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Cry, the Beloved Country Compare and Contrast Essay

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Compare and Contrast Essay Archana Sundarachari In Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton tries to highlight the similarities that tie together two different individuals, namely Stephen Kumalo and James Jarvis on the issues of their journey through life, their connected destiny, and the differences in racial practices. James Jarvis is a grieving white man struggling to understand and appreciate his dead son's feelings for the majority non-white population, whereas Stephen Kumalo is a native black man wondering when all his sorrows will come eventually to an end. The reader comes to know in between the story, that his son is imprisoned for killing James Jarvis' son. James Jarvis and Stephen Kumalo, the two main characters can be said to have undergone a significant change as the story progresses. ...read more.


Their inter-twined destiny is a common point of similarity that the author clearly expresses. It starts from basic facts such as: both come from Ndotsheni and the fact that Absalom (Stephen's son) killed Arthur Jarvis (James' son). The reader can remember when Stephen Kumalo tries to embrace the fate he will suffer by letting James know about his "heart's heaviest thing of all years" (Paton 214). Guilt forces him to utter in despair, "It was my son that killed your son," (Paton 214). This simple statement is a heavy blow to James Jarvis. Here we witness the connection between these two emotional events, where one father is searching to be pleased of his son's good deeds whereas the other father is ashamed with pure guilt over son's crime. ...read more.


Throughout the story, the author's words are echoed by all characters (whether black or white), about the desired peace and harmony that should be achieved by all South Africans. Readers can remember the sayings of Rev. Msimangu when he states that his greatest fear is when the whites have started loving, the blacks would have started hating. The author is keen in suggesting love between inter-racial groups. He does this pointing out racial differences and their effect on lives. These little journeys through life affect the thinking of man and make him undergo a change. Some examples are James Jarvis and Stephen Kumalo. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey, a Ghanaian educator, has famously quoted, "You can play a tune of sorts on the white keys, and you can play a tune of sorts on the black keys, but for harmony you must use both the black and the white" (Aggrey of Africa). ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is well-written with good control of paragraphing and sentence construction, but it is much too short and light for a GCSE submission. There is also no conclusion. It is a good start but needs much more in-depth analysis of the comparisons and contrasts between these two men.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 24/10/2014

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