Jarvis and Kumalo are both very complacent about the native question before going to Johannesburg. At the beginning of the novel Kumalo is very complacent; he does not want to fully acknowledge the extent of the destruction of the tribal system. Kumalo’s brother, sister and son all went to Johannesburg and he has not heard from any of them for a long time. However, Kumalo still chooses to believe that they are all like what he thought of them in the past. Kumalo still believes that John is a humble carpenter, Gertrude is a good mother and wife and he stills thinks of Absalom as an innocent little boy. Kumalo still holds the idealistic view that Absalom will one day return to Ndotsheni and pursue an education at St. Chad’s. Kumalo is ...
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...n pretending it is not there. By acknowledging the destruction of the tribal system, Kumalo and Jarvis are able to restore at least parts of the tribal system.
By using Jarvis and Kumalo to show how an optimistic approach to a problem is dangerous, Paton advises us to acknowledge a problem when it first starts and find possible solutions immediately. When a problem is ignored, the problem tends to spiral out of control; it is much harder to fix a problem after it has progressed so greatly. Taking the easy way out is not an option when confronting challenging problems. Paton uses the crisis in South Africa as an example of people ignoring a problem and letting it get so out of control that it is very hard, if not impossible to fix. Paton is urging us to fix problems as soon as they happen, so things to do not go out of control like they did in South Africa.
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