Compare and contrast Stephen and John Kumalo.

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stephen Kumalo is at first glance a rather simple man. He is a minister among his people, the Zulu, and totally unfamiliar with the city and the way of life that is so different from the one he knows in the country. He is thoughtful and loving and is driven to go to the city to try and find his son Absalom. Through his journey to the city he learns a great deal and returns to the countryside changed. He is more aware of the injustice facing his people and also has a greater understanding of the obstacles and problems they face. Yet he still maintains a powerful and pure hope for what might be. His journey into the city and the unknown for him did not change his hope for redemption for his people.

John, on the other hand, is really out for himself and himself alone. He lacks the compassion and wisdom of Stephen and when Stephen comes to the city he finds it difficult to understand his brother. John selfishly finds a way to keep his son free while his nephew is executed even though John's son was with Absalom when he committed the murder. John represents the cold and cynical approach to the world and the lust for power and influence that is so foreign to Stephen.

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Cry, the Beloved Country

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