Character Development In Cry The Beloved Country

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James Jarvis’s Journey Character development is seen throughout Alan Paton’s novel, “Cry, the Beloved Country”, and these changes are seen especially in one of the main characters, James Jarvis. James Jarvis is a white and wealthy farmer and the father of the deceased Arthur Jarvis, an African rights advocator. Being white and wealthy places him in a privileged and high social status above the blacks living in the indigent valleys beneath him. During his journey of grieving his son, he reads his son’s manuscripts which allows him to get to know and understand his son’s life. As a result, he is no longer oblivious and begins to make selfless innovations for the suffering African community around him. James Jarvis and his actions displays a tremendous significance towards his life-changing character development beyond any other character in the novel. In the…show more content…
He begins many new projects such as building a new church for Kumalo, building a damn, distributing milk bags to infants and bringing an agricultural demonstrator to teach the natives how to farm. In the beginning chapter of Book 2, James Jarvis believes that the natives are ignorant and bringing education to them will cause they to be disloyal and untrustworthy. Now, the fact that he brings an agricultural demonstrator signifies the renewal of his views towards the natives. He is also aware of his development because when he sees Kumalo going up the mountain, he says, “I have seen a man...who was in darkness till you found him.” (307) James Jarvis says the statement with a “a kind of grim gaiety,” because he is referring to himself. The darkness represents his ignorance and now that he understands the reason for the suffering of the natives, he is enlightened upon through knowledge. Despite his miraculous work, he still remains humble saying, “I am no saintly man.”
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