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Though Absalom is at the center of the plot of Cry, the Beloved Country, he is a somewhat mysterious figure. Having left home like most of the young people of Ndotsheni, Absalom finds work in Johannesburg. For reasons that are never made clear, however, he loses touch with his family and falls into a life of crime. Young and impressionable, Absalom carries a gun for protection, but when he fires the weapon in fear, he ends up killing Arthur Jarvis. Absalom’s basic innocence is affirmed when he confesses everything to the police, and even they seem to suspect his friend Johannes and not him for the murder. Nonetheless, the court holds Absalom solely responsible for the crime. He tries to communicate honestly with Kumalo, though no words can explain what he has done. Originally afraid to die, Absalom appears to reconcile himself to his impending execution and writes respectfully to his mother and father until the time of his death, demonstrating a newfound maturity that allows him to approach death gracefully.