Wednesday, March 30, 2011


1. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
I do not believe in love at first sight. It takes time to get to know and to realize if you love someone or not. Although, I do believe in attraction at first sight. 
2. Do you see a difference between being "in love" and loving someone?
I see a difference between being “in love” and loving someone. Being “in love” is more of an intimate relationship with a significant other rather than just loving a family member or friend. 
3. Can you love or be in love with someone who doesn't love you back?
It is possible to love someone who does not love you back. Love is unconditional, and is based on a person’s emotions. When you love someone it is hard to change your feelings towards them, even if they do not feel the same towards you.
4. Think of married couples whom you know: Do you see different types of love between these couples? On what bases do you think they based their decisions to marry?
The married couples I know obviously display their love for each other in different ways. Some get along very well and are perfect for each other. Other couples have their differences but at the end of the day it is evident that they love each other. I think couples should base their decisions to marry on compatibility, similar interests, beliefs, trust with one another, and honesty.
5. Comment on/React to each of these statements:
        a) Love is blind: When loving someone/being in love it is easy too look past the flaws and accept them for who they are. 
b) Opposites attract: I believe that opposites do attract, but it may not necessarily have a good outcome. Having someone that is just like you means having the same kinds of problems that will be difficult for both people to deal with. When you have an opposite, you can help each other with the different hardships. 
c) Love conquers all: Your love for someone will help you persevere through the obstacles in your life. Knowing that there are people who love you and care about you will guide your outlook on life and how you view things. 
d) The course of true love never did run smooth: Nothing is perfect. The bumps in the road you experience and the hard times spent together will only bring you closer to one another. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Power of One: Midterm Response

In the novel, The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay exhibits through the characterization of Peekay that one person may learn more from either their positive experiences in life or their negative experiences. Throughout Peekay’s life, he learns more from the negative experiences than anything else. For example, Peekay’s first main lesson comes from his year at boarding school with the Judge and Mevrou. He was different than the anyone else at the school because he was English and they were Afrikaner. At the beginning of his time at school Peekay had said, “More serious trouble lay ahead of me for sure. I was a rooinek and a pisskop. I spoke the wrong language. And now I was obviously made differently. But I was still alive, and in my book, where there’s life, there’s hope.” The torture Peekay received helped him to become stronger in the future, and this is what was influencing him to become a better boxer. Compared to the Judge Peekay was just a small boy; he was usually smaller than the people he faced in the boxing ring, and he was determined that small could beat big. 
Another great influence in Peekay’s life was losing the people that meant the most to him. This includes Nanny, Hoppie, Big Hettie, Geel Piet, Doc, and Rasputin. Losing all of these people meant a lot to Peekay because he no longer had a mentor or a friend in  his situations. When Hoppie left, Peekay says, “I was distressed at having left the best friend after Granpa Chook and Nanny that I had ever had, without so much as a good-bye. Hoppie had passed briefly through my life, like a train passing in the night. I had known him a little over twenty-four hours, yet he had managed to change my life.” After meeting Hoppie, Peekay decided that he was going to be the next welterweight champion of the world. He was upset that he no longer had Hoppie in his life, but after that he was determined to reach his goal. After Peekay lost all of these people in his life, he was determined to achieve greater things, to become a better person, to reach the power of one.
Although Peekay had his share of both positive and negative experiences, the negative experiences are what shaped his life more drastically. Without the bad things that happened to him, he would not have tried to make things better in his life. Peekay always benefitted from his negative experiences and this is why they had influenced his life more. He found the power of one in himself and built up all of the his experiences to become the man he had become.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Power of One: Chapter 23-24

1. Chapter 23 pgs. 461-492
2. In this chapter Peekay was accepting the fact that he needed to do things for himself instead of having others give it to him. Morrie and Peekay discuss their plans of going to college, how they are going to deal with the money, and what they would do so that they can go to Oxford together. Peekay got his first rejection letter from the Rhodes Scholarship Committee, and after that he was hesitant and unsure if he would get into Oxford. He was not sure what to do so he decided to visit Doc in the cave and see if he could give him any signs. The sign Peekay got was a black mamba that represented a creature that is not aggressive but will do anything to defend itself and its young; it will take revenge when it wants to protect a loved one. Peekay then decides to take a year off from school and become a grizzly man in Northern Rhodesia. He believes that it will help him determine what he really wants to do, and becoming a grizzly man will help him shape up to become the welterweight champion of the world. 
3.  a. Peekay
b. “It was as though there were a voice inside me explaining me to myself: I had become an expert at camouflage. My precocity allowed me, chameleonlike, to be to each what they required me to be. To Doc, a companion, to Mrs. Boxall an enchantment, to the people, a champion, to Captain Smit a fulfillment, to Miss Bornstein, a bright lint in a dull warp, to Morrie a foil, to Singe ‘n’ Burn a product, and to my peers and idealized schoolboy, a winner and a great guy.”
c. Peekay is:
d. Peekay is the main character in the story. His whole life has been a complicated journey of ups and downs, twists and turns. More bad things had happened compared to the good things, and Peekay learned how to deal with each and every one of his problems throughout the story. He has overcome some of the hardest obstacles such as his year at boarding school with the Judge and the deaths of those important to him. The people in Peekay’s life have helped him to become a respectable and intelligent man, and they changed his life drastically. He constantly struggled with the idea of the “power of one” and whether or not it was better to camouflage or be yourself. He learned to be a powerful individual and affected many of the lives around him.
4. “It was time to slough the mottled and cunningly contrived outer skin and emerge as myself, to face the risk of exposure, to regain the power of one. I had reached the point where to find myself was essential.” Throughout the novel, Peekay gained many mentors who he had learned a lot from. They were his friends who gave him knowledge to become successful. By this time, wanted to be on his own and did not want everything handed to him. This stood out to me because it shows how Peekay was taking initiative to be himself and no longer wanted others to influence him in such drastic ways. In this bildungsroman, Peekay goes through many stages of his life and soon learns to be a man. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Power of One: Chapter 21-22

1. Chapter 21 pg. 415-434
2. In chapter twenty-one, Peekay learns  that the Nationalists party was elected in to power, and this would change the current status quo of the country. During their Easter break, Peekay and Morrie traveled daily to Solly Goldman’s gym. One day Solly told the boys that there was a man, Mr. Nguni, who wanted Peekay to fight with one of his boxers who was “an unregistered pro.” When Peekay met Mr. Nguni he realized that he was the man who led the cheers for Peekay during all of his boxing matches, and the fight was to determine if the Tadpole Angel Peekay still existed. Before the fight with the unregistered professional Gideon Mandoma, Peekay had learned that Gideon was his Nanny’s sonThousands of the People came to watch the fight and cheered and sang loudly when Peekay won the fight because that meant that the Tadpole Angel still existed in Peekay. Gideon and Peekay then became brothers because of Nanny. During the celebration of Peekay’s victory, he got a feeling that made him very uncomfortable; he knew that Doc had died, and Peekay knew exactly where he was.
3.  a. Gideon Mandoma
b. “They say you are a chief but must prove you have the spirit of Onoshobishobi Ingelosi. I know I am a chief and have the spirit of Cetshwayo and before that of Mpande, Dingaan, and even of Shaka the king of all kings.”
c. Gideon is:
d. Gideon was a boxer who Peekay fought in order to find out if he was still the Tadpole Angel. Gideon was known to become a chief, so the People thought it would be a good idea for Gideon and Peekay to fight to see who really had a spirit with them. Eventually, Gideon Mandoma became Peekay’s brother. Before their fight, Peekay found out that Gideon was the son of his nanny. Peekay felt guilty for being the one to take Gideon’s mother away from him when he was a child. The fight with Gideon was the first in which Peekay was scared. Gideon had a greater reason to beat Peekay than Peekay did to win. After the fight they both had great respect for one another and became brothers because they “have taken milk from the same mother’s breasts.” In chapter twenty-two, Gideon and Peekay become good friends and Gideon helps Peekay and Morrie to start a school for Africans. 
4. “The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself, often well beyond any latent ability you may have previously demonstrated.” What made it stand out was the fact that Peekay finally figured out the power of one. He said this because he was not sure what would happen in the fight with Gideon Mandoma. Peekay needed faith in himself to know that he had the ability to win, and he should not be doubtful. Even though Peekay won many fights before this, he could not use the certainty to know he would win the one he was about to fight. Peekay constantly reminds himself of what the power of one is and comes up with different meanings. These help him get through whatever challenges he is about to face, and they usually help Peekay succeed. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Power of One: Chapter 18

1. Chapter 18: pages 379-385
2. In this chapter, Peekay returns home to Barberton at the end of his school term. He continued to fight with the Barberton Blues and continued his lessons with Doc. Peekay is back to his old schedule and it is just as busy as it used to be. Going from the prison, to Doc’s house, to Miss Bornstein’s house, Peekay was full of new lessons and ideas from his mentors. He compares what he learns at school to what Doc, Miss Bornstein, and Mrs. Boxall teach him at home. In the end, Peekay realizes that he misses Morrie and his friends at school and being able to just be a kid.
3)  a. Doc
b. “‘I cannot teach you what I cannot feel. Peekay, you must understand this. It is not possible for a man to touch the heart of the Negro man’s music when he cannot feel it through his fingers.’ Doc had just explained to me why I would never amount to much musically. What Geel Piet knew I had as a boxer, Doc knew I lacked as a musician.”
c. Doc is:
d. Doc’s role in the novel is to be a friend, teacher, and mentor to Peekay. He is one of the only mentors of Peekay that has been around for a long time. Ever since he was young, Peekay loved Doc and looked up to him. Doc teaches Peekay how to play the piano and constantly gives him intellectual insight. Just like Hoppie, Doc reminds Peekay when to play his music with his head and when to play with his heart, “‘But to play black, the music must come from your soul, not out from your head, Peekay.” Peekay spends a lot of time with Doc, and their relationship is like that of a father and son. 
4. “I was beginning to understand how intellect separates men.” This line stood out to me because it is another one of Peekay’s realizations about life. He had said this when he noticed how different people act based on how they were raised and how they live their life. Around certain people, Peekay saw that he talked about different things with all of the different groups of people he was associated with. When he was with Miss Bornstein and his other teachers, Peekay found himself always speaking intellectually; with his friends, Peekay did not have to worry or about how correctly he spoke. This is related to how Morrie said, “Good conversational debate is an end in itself, and talking for the love of conversation is what makes us human.”