The Power of One – Bryce Courtney
Date of Publication – 1989
The Power of One is an epic novel, which takes the reader through the journey of a young British boy Peekay. Peekay is brought up by his grandfather and his African American nanny; however after his mother has a mental breakdown he is sent off to boarding school. His classmates hail to Adolf Hitler; British people at the time were despised as they were not allies to Germany. Peekay is assaulted both sexual and physically, throughout his time at school. At the age of 7 Peekay is sent to live with his mother, he was to travel there by train. During his journey on the train he meets an aspiring boxer Hoppie Groniewald, who teaches him a key lesson for life;
“First with the head, then with the heart”
Along the journey Peekay watches Hoppie fight a local boxer named ‘Jackhammer Smit’, Hoppie wins the fight and learns that through this saying big can beat small. Peekay and Hoppie then part there different ways, Hoppie to the Mines and Peekay to his mother’s house. Peekay does not enjoy his mother’s house, as much as his grandfathers, but soon finds comfort with ‘The Doc’ whom he takes piano lessons and teaches him some amateur botany. A few months later the ‘The Doc’ is arrested for failing to re-register is passport. Peekay wishes to continue his piano and botany lessons so he visits ‘The Doc’ in jail, this is where he is exposed to boxing.
Peekay continues his training at the jail with Giel Pete an African American man, who teaches him the basics of boxing. People trains hard and wins his first 3 fights, but lost his final. The novel finishes with the death of ‘The Doc’, Peekay’s journey through the sequel Natia also by Bryce Courtney.
Throughout the novel, Courtney incorporates many types of techniques to bring forward the belonging in particular scenes or chapters. He uses techniques such as sarcasm, Exaggeration and Imagery. Sarcasm is usually used to show a state of not belonging, in example a...