in book 2, chapter 8 the old man made an effort to rise, using his stick, but the stick slipped on the paved stone........jarvis would have helped him , but such a thing is not so lightly done as picking up a stick
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The meeting here is from Jarvis's point of view which gives us an interesting perspective. Although we know it's Kumalo at the door, he is described as a "frail black man". The scene illuminates the huge difference between these two characters, a metaphor between South Africa's black and white population. The frail condition of Kumalo underscores the power positions between the strong white population and the downtrodden weak black population. Jarvis's inclination to become irritated when Kumalo keeps dropping things (the stick then the paper) reinforces this sense of white superiority. Jarvis is however able to understand Kumalo's pain which means there is hope.