Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis: Comparing Their Character Development

Essay by katzman36High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2009

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Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis:Comparing Their Character DevelopmentThis essay will compare the character development of Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis in Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, The Beloved Country. Even though the two men are of two races, they experience a parallel journey. The first three paragraphs will describe Kumalo’s path of how he tries to find the truth about his son, and then the healing process after his son’s trial. The fourth and fifth paragraph will depict the path James Jarvis took, learning more about what a great person his son was, and the acts he did to continue his son’s work. The final paragraph will conclude on the similarities of the journeys both men took.

Kumalo’s journey into Johannesburg first displays his fear of the city and then for Absalom. The first piece of evidence occurs when Kumalo arrives at the bus station in Johannesburg. He is robbed of a pound by a young man and then meets Mr.

Mafolo, who helps him in his time of distress(Paton 48-49). There is also evidence that the other people in Sophiatown are afraid. “We are also afraid, right here in Sophiatown.”(Paton 52) said Msimangu. Later when Kumalo is talking with Msimangu he tells him about Absalom. He says that Absalom never writes anymore. He shows fear when he says, “And now after what you tell me, I am more afraid.”(Paton 54)Kumalo has much determination to find the truth about his son. Kumalo’s brother, John Kumalo, has a telephone book, and finds the address of where Absalom works. He works in a textile’s mill, “There it is. Doorfontein Textiles Company, 14 Krause St.”(Paton 70) They went to Doorfontein, but had no success there. A man named Dhlamini had known Absalom, and gave Kumalo the address of where he was living. He...