It is through the ideals of Arthur Jarvis that Paton makes his strongest statement about the brotherly love he hopes will come to South Africa. Though the slain activist doesn't make an appearance in the novel, his death changes all the other character's lives profoundly. Trained as an engineer and heir to his father's farm, Jarvis lives by his convictions in fighting for human rights and racial equality. Especially profound is his bookshelf—which contains many of the same texts found in Paton's library, especially the writings of Abraham Lincoln. Paton scholars generally agree that Arthur Jarvis is the most autobiographical character in Cry, the Beloved Country.

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