Power of One Essay
In the novel, “The Power of One”, by Bryce Courtenay, Geel Piet is more beneficial to Peekay because Geel Piet gives Peekay the art of boxing. Boxing works as an equalizer between Peekay and his Boer opponents. The idea of equality is also shown through the theme of the apartheid by acting as an equalizer between races. Geel Piet has coached many, and it is said that, “The standard of the young boxers improved measurably under Geel Piet’s direction” (216). Geel Piet made Peekay stronger and more skilled which makes it so he can compete equally with his opponents when he fights. The fighting that has been taught by Geel Piet is more beneficial to Peekay than Docs tutoring because boxing helps Peekay overcome the racial division during the apartheid. After winning a boxing tournament in the under-twelve division of the Eastern Transvaal boxing tournament, the referee raises Peekay’s arm to explain that, “This boy is going to be a great boxer. Just remember where you saw him first.” (255). Through this victory, Peekay destroys the stereotypes against Peekay’s culture, making him equal in the eyes of a racially divided South African population. Winning this boxing tournament has taught Peekay that he, even as a “Rooinek”, can beat a Boer in a fight, therefore showing that a Boer is no greater than a Rooinek, which is much better than having higher intelligence through the tutoring of Doc. As I explained before, Geel Piet teaches Peekay many things, one of the most important move he learned from Geel Piet is the, “Liverpool Kiss,” (219). This move teaches Peekay how to defend himself against his opponents, who may cheat, be much stronger, much bigger, or taller. The move not only equalizes the two opponents but it gives Peekay an advantage over his opponents, which is much better than Doc’s teachings because it shows Peekay that a Rooinek may, in fact, be “better” than a Boer.
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