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Cry the Beloved Country

From the day of birth and throughout adulthood, we as humans go through many changes. Kohlberg identifies these changes as stages of moral development that all humans go through. Each person's moral reasoning develops through Kohlberg's mapped out stages. In the novel Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton discuses the life of several defined characters who undergo significant moral changes, all of which are for the better. A man named James Jarvis is a wealthy land owner and a crucial character in Paton's novel. The turning point in the novel comes about by the death of Jarvis's son. Although Jarvis lost his son, this tragedy opens his eyes to a deeper awareness, and Jarvis attains a higher level of moral reasoning. According to Kohlberg's stages he progresses from stage four of (law and order orientation) to the sixth stage of (ethical principles).Before the death of his son, James Jarvis had been a person who found contentment in tending his estate and maintaining a distinct separation from the world around him. He was basically a good man who never bothered to face the controversial issues of the time. At this point in the novel, Jarvis was at Kohlberg's stage four of law and order orientation. When someone is at the fourth stage of moral development they often have a lot of rules. They generally feel orientated towards authority and maintenance of the social order. They often feel we need to maintain the given social order for its own sake. James Jarvis, as introduced in "Book II,"would ponder many questions to himself, a lot about the social order and how it has been maintained. A good example from Paton's novel was a segment of Jarvis thinking of a controversial issue. "Some said there was too little land anyway . . . and that the natives could not support themselves on it, even with the most progressive methods of agriculture. . . Jarvis thought about all the possible outcomes to this debated statement while he ...

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