Cry, The Beloved Country Essay

759 words - 4 pages

No matter how you are raised, rich or poor, the connection between a father and his son is undeniably a great thing. Every father wants a son that will carry on his family's name with strength and courage. The connection between a father and his son is ever present from the day the boy is born. They may not always share their views but they still care for each other. The relationship between father and son can vary greatly, in Cry, The Beloved Country you read about two very different families and likewise two very different relationships between a father and his son.
Deep into the book Stephen Kumalo has discovered that his only son Absalom has committed murder. He visits his son in prison and he admits to killing a white man that he, his cousin, and another man were robbing. After visiting his son in prison, Stephen and his brother John are discussing getting a lawyer. John claims that even with a lawyer Absalom has very little chance at freedom, he then says ...view middle of the document...

James travels to Johannesburg upon hearing of the death of his son. While visiting his niece he meets a man that will not look at him and trembles in fear while hardly speaking to Jarvis. James is confused and asks if he knows the man and why he cowers. Stephen Kumalo turns to Jarvis and he realizes that this is the father of the man that killed his son. Jarvis holds no anger towards Kumalo or his son, he reacts very calmly throughout the whole book despite the death of his beloved son. “There was a brightness in him.” (181) Stephen says this to James about his son, the families ironically live close to each other but they never spoke. James Jarvis agrees with what Kumalo says and thanks him for being kind. Just because James didn’t get upset doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about the loss of his son I think he realizes that Stephen is suffering with his son in prison and is trying to act how his son would want.
At the end of the book Absalom has been sentenced to hang and was not granted mercy he will die. When one life ends people mourn and rethink their own lives. We ask ourselves what we can change about ourselves so that if something happens to us we feel as though we have done something right in our life. “One thing is about to be finished, but here is something that is only begun.” (272) Kumalo says this to Jarvis the day before his son is hung as he is on his way up a mountain to have peace. This quote is saying that even though Absalom will die Kumalo will always be a father and he will stand strong for the rest of his life to show that one action doesn’t define a family. Overall I think Kumalo handles his sorrow very well, sorrow only has the power that you give it, and though he is grieving he isn’t letting his sadness define him.
Throughout this entire book two fathers are trying to help their sons. Whether they are trying to preserve their memory or trying to save their life. Both men must accept that their son is lost to them forever but they must continue to stand as a father not a man that has no one. I believe the book illustrates the hardships that father and son can go through but the everlasting love between them. The love between a man and his son is irreplaceable but it can turn a father into more of a man than he thought he was.

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