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The meaning of Arthur Jarvis in Cry, the Beloved Country

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Shan Goonewardena February 3rd, 2009 English, Grade 11 The meaning of Arthur Jarvis Alan Paton, the treasured author of Cry, the Beloved Country used imagery and textual evidence to create a world of anxiety and chaos on regards to, both white and black individuals. As many know, the white segregation rule on the colored was called the apartheid and the writing by Alan Paton best describes the relationship between the black and white people as a creation of moral distraught and feeling of turmoil and anxiety. The language of the book reflects the ideas of the Bible, which then influences the characters of the book. From the very start of the novel, the writing style includes symbols such as light and darkness to symbolize the link to the bible. Jesus Christ is symbolized by the figure of Arthur Jarvis, who was a white reformer who fights for rights of blacks. ...read more.


Like Christ, Arthur Jarvis teaches compassion and love between races, whites and blacks, separated by the law of apartheid. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, as a symbol leads to salvation, spiritual growth of many people and progress, which is similar to the death of Arthur Jarvis, because he brings alteration and hope. The tragedy brings together Stephen Kumalo, the father of the black murderer and Jarvis, the father of Arthur Jarvis, the white victim. Jarvis's residence is symbolic of an elevated position of many whites. Before his son's death, Jarvis is on the hilltop, thinking 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 verandas drinking their tea, they must needs look out over the barren valleys and the bare hills that were stretched below them. ...read more.


But, Jarvis doesn't' t refer to him as a, "dirty old parson," (174) like when he first found about he death. Before, Jarvis might not have noticed facial expressions of a Zulu, but he has changed and recognizes that Kumalo is just in distraught, "Jarvis knew this was not rudeness, for the old man was humble and well-mannered," (211). By reading his son's writing, Jarvis learns about the real problems of South Africa. Many of the whites of South Africa, might not know the true of blacks, they don't have the tendency to think of blacks as real people and are unaware of the problems blacks have to face. Even though, Arthur Jarvis had to die for the people around him to realize the morals of the black community and the relationship between the black and whites, Alan Paton was incredible in understanding the different viewpoints of both races. The symbolic reference of Jesus Christ as Arthur Jarvis makes it more sensible to state that Arthur was a saviour for the awareness of the bond between races. ...read more.

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