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The Consequence Of Reconciliation Essay

1094 words - 5 pages

Mark Twain, an American author and journalist, once said, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it”. In this quote, Twain’s words depict the idea that positive outcome will result from the forgiveness, and ultimately the reconciliation, of two parties after an unpleasant circumstance. Likewise, in his novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton portrays the reconciliation of both father and son in the Kumalo and Jarvis household; as a result of mishaps, such as death and imprisonment, Kumalo and Jarvis are able to finally perceive a better understanding of their sons. Through his novel, Paton suggests that misfortunes initiate the reconciliation that strengthens relationships and bring out a clear, true understanding of the other person.
Although Kumalo despised Absalom’s actions in Johannesburg, Kumalo reconciles with his son after seeing that Absalom’s misfortune has led him to reveal his maturity and morality. While searching for his son, Absalom, Kumalo discovers a side of Absalom’s character that he had not yet witnessed. As he learns that Absalom had been committing crime and was involved in the murder of Arthur Jarvis, Kumalo struggles to accept the fact that his son has changed into an entirely different person, whose characteristics of morality he disapproves. Kumalo dislikes the stranger that he sees, who is immature and irresponsible. However, Kumalo realizes that Absalom should be forgiven after the trial, in which Absalom is sentenced to death. In their last conversation with each other, Kumalo “took the son’s hand, and they were not lifeless any more, but clung to his, seeking some comfort, some assurance. And the old man held them more strongly, and said again, be of good courage, my son” (241). In this scene, Kumalo’s actions reveal the compassion he has for his son as he realizes that the boy regrets his past transgressions and has become a mature and courageous man, who proudly confesses his wrongdoings, knowing that he will have to face serious consequences. As Kumalo is encouraging his son to stay strong, it is evident that they are on the same side, and Kumalo is no longer against Absalom. Not long after, Absalom sends a letter from prison, which says, “I think of you all at Ndotsheni, and if I were back there I should not leave it again...Is the child born? If it is a boy, I should like to name him Peter...My father, did you get the money in my Post Office Book?” (274). The words written by Absalom prove that he has become a responsible and caring person because he is genuinely considerate of his family. Absalon’s characteristic changes are undoubtedly the result of the false accusation and the death sentence that he has to face. Consequently, Kumalo forgives him as he sees a new person who is not rebellious or greedy anymore. Clearly, a different nature of a person is revealed as a result of a troublesome or tragic situation, but in the end when he or she is reconciled with, a...

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