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Free Study Guide-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 3

Summary

Jarvis sits in the chair of his son and browses through the letters and invitations strewn over the table. There is a massive collection of books, many of which are about Abraham Lincoln. He finds a manuscript written by his son; the manuscript brings out the white domination over the blacks and their volitional suppression to keep the blacks poor and underprivileged. Jarvis is struck by the elemental truth of his sonís writing and re-reads the manuscript. He then picks up a book on Lincoln and reads one of his speeches. After which, Jarvis seems to be lost in deep thought. He rouses himself from the reverie and walks towards the passage, where his son was killed. The dark stain on the floor reminds him of his son, when he was a small child and then, he is almost immediately confounded by the thought of his childís unexpected encounter with death at this fatal spot.

Notes

Arthur Jarvis' library, comprising of rows of books on Abraham Lincoln, many books about South Africa besides literary and religious book, reflects his personality. He seems to have been a deep thinking soul, most interested in the social development of his country. The pictures of Jesus and Lincoln in the room also reveal a vital information about his personality. Jesus was the savior of mankind and Lincoln the crusader for the emancipation of slaves. Both the men were of deep compassion and love for mankind. They lived and died for their convictions. Arthur Jarvis liked his inspiration was also a humane soul and suffered for his beliefs. Arthurís manuscript gives an insight into the depths of his mind. In a powerfully constructed dialogue he appeals to the conscience of the whites. He gives a balanced rational account of the injustice done to the natives. James Jarvis is filled with wonderment in reading the article. This is the beginning of his education in humanity.


CHAPTER 4

Summary

The funeral service for the slain Arthur Jarvis is held at Parkwold church. The church is full of people; white, black and Indians. After the funeral they flock to offer their condolences to James Jarvis. Harrison stresses the need for beefing up security to tackle native crime; he acrimoniously condemns what he considers to be the irrational demands of the natives, and staunchly believes that the natives must be Ďput in place.í His son, John overhears the conversation and says that he wished Arthur were alive to argue against them. Harrison looks uncomfortable but says that he respected Arthur though he did not quite agree with his ideas. The next morning, Harrison informs Jarvis about the developments in his sonís case. He hands Jarvis the copy of his sonís unfinished manuscript on native crime. The incomplete paragraph on the last page deeply pains Jarvis and he wishes that the tragedy had been averted. He is deeply moved by his sonís writings and not wishing to break the spell of enlightenment, he begins to read the book on Abraham Lincoln. Jarvis is rapt in profound thoughts when his wife approaches him. He hands her their sonís manuscript. There is pain, intense pain as her eyes travel the manuscript and she sits staring at her sonís last words. "Allow me a minute...."

Notes

The presence of multitudes at the funeral service shows the immense popularity of Arthur Jarvis. It also brings James Jarvis in direct contact with the natives and the lower sections of the society and his sorrow merges with the sorrow of all these people. The death of the young man is a cruel waste of a precious life. Mr. Harrison introduces another school of thought - the inexorable white traditionalist. Man like him want to remain hidebound in traditions, which maintain the arrogance of the whites and keep the natives, perennial underdogs.

Arthur Jarvisí manuscript elucidates in a reasoning tone, the white manís prejudice. It clearly shows that the whites have manipulated religion to pacify their consciences about keeping the natives underdeveloped. The whites keep shifting their stand. They believe in brotherhood and equality, yet seem to be clinging to the idiom "All men are equal but some are more equal than the others." The white man even goes to the extent of saying that the black man lacks intellectual prowess. He will remain backward for a longtime. Such inconsistencies and prejudices contribute aversely to the thrashing out of the South African deadlock.

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