Authors of books make the best use of characters in their writing todeliver various massages, as well as create real life situationsthrough the characters. An analysis of the characters in a book,novel or movie helps the audience grasp the message that wascontained in the book of movie as it was intended by the author ordirector. It is worth noting that some characters are givensuperhuman powers and their actions or behavior tends to surpasshuman abilities. The focus of the brief write up will be dedicatedinto analyzing three characters in the “Power of One” book with akeen interest on the differences and similarities of the characters.Although Peekey and Geel Piet will claim a lion share of theanalysis, Doc will also be analyzed, compared and contrasted with thetwo main characters. Imperatively, the write up will begin withexploring the character traits of each character named above, and endwith a contrasting and comparing the listed traits as they aredepicted in the entire book.
Character of Peekey
The life of Peekey in the book was traced from his early years oflife until he was a teenager. There are traces of irony in thecomments that are made by the character as he speaks about his pastlife (Courtenay18). Having grown under the care of his nanny, Peekeywas taken to an Afrikaans school, where he was brutally treated bythe older boys. It so happened that the language skills of thecharacter was very poor and the other boys picked on him because ofhis inability to communicate fluently. Despite thriving as the heroof the story in the book, the traumatic childhood that Peekeyencountered had a strong influence on the character traits of theindividual. Notably, the childhood memories haunted the charactergiving him deep feelings of vulnerability and insecurity (Courtenay6). Peekey shares the sense of vulnerability with theaudience, but the same feeling was suppressed with humor. The senseof humor is the key reason that the reader falls in love with thehero thus, most readers like the character very much. Apparently,Peekey encounters countless adventures with extraordinaryexperiences, and these adventures lead the character to facing themost notorious perpetrators of apartheid and racism in South Africa(KAB6).However, the character manages to retain his respect for all peopleirrespective of their racial or cultural orientation (Courtenay78). Although Peekey does not pass judgment on otherindividuals who mistreat other people, he is recognized for hisextreme love and generosity for all. Notably, the character is knownto have the ability to do wrong only that he chooses not to.
Further, Peekey is not the type of people who follow the strict setreligious grounds evil and good or follow the advice of his parentblindly. It happens that the character chooses to find his waycreating a self-constructed morality (KAB12).Concisely, Peekey establishes his values, which guide his behaviorand rationale of being good to all people from different races.Peekey is also a winner and perhaps this trait developed from hisstruggling youth years where he was compelled to fight for his placein the world. The winning motivation leads to his excelling in boxingwhere any opponent in the entire book never beat him (Courtenay126). The fighting spirit that Peekey carries in hisentire time was embedded in the title of the book “the power ofone” as the character battles and struggles with the socialconstructions that people hold for him. Furthermore, Peekey pursuesto achieve personal independence and cease depending on other peopleto help him. Such liberation was sought in his entire life aspects.
Geel Piet was an excellent teacher who took it to train Peekey hisboxing techniques, especially his eight punch combination that wasextremely effective in bring opponents down in the ring. Mostimportantly, Geel helped Peekey learn how to differentiate betweenboxing and fighting and he ensured that Peekey mastered the formerto perfection. It is also worth noting that Geel is the onlycharacter in the book who has a different skin color (non-white) whowas not romanticized by Peekey (KAB14).Looking at Geel through the eyes of Peekey, the character was acriminal, stellar boxing coach, a conniver and a generous friend.Through his scheming techniques, Geel managed to establish a blackmarket in the prison and he introduced Peekey in the same business,which was thriving and vibrant (Courtenay11). His generosity was unquestionable and Geel neverhesitated when he was called upon to help a friend. On the same note,Geel was a true African man who stood between black and white, and hewas proud of his identity despite the fact that nobody liked him. Thelife of Geel ended in the hands of a murderous prison warder whokilled him brutally, and he was probably a victim of thepre-apartheid racism.
Peekey described doc as being calm, reason and order, and thisrepresents the summary of the character traits of Doc, at leastaccording to Peekey. On the contrary, Doc opts for mystery at theexpense of logic when anytime he felt that the truth was not atstake. One of the key character traits of doc is creativity. Althoughhe used a language that was laden with German words, many of thewords he used were his creation like “absoloodle”. Further, Docwas fond of drinking and Johnny Walker was his favorite liquor,besides coffee that he also loved with equal measure as the liquor.It is also worth noting that Doc was a talented pianist who despitenot playing took it to teach Peekey how to play the musicalinstrument (Courtenay234). He was one person who could sacrifice and dosomething he hated just to get a chance to mentor Peekey. Forinstance, Doc faked liking to give piano concerts for a chance tomeet his student daily. Another trait worth noting with Doc is thathe was a loving person. He declared his love to Peekey saying that heloved Peekey more than his life.
Both peekey and Geel are generous characters who help their friendsunconditionally. This trait was shared by both characters anddemonstrated in the entire book. Similarly, both characters had thetendency of finding their own way out of a situation, withoutnecessarily following the established religious or social norms. Thetwo individuals trusted their instincts and way of viewing the world,and this trait made them exceptional. It is also worth noting that,the two characters were brave and they faced the life challenges withlittle or no fear (Courtenay278). Their lives in the book are presented as havingnumerous challenges and obstacles that had to be faced with bravelyinstead of cowering and surrendering to fate. Notably, both Doc andPeekey can go to the extent of sacrificing for a friend, and theywere both had a sense of humor.
Despite sharing a few traits, both Peekey and Geel were different inthe following ways. While Peekey had extreme feelings ofvulnerability and insecurity from his childhood experiences, Geel hadno such thing, but was full of confidence and acceptance of who hewas. Secondly, Geel was inclined towards criminal activities and hehad managed to make his life in jail comfortable by running a blackmarket trade. On the contrary, Peekey tried to keep his actions awayfrom criminal activities and he always tried to obey the law.Finally, Peekey was a fighter and he kept struggling to win manythins including his independence from other people. On the contrary,Geel did not care much about how people viewed him and he did nothingto change that. He was despised by all and liked by none, and themost interesting fact was that Geel did not seem to care about that.Doc differed from both Peekey and Geel because of his creativity andway of life.
Courtenay,Bryce. ThePower of One Book Review Summary. web. Retrived 3/27/2015 fromhttp://allreaders.com/book-review-summary/the-power-of-one-27439
Courtenay,Bryce. ThePower of One.Richmond, Canada: ReadHowYouWant, 2011. Print.
KAB. Book Review: The Power of One by BryceCourtenay. Web. Retrieved 3/27/2015 fromhttp://blogcritics.org/book-review-the-power-of-one/