Cry, the Beloved Country: Change

761 Words4 Pages
In undertaking a journey, a person learns and changes. One may change emotionally, psychologically, as well as spiritually. The journeyer is scared at first, then usually goes through some pain and suffering. In the end, however, this journeyer comes out different then they were when they began, with some understanding. Stephan Kumalo, James Jarvis, and Absalom Kumalo undertake this very thing in Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton. Stephan Kumalo, a priest from the small native town of Ndotsheni, takes a journey to the great city of Johannesburg. He intends to find his sick sister and his son, Absalom, who has gone away. At first, Stephan has "the fear of the unknown, the fear of the great city"(44) where his loved ones had gone to and not written in months. Not long after he begins, he realizes "this is a bitter journey"(55) upon hearing the occupations and practices of his sister. He goes through pain and suffering, more and more as he learns of his brother's loss of faith in the church, and the murder his son has committed. But, soon enough he comes to an understanding of this world in Johannesburg. He learns why there is so much crime and poverty. He then has hope the success of his daughter in-law and his nephew in Ndotsheni. He gains hope for the rebuilding of the tribe. Stephan Kumalo comes away from his journey changing spiritually and knowing that there is "comfort in a world of desolation"(94). He changes emotionally and becomes stronger. Also, he changes psychologically and learning the troubles of Johannesburg and apartheid, and their various causes. James Jarvis undergoes vast changes during his journey. He is told that his son has been killed, and he leaves for Johannesburg at once. His son, Arthur, was a social activist helping natives in South Africa, trying to get better hospitals and schools for them. These are subjects James Jarvis never thought about much. When he arrives at his son's house, the place of Arthur's death, he reads through some of his manuscripts and books. First, James suffers a lot thinking about his son's death. As he reads through some of his books and papers however, he comes to an understanding how great a man his son was, and what he stood for. "He sat smoking his pipe and was lost in thought"(180) after he reads a manuscript on what is permissible and what is not
Open Document