Juxtaposes this touching scene with the beginning of

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juxtaposes this touching scene with the beginning of the story when Kumalo acted in a curt manner to the young girl that brought him Msimangu’s letter, saying, “Go to the mother then. Perhaps she has some food (Paton 3),” as he proceeds to examine the letter she brought him. However, the poverty of Claremont pushes Kumalo’s character development further into an empathetic direction, a result of his experiences and travels. He greets Gertrude and his nephew with forgiveness and open arms despite the fear that still resides in his heart. As Kumalo begins to experience more of the realities of South Africa, he also begins to question his faith, the pinnacle of his character development. Once Kumalo makes the connection between Arthur Jarvis’ murder and Absalom’s dishonest lifestyle, he expresses that there is nothing in his heart but “Fear, fear, fear (Paton 40).” Paton utilizes repetition in this instance to set this declaration of fear apart from all the others in the story. As Absalom’s crime dawns on him, Kumalo’s fear has the power to shake the two things that gave him certainty: his faith and his country. He says, “There is no prayer left in me… There are times, no doubt, when God seems no more to be about the world (Paton 40).” And says, “Who can enjoy the lovely land, who can enjoy the 70 years, and the sun that pours down on the earth, when there is fear in the heart? (Paton 40)” Paton crafts an inner conflict within Kumalo in order to set up the events that follow: Absalom’s trial and hanging, the confrontation with James Jarvis, and Gertrude’s escape to become a nun. In order to handle these events, Kumalo’s faith, in God and in his country, must be stronger than ever. His faith becomes deeper after this as the events of Absalom’s trial unravel and his character begins to resemble a cumulation of his experiences.
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