Arthur Jarvis’ Recognition Of Love Essay

1336 words - 6 pages

Arthur Jarvis was a man of great importance to South Africa because his fear and sorrow developed into a deep love and caring for the country. Though the reader does not receive a direct narration from the position of Arthur Jarvis, Jarvis’ character is developed through his essays. This effect is great on the reader because he or she can observe the society’s thoughts on his writings after he is gone. Also, the reader discovers what an influential man Jarvis was. Jarvis devoted himself entirely to South Africa and the betterment of the land. He was especially concerned with the apartheid, and called for social justice for natives. He notes in his manuscripts about his childhood and how he had learned nothing of South Africa from being with his parents in the sheltered village of Ndotsheni. Jarvis’ other various writings are compelling because the reader understands Jarvis’ deep and genuine love for South Africa because of the intelligence and courage he possesses, enough so to write these manuscripts. Most importantly, Jarvis recognized his indifference to South Africa, his blindness to its happenings, and instead of sitting with that indifference and that apathy, he was able to promote change and develop a deep love for the people of South Africa and for the land of South Africa itself.
Arthur Jarvis is extraordinary, for in his “Private Essay on the Evolution of a South African,” he admits that he knew nothing of South Africa. “From them [his parents] I learned all that a child should learn of honour and charity and generosity. But of South Africa I learned nothing at all.” (pg 207) As a young boy, he was blind and sheltered from the entirety and the truth of his so-beloved land. “One can read, as I read when I was a boy, the brochures about lovely South Africa, that land of sun and beauty sheltered from the storms of the world, and feel pride in it and love for it, and yet know nothing about it at all.” (pg 207) When Jarvis writes, “yet know nothing about it at all,” it can be argued that he is addressing the dangerous indifference of the people of the country. Paton clearly illustrates the European society as not only the dominant (because of power) race of the society, but also the most indifferent. Instead of fighting apartheid, Europeans are confined by fear and therefore fail to promote change. In chapter 12, Paton illustrates the beliefs that many of the Europeans have about what to “do” about the natives. But many of them have concluded that there in fact is nothing they can do besides, “be careful, and knock this off our lives, and knock that off our lives, and hedge ourselves about with safety and precaution. And our lives will shrink, but they shall be the lives of the superior beings.” (pg 110-11) This quote clearly demonstrates the cruel and disturbing nature of the Europeans and their view and treatment towards the natives, but also demonstrates their indifference. No one is proposing a solution, because they are not willing to...

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