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Kumalos Journey

Essay by   •  March 6, 2011  •  310 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,166 Views

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Stephen Kumalo starts his journey like any other hero, with a certain element of fear. When Kumalo embarks on his journey to Johannesburg to search for his sister he is scared. He is scared of a host of things. He is scared for his sister and how much it will cost to cure her. He is scared of the vastness of the great city of Johannesburg "where boys are killed crossing the street" (Paton 42). And deep down inside he is scared of the well-being and whereabouts of his son. At this stage Kumalo " lives in a world not made for him, whose own world is slipping away, dying, being destroyed, beyond any recall" (Paton 44).

One can see at this stage of the novel Kumalo is far from reaching his state of contentment. This is proven by the element of fear that is so prominent in him before he leaves for the city. But there are two things that are important to note here. Kumalo even at this stage does something very heroic. He goes to the city in search of his sister - a daunting task considering A) the mental state that he is in and B) the overwhelming fear he has of the city. Kumalo does this because "his own world is slipping away" - his world being the tribal unit. He believes that he needs to do restore the tribal unit in order to improve the suffering he sees around him. This act is not unimportant in that it displays Kumalos courage and serves as a stepping stone to him reaching contentment - contentment that he very much lacks at this stage.

Once Kumalo reaches Johannesburg his worst fears start coming to life. When he visits his sister he comes to learn that his sister has become a prosititute and a liquor dealer.



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