Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 7-9 The Power of One

In Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One mentors are important in shaping the life of the main character Peekay. Peekay has had a number of mentors throughout his life. These mentors being Nanny, Granpa Chook, Hoppie, Big Hettie, and Doc. Each individual had an important role on Peekay's life. Even though some mentors did not spend much time with him, the lasting impact they had will be an inspiration and driving force throughout the novel. Nanny is Peekay's beloved servant who raises him and tells stories and educates him. Nanny teaches Peekay about Zulu people which allows him to accept the diversity among South Africa and the different races around him. Granpa Chook was Peekay's loyal chicken that stood by him and protected him from the evil tortures of the judge. Granpa Chook was the only friend that Peekay had when he was attending the Boer boarding school. Hoppie is a boxer that inspires Peekay to believe that brains are more important and stronger than sheer size and number. Hoppie inspires Peekay to become a boxer and believe in the power of one. Big Hettie was a big woman that Peekay meets at Hoppie's fight. She teaches him to hold his head up high and be courageous in doing so. Before her death, she tells Peekay to remember one thing. “'Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.'” pg 124. Peekay's mentors and coaches all has given him simple life lessons like that, that would add up and entirely shape the person he will become. Doc is an elderly german professor who notices the intellect and genius in Peekay. Doc is interested in the arts, and has become Peekay's personal tutor for music. Doc is the only for of education that Peekay has received since the boarding school. The other mentors in his like has given him life lessons in the form of actions, sayings and memories.

During Peekay's stay at this boarding school, Peekay's only mentor was his pet chicken, Granpa Chook. At the time Granpa Chook was more of a friend then teacher. Granpa Chook was a someone that Peekay could converse to. After his departure from the formal education, he was taken under the wing of many different mentors. Each mentor either traveled with him, kept him company or served as an example as a person that Peekay wishes to be. Of all the mentors, Doc is the most recent one. Doc is a professor who wishes to take Peekay as a student and teach him about music. “'Today I have come to you, please, madame, let me teach him?'” pg 154. Though his previous mentors look to teach Peekay with experience, Doc looks to give him a more formal education.

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