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Quest for the Son and Suffering in Cry, The Beloved Country


Throughout the novel Cry, the Beloved Nation by Alan Paton, Paton uses suffering and the quest for the boy together to add to the terrible framework of the book. Paton uses suffering, an aspect derived from Greek tragedy in which the main lead character(s) of the book undergo difficulty and discomfort, to enhance the experience that Kumalo and Jarvis sustain in the quest for their sons. Kumalo and Jarvis’ mission for their boys add to the terrible framework of the unique due to the fact that of the suffering that it triggers. Both Kumalo and Jarvis’ mission for their children begin with the murder of Arthur Jarvis, James Jarvis’ boy, and the resulting suffering that it causes both of them. Additionally, they both recognize that their children were overall strangers to them, triggering them suffering seeing them so various from who their dads had understood. Also in the mission for their kids, they both recognize the suffering of the native people, causing both lead characters fantastic experiencing their newfound knowledge.

The awareness that Arthur Jarvis had actually been murdered is marked as the start of both Kumalo and Jarvis’ mission for their sons as well as their suffering. Kumalo had actually gone Johannesburg in search of his missing loved ones: Gertrude, John and his child, Absalom. Upon showing up in the city, he discovers both Gertrude and John quickly but has difficulty in discovering his boy. He looks to his good friend Msimangu with whom he searches all of Johannesburg for the location of his boy. After an extended period of searching, Kumalo is finally informed by the white guy at the reformatory that his kid had been arrested for the murder of a white man. Upon learning of the intensity of his son’s crime, Kumalo “nodded his head once again, one, 2, 3, four, times … and nodded to them once again” (Paton 126). Although he did not express his suffering in an obvious method, the repeated nodding intimates the truth that he was suffering both psychologically and physically. His odd behaviour is most likely due to the fact that he remained in shock over what his kid had actually done. The extreme shock could also be attributed to him being a preacher and a man of God who would considers murder to be the worst sin of all and finding that his own son could have done such a thing, triggering him great discomfort both as a daddy and a man of God. Together with the arrest of Kumalo’s kid, Jarvis also started his mission for the son after his murder. He had been at his estate in Ndotsheni when he learned of his child’s death through van Jaarsveld, telling him “He was shot dead at 1:30 P.M. this afternoon in Johannesburg” (165 ). Upon the conformation of his worst worries, Jarvis likewise experiences suffering through shock. He sits down and then is stunned when he strolled down the mountain to return and inform his wife. Prior to the cops concerned notify him and his wife of his child’s death, James had actually been content to live and stay within the narrow, comfortable boundaries of his estate. After learning about the news of their kid’s death, James is required upon a psychological and psychological quest for who his child had been. Although Jarvis’ mission for the child had begun with the death of his son and Kumalo’s quest for his boy had actually truly started upon hearing of the imprisonment of his boy for murdering a white male, this marks the start of the quest for their sons on a much deeper, more psychological level thinking about that they hardly knew the strangers that were their kids, and as a method to manage their suffering

As Kumalo and Jarvis progress through the mission for their boys, they suffer due to the complete strangers that their boys had actually become. After all his searching for the whereabouts of his boy, Kumalo had finally discovered him to have been imprisoned waiting for his trial. Upon having his child brought out before him, Kumalo begins questioning him:

— Why did you do this dreadful thing, my kid?

The young man stirs watchfully, the white warder makes no indication, possibly he does not understand this tongue. There is a moisture in the boy’s eyes, he turns his head from side to side, and makes no response. 130)

As Kumalo continues to question his child, he understands that the individual that stood in front of him was a complete stranger. He needed to ask his boy why he would do such a thing due to the fact that it differed so violently from the young boy that he had actually raised in the perfects of Christianity. He suffers throughout the interaction with his child as he discovered a cold, unfeeling man rather of the loving young boy that he had actually understood prior to. Therefore, his quest for his child had ended in a physical sense thinking about the fact that he had found his son however, he had discovered a complete stranger inhabiting the body of his child with a completely different character than the one that he attributed to his child. Along with Kumalo’s quest of his child, Jarvis’ quest for his child continues after he arriving in Johannesburg to be gotten by the Harrisons, Mary’s moms and dads. After settling down, he sat down to listen to Mr. Harrison on what occurred and who his son truly was. As he sat listening “to this tale of his boy” he quickly understands that he is listening to the “tale of a complete stranger” (172 ). This causes Jarvis to recognize how little he understood the male that he called his boy, causing him terrific discomfort as he had as a moms and dad never seen this for himself within his kid. Jarvis’ quest for his boy is one that opens his eyes, spreading them past the provincial outlook he held before to one where he had the ability to consider the worldly and all-encompassing views that his boy now shown him. His suffering is even more boosted by the irony that his child, the guy that defended the rights of the natives, had actually been eliminated by the very people he tried to safeguard. Jarvis’ realization of his child being a stranger and Kumalo’s quest for his son also yielding a similar outcome of a stranger cause more suffering for both of the main lead characters of the novel.

As Kumalo and Jarvis development through the mission for their kids, Jarvis realizes through the stranger that was his boy, that the natives that he had been ignorant up to that point were suffering, while Kumalo sees the complete level of his individuals’s suffering. Kumalo recognizes through his mission for his child, that the white man broke the people throughout South Africa and it had been changed with nothing. He views as he wanders through Johannesburg, the sights of his individuals in shantytowns and slums and it triggers him great pain. This suffering is thus imprinted in Kumalo and he makes every effort throughout the rest of the novel to attempt to repair the damaged people in any method he could. Upon showing up back at the Ndotsheni after the sentencing of his child, he continues forward with this brand-new outlook on the condition of his individuals keeping in mind that the white men had “knocked these chiefs down, and put them up once again, to hold the pieces together … rulers of pitiful kingdoms that had no meaning at all” (264 ). This causes him emotional suffering because he through the quest for the kid has his lack of knowledge cleaned away, allowing him to see the system that they whites had actually set out for his individuals and the useless type that the tribe had actually been decreased to. Together with Kumalo, Jarvis likewise familiarizes of the suffering of the natives. He learns of this through the essays that his boy had written stating, “It is not allowable to mine any gold … if such mining … depend for their success on a policy of keeping labour poor” (178 ). Jarvis finds the character of his boy and the example that he meant while also finding out of the condition of the locals. He realizes that the system that he had actually overlooked for such a long period of time was one constructed on exploitation and it results in suffering as he saw that he belonged of the system that perpetuated these problems. Seeing the world from his kid’s perspective enabled him to both find out who he was while likewise passing the suffering and pain of know that he was part of the problem. As Kumalo and Jarvis come to the end of their quest for their children, they discovered native suffering and the widening of their provincial perspectives.

In Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, Paton utilizes both suffering and quest for their sons to add to the tragic structure of the play. Beginning with Kumalo and Jarvis’ mission for their kids with the murder of Arthur Jarvis and its resulting suffering, Jarvis and Kumalo both recognize that their sons were overall strangers to them, triggering them even more suffering because they are the ones that should have known them most. Finally, as their mission for their children comes to a close, they both realize the suffering of the native individuals, triggering both lead characters terrific experiencing their newly found knowledge.

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