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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Freshmen -- The Power of One Ch. 4-6 Prompt

In The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay demonstrates through the characterization of Peekay and Hoppie, that one does not have to be big in size to succeed. In the beginning, Peekay is made fun of and tortured because he is different. He endured this pain because he thought people who are small have no chance against someone who is bigger. He soon meets a man who will change his life forever. Hoppie Groenewald is a guard and conductor he met on the train who was looking after Peekay until he arrived in Gravelotte. Hoppie is someone who supports and cares for Peekay; He is like a new companion or ally of his. He believes in him and gives him hope so one day he will be a good boxer like himself. “No worries Peekay. When you grow up you’ll be the best damn welterweight in South Africa and nobody, and I mean no-bod-ee, will give kid Peekay any crapola. I’m telling you man.” This helps Peekay because he does not have any hope in himself because people are always telling him he is worthless. Unfortunately, Peekay believes them because he is so outnumbered by Boers that he is different in size, ethnicity and appearance. When Hoppie started telling him about boxing and how great he will be, he became excited. He became even more excited when Hoppie won the big match against the giant black man, Jackhammer Smit. “I had just witnessed the final move in a perfectly wrought plan where small defeats big. First with the head and then with the heart.” It encouraged him and gave him confidence. “It was the greatest moment of my life. I had hope. I had witnessed small triumph over big. I was not powerless.” Even though he was limited in his size, he was not limited in his mind or heart and Hoppie and Big Hettie helped him discover that. They will continue to support Peekay in everything throughout the novel, especially becoming a welterweight champion.

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