Damage and Healing

Sources of healing that Alan Paton presents are things such as spiritual support for a community. Stephen is some sort of leader in their religious ceremonies, and the people in Ndotsheni love him and respect him. They see him as a guide in their lives, and helps them heal. When Stephen left Ndotsheni, it is apparent that the people suffered. When he returned, they rejoice and welcome him with warmth. Another source of healing is family. Stephen feels the urge to go find his son in the city, and leaves his wife to find his son and sister. When he finds his sister, he finds her in a bad place. She has done bad things, and is broken. When he welcomes her back into his life, she starts to heal. However, although she may improve her life a bit, she falls and leaves her source of healing for other things. Another example is with Absalom. He had been doing bad things as well, such as stealing from others. When he made his girlfriend pregnant, he decided to try to settle down, and could have possibly embarked on a path of healing if only he hadn’t accidentally killed Arthur Jarvis.

In my project, I talked about mental sickness of a person, specifically of a soldier. Once he returned from war, he still has the effects of the war lingering in him, traumatising him. Just like in the book, the soldier seeks healing from the one that he loves, someone that he can rely on. Therefore, one of the answers that Alan Paton offered is love and care from a close individual.

Holistic solutions that he propose that are still applicable in our persistently damaged world is love. If we care for one another, just like how Stephen cared for his divided family, and how James Jarvis cared for Stephen’s community, we can make this world a better place for others. Even though it may not fix the entire world, the ambition of one who is genuine and caring can change the lives of many.


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