Taking responsibility for one’s actions has brought a new understanding and renewed principles for the good of all humanity.Stylistically, Paton parallels character to character and action to action to dramatize the social ills of South Africa and its native people, while contrasting these vivid portraits to the lives of the white South Africans.
The need for truth and justice is paralleled by Kumalo’s search for his son Absalom, whom he finds in prison, with Jarvis’s news of his son’s death. Although paralleled, it is Jarvis who claims an affinity, “for there is something between” them.
Ironically, it is Kumalo’s son who shoots and kills Arthur Jarvis.
Even the Reverend Theophilus Msimangu, a priest who offers his assistance to Kumalo, believes that this disintegration of social values cannot be mended. desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it.” The land, in this case, South Africa, is the center of this novel.
Msimangu does, however, envision hope for “when white men and black men . As the land becomes divided and eroded, so, too, do the people who live on it.
But things got considerably worse before they got better.
In 1948, when the novel was first published, the Nationalist Party came to power and created the system of strict racial segregation known as apartheid.
As noted previously, the novel’s three sections structurally suggest the two different worlds of Africans and Europeans, then offer a solution and a hope in the third book in the coming together of the two fathers.
The safe, calm village life of Kumalo and the farm life of Jarvis parallel the city life in Johannesburg, a city of evil, corruption, and moral inequities for both blacks and whites.
These intercalary chapters serve as Paton’s social criticism of the divisive political and social order in South Africa.
Paton also uses dashes to indicate dialogue, allowing not only for the realistic portrayal of conversation, but also for the rapid dramatic actions among characters.