Why did the late Arthur Jarvis devote himself to the service of South Africa in Cry, the Beloved Country?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 24, Arthur Jarvis, through his writings, reveals why he has decided to devote himself to the service of South Africa. Having come to a realization as an adult of the dire state of affairs in his beloved country, especially as concerns race relations, Jarvis is

"...moved by something that is not (his) own, that moves (him) to do what is right, at whatever cost it may be."

Having learned of "the hates and fears of (his) country," Jarvis has found that he loves his country deeply, and thus feels compelled to

"...devote (him)self, (his) time, (his) energy, (his) talents, to the service of South Africa."

Jarvis is a good and highly principled young man, and is deeply troubled by the situation in his country. He cannot in good conscience do anything other than what he believes "is right, and to speak what is true." He says,

"I do this not because I am courageous and honest, but because it is the only way to end the conflict of my deepest soul. I do it because I am no longer able to aspire to the highest with one part of myself, and to deny it with another. I do not wish to live like that, I would rather die than live like that."
Read the study guide:
Cry, the Beloved Country

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question