The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

This essay is a multicultural book-report. It includes page number references. The book takes place in South Africa during World War II and apartheid. The Power of One by Bryce Courtesan is an amazing display of apartheid in South Africa during World War II. The story follows Peaky, a young white boy, as he travels from a boarding school full of children who support Hitler, to a home with a Christian mother, to copper mines in Northern Rhodesia, all the while being surrounded by bigotry and racism.

This is an incredible glimpse at the horrors that prejudice can ring, shown through the eyes of a boy becoming an adult in a racially discriminating society. The story begins as Peaky suffers through boarding school with older boys who torment and tease him because he speaks English and they speak Afrikaans (p. 6). When he is returning home on the train, he meets a man who introduces him to boxing, and Passkey’s life begins to form around this sport (p. 68). When he reaches home, he meets a funny man named Professor von Volunteers, who he befriends (p. 143).

The two become inseparable, and when the professor is sent to prison during he war because he is German, Peaky visits him nearly every day (p. 181). At the prison, Peaky Joins the boxing team and becomes a very skilled boxer (p. 194). When he becomes a teenager, he receives a scholarship to a well-respected boarding school and Joins the boxing team here, turning it from the worst in the league to the best in the league (p. 349). Throughout his whole childhood, Peaky never loses a single fight, believing that if he loses one he will never be welterweight champion of the world, his goal (p. 57). When he graduates from boarding school, he decides to travel to the copper mines in Northern Rhodesia, leaving behind the people and life he has known forever (p. 474). Although he struggles here, it is at the mines that he truly discovers who he is. This is an extraordinary story about meeting and overcoming the expectations that a person places on himself, that others place on him, and that society places on him. It is an inspiring historical fiction book that not only shows how strong the power of one is, but also what a terrible hatred racism is.

Throughout the story, Peaky is surrounded by racism but does not fully understand it himself, as he had a dark-skinned nanny (p. 3), his boxing coach is dark-skinned (p. 216), and he boxes against dark-skinned people (p. 417). The author does an astounding Job of portraying the cruelty of apartheid through the actions of the people surrounding Peaky. At the prison where Peaky boxes, he often sees gaffers* being abused by prison workers, physically and emotionally. The workers hit and kick he black men for making the slightest mistake and insult them constantly (p. 188). The Power of One” by Bryce Courtesan. Answers question, “What have you learned about he predominant culture of the book? ” By spiffy_bagel colored assistant boxing coach, Gel Piety, who has worked incredibly hard to gain this position, and almost everyone steps out of the photo. Peaky realizes at this moment that racism is a wickedness used only to disgrace good men (p. 265). When Peaky gets into boarding school, he and his friend, Morris, start a school to teach dark- skinned boys to read and write, but the police, with no good reason, shut down the school because they are racist (p. 54). Throughout this book about the strength one can draw from oneself, there is a message about the malice of racism. The Power of One is a book that gives the reader a brief glimpse at the horrors of a prejudiced society. It shows how racism can separate people, humiliate them, and strip them of their rights. Racism is a kind of hatred that can destroy a man, and the apartheid that took place in South Africa during World War II is a prime example of his.

The Power of One, although largely about the strength we carry inside, showed me how awful a culture in which people are discriminated against can be. The stories of the abuse that the black people suffered sent shivers down my spine and left me with a piece of knowledge that I will never forget: racism is a horrifying hatred that can destroy any person. The Power of One is a truly magnificent book. *a word the white Africans used in reference to dark-skinned people during the sass, forties, and fifties

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