Africa: Ctbc Essay

1941 words - 8 pages

FCA's:-Completely summarize plot-Discusses at least 2 themes-Uses at least three quotes from the bookThe book "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton is a book about agitation and turmoil of both whites and blacks over the white segregation policy called apartheid. The book describes how understanding between whites and blacks can end mutual fear and aggresion, and bring reform and hope to a small community of Ndotcheni as well as to South Africa as a whole. The language of the book reflects the Bible; furthermore, several characters and episodes are reminiscent of stories from the New Testament and teachings of Christ. Thus, Alan Paton, as a reformer and the author of "Cry, the Beloved ...view middle of the document...

Absalom thinks that Arthur Jarvis is out and comes into the house with two friends. However, when Arthur Jarvis "heard a noise, and came down to investigate" (186). Startled and afraid, Absalom fires blindly. Absalom later says in court: "Then a white man came into the passageâ ¦ I was frightened. I fired the revolver." (194) Absalom's blind fear is symbolic of the fear, blindness, and misunderstanding between whites and blacks; these are the reasons of racial hatred. In his room, there are pictures "of Christ crucified and Abraham Lincoln" (176), the two men who fought for human love and compassion and were killed because of their beliefs. Arthur Jarvis can be identified with Jesus Christ. Jesus taught "love thy neighbor as thyself". Roman priests didn't understand him, but they felt his power and were afraid of him. Even though Christ taught compassion, they claimed he would incite a riot and crucified him. Like Christ, Arthur Jarvis teaches compassion and love between neighbors - whites and blacks, separated by the policy of apartheid. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ leads to redemption, spiritual growth of many people and progress; likewise, the death of Arthur Jarvis brings reform and hope. Ironically, the tragedy brings together Stephen Kumalo, the father of a black murderer and Jarvis, the father of Arthur Jarvis, the white victim. High Place where Jarvis lives is symbolic of an elevated position of many whites. Before his son's death, Jarvis is on the hilltop, thinking in a distant, uninvolved way about the problems between whites and blacks, seeing just the white point of view. "Indeed they talked about [the erosion of land] often, for when they visited one another and sat on the long cool verandahs drinking their tea, they must needs look out over the barren valleys and the bare hills that were stretched below them. Some of their labor was drawn from Ndotcheni, and they knew how year by year there was less food grown in these reserves." (162) Jarvis is not a bad person but is ignorant about the lives of blacks and the real issues that take place. After the death of his son Jarvis learns to view blacks as real people. Jarvis reads his son's papers and suddenly becomes concerned with the ideas expressed by his son and by Abraham Lincoln. "Jarvis sat, deeply moved [after reading Arthur's last paper.] â ¦ [Then Jarvis] read [the Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln], and felt with a sudden lifting of the spirit that here was a secret unfolding, a track picked up again." (188) Later on, when Kumalo and Jarvis meet, Kumalo stumbles and almost faints because of the shame and guilt he feels. Jarvis doesn't yet know Kumalo is the father of the criminal, and doesn't understand Kumalo's anxiety. However, Jarvis doesn't dismiss him as a "dirty old parson" (174) like before. Earlier Jarvis might barely have noticed expressions on the face of a Zulu, but now he has changed enough to recognize that this man does not...

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