition. Neither man knows or understands the life of the other, until their lives intersect through an act of violence, and they both become grieving fathers.
The similarities between Stephen and James become increasingly evident as they are portrayed as the fathers of lost sons, one a murderer and the other murdered, yet both victims in a larger sense. Stephen and James both love and grieve for their sons. Neither understands the senselessness of Arthur Jarvis's death. Each had lost touch with his son and was unaware of the life he had been leading at the time of the crime. Both men, gentle and compassionate, feel their wives' suffering.
The most profound similarity between Stephen and James is that in their grief, they choose love over hatred. When Stephen approaches James to express his shame and sorrow over Arthur's death, James does not turn him away. Out of this meeting, a bond is formed, one man feeling deep compassion for the other. James comes down from High Place, literally, to embrace the people of Ndotsheni and continue his son's social work. Arthur's young son seeks to learn the Zulu language from the elder Stephen. The lives of Stephen and James are far more similar than different in terms of each man's humanity, and through their relationship, Patton's novel holds out hope for the future of South Africa.
Cry Teh Beloved Country Comparison Between Stephen Kumalo And James Jarvis
People in this world are very similar to each other but they also have their differences. Many people are of the same ethnicity or culture; they practice the same religion, and even have the same pastimes and enjoy the same activities. Although we are all alike in many ways, no matter how alike you are there will always be differences. In the book Cry the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton, Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis are two different people and although they live in the same village they come from two extremely different worlds, and end up meeting in the middle. Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis are two different people. Kumalo is a poor black preacher from the valley of the South African village of Ndotsheni. While looking for his sister in Johannesburg, Kumalo discovered that his son, Absalom had killed a man, that man was Jarvis' son, Arthur. Later on in the book James Jarvis looses his wife to an illness. Kumalo is a very trusting man, very concerned about the welfare of his family. He is not quick to receive a handout. Kumalo is a very trusting man, very concerned about the welfare of his family. He is not quick to receive a handout. Kumalo trusts the Lord with everything he does, he is a loving and God- fearing man, "Although his money was little he brought her a red dress and a white thing that they called a turban for her head. Also a shirt, a pair of short trousers, and a jersey for the boy and a couple of stout handkerchiefs for his mother to use on his nose" (64). Kumalo is very gullible and is quick to trust, he is also not very smart with the people he relies on, "The man looked a decent man, and the parson spoke to him humbly, I gave a pound to a young man, he said, and he told me he would get my ticket at the ticket office. You have been cheated, umfundisi. Can you see the young man? No, you will not see him again" (49). On the other hand, James Jarvis is a racist who has never really been exposed to the natives of South Africa, White people, black people, coloured people, Indians, it was the first time that Jarvis and his wife had sat in a church with people who were not white"...
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