The Ultimate Power Comes From Within
“The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself” (99) says Bryce Courtenay, the author of The Power of One. Because such courage is asserted within this quote, one may better understand the significance of confidence and assurance in one’s self to stand up to those in a higher class. Moreover, one may learn many different values and life lessons such as creating friendships, being the underdog, and achieving the best for society by understanding character change, conflict between characters, and different symbols and motifs throughout such as the full moon representing death. Above all, a major theme in The Power of One is that one’s strength to stand up against superiors with what they believe can benefit anyone else who is not able to do the same.
One of the ways to better understand the theme of the story is to follow the changes of specific characters over the course of the book. As an example, Peekay, an aspiring English boxer, changes the most dramatically with the best outcomes. In the beginning of the book, Peekay is named Pisskop, an insult made up by his fellow boarders, is young, immature, and without proper knowledge. Harry Crown, a salesperson who sold Peekay shoes, helped Peekay retire the name of Pisskop as an initiation of change—a new name leading to a new beginning. With time, he starts to mature and realize that he no longer has to hide; instead, he can stand up and make a difference in his life and the lives of everybody else that do not have the same strength and intelligence to do so. Courtenay expresses, “the plan [Peekay] would follow for the remainder of [his] life” (104) which with time “was to become the secret ingredient in what [Peekay] thought of as the power of one” (104). The power of one is the idea of standing up and fighting for what you believe because according to the author, “it’s not what a man does it’s what a man is that counts” (353). One’s...
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