Essay On King Arthur Jarvis

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Jarvis undergoes a similar enlightenment as he explores the circumstances behind his son’s death. Jarvis starts to doubt his Eurocentric predispositions when he reads one of his son’s manuscripts, that exposes him to knowledge that serves as a counter-narrative to the prevailing forms of information present in South Africa at the time. He reads that “It is only as one learns...of the hates and fears of our country…[that] one’s love grows deep and passionate” (Paton 207). Arthur Jarvis states here that once he was exposed to the reality of the situation in South Africa, he had no option but to strive to improve race relations. This statement clearly emphasizes Paton’s belief that knowledge prevents Otherization, and is further magnified when we consider the similarities between Arthur Jarvis’s character and Alan Paton; they…show more content…
Both Conrad and Paton used a meeting with a specific character to bring about understanding-- for Marlow, it was Kurtz, and for Jarvis, it was Kumalo. The unlikely friendship between the two fathers led Jarvis to have to face the reality natives’ humanity. Kumalo’s selflessness and humility counteract with the crime-ridden and flat representations of natives that Jarvis had seen in mass media, providing a new stream of inclusive discourse. Jarvis remarked to Kumalo that “[he had] seen a man,...who was in darkness till you found him”, a clear admittance that his encounters with Kumalo were what brought him the knowledge of South Africa that son alludes to (Paton 307). So, while Marlow’s enlightenment came in the form of the realization of the Europeans’ possessing a common darkness with the natives, Jarvis’s was in the realization of the common light. Despite the contrasting views on human nature, both Marlow and Kumalo are able to gain insight in their journey that undermined previous Eurocentric

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