Cry The Beloved Country Essay

9977 WordsFeb 7, 201240 Pages
Character List Stephen Kumalo - One of the novel’s two protagonists. Kumalo is an elderly Zulu priest who has spent all of his life in the village of Ndotsheni. He is a quiet, humble, and gentle man with a strong moral sense and an abiding faith in God. He is not perfect, however, and occasionally gives in to the temptation to hurt others with harsh words or lies. The dignity and grace with which he accepts his suffering, however, along with his determination to help his people in spite of his limitations, make him the moral center of the novel. James Jarvis - The novel’s other protagonist, a white landowner whose farm overlooks Ndotsheni. When he first appears in the novel, Jarvis is a relatively conservative farmer and a man of few words. But the tragic news that his only son, Arthur, has been murdered leads him to Johannesburg, where he begins to rethink his opinions and his relationship to the villagers that live below his farm. Theophilus Msimangu - Stephen Kumalo’s host and guide in Johannesburg. A tall, young minister at the Mission House in Sophiatown, Msimangu has an acute understanding of the problems that face South Africa. He helps Kumalo understand the people and places that they encounter, and is unfailingly sympathetic to Kumalo, making Kumalo’s quest his top priority. He sometimes speaks unkindly, but he quickly repents. His eventual decision to enter a monastery is a final testament to the depth of his faith and generosity. Kumalo - Stephen Kumalo’s son. After fleeing home for Johannesburg, Absalom quickly goes astray, but even after he commits murder, he is able to reclaim his fundamental decency. His decision to move to Johannesburg is part of a larger trend of young black people fleeing their villages for the cities. Absalom’s story is a cautionary tale of the dangers of this movement. Seeming to lack a reliable moral compass, he is

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