"Love" Questions

1. I do not believe in love at first sight because I think that a person needs to get to know the other before he or she can actually be in love with someone. Love is not just based on first impressions, but on knowing the person as himself or herself, and the person’s personality.

2. I see a difference between being “in love” and loving someone. Loving someone could mean anyone, family, friends, or relatives. It means that you care for them and would do things for them. However, being “in love” means that you want to be with a certain person and potentially marry them. Both of these types of love show respect and care towards another person. 

3. I think that it is possible to love someone who doesn’t love you back, but whether or not it turns out in a good way is different. You can love someone and want to be with him or her, even if that person does not want to be with you. 

4. I see different types of love between married couples. Some couples have a relaxed, loose, and calm marriage while others have a tight, structured marriage. And some marriages can be both of these. I think that the reasons why people decide to marry differ for each couple. In general, two people could base their marriage on respect, loyalty, honesty, and love. 

a. Love is blind: I think this means that if a person truly loves another, it does not matter what they look like, but who the person is on the inside.

b. Opposites attract: I agree with this statement meaning that two people, who are completely different and have no similar interests, could fall in love. There is always a possibility for love, and it works in the strangest ways. 

c. Love conquers all: I think this statement is true because if someone makes a small mistake, you should still love them because that is what really matters in the end.

d. The course of true love never did run smooth: I definitely agree with this statement because no relationship is perfect, and there are always ups and downs. All relationships require work, and if a person gives up and doesn’t want to work for it, then maybe it isn’t true love.

Journal Entry - Chapter 24

1. Chapter 24 pages 493 - 513
2. Peekay continues his work as a grizzly man. However, he gets in an accident, knocking him unconscious underneath ten tons of rock. Rasputin and the rest of the men try to get him out, and Rasputin, extremely exhausted, dies right when he unburies Peekay. Full of devastation, Peekay makes a nice gravestone for Rasputin after he gets out of the hospital. Peekay gets paid enough money so he can quit his job and afford his tuition for Oxford. A couple days before he leaves, Peekay makes some raffle tickets to raise money from the fine brandy sent by Botha, Peekay’s diamond driller. But Botha, a dangerous man that will hurt someone if anyone gets in his way when he is drunk, comes into the bar, wanting to kill Peekay, not recognizing him. Peekay realizes that it is the Judge from his first boarding school, and boxes him, wanting revenge. He knocks the Judge out and makes things even, wiping the slate clean, and removing the hate.
a. Rasputin
- Strong
- Giant-Like
- Caring
- Kind-Hearted
- Determined
- Loving
- Talented
- Friendly
d. In this chapter, Rasputin is another character that shapes Peekay. Rasputin shows Peekay compassion, and keeps him company. He really cares for Peekay; he is the one who goes down into rocks and dies getting Peekay out. More than anything, Rasputin gives Peekay a friendship, which in the end, counts for a lot. “…we had been friends, our friendship based less on words than on the things we shared.” (488) He helps Peekay’s confidence as well, crying because he is so proud, and celebrating with his famous rabbit stew. He helps Peekay get through his working days, which is essential in these final chapters of the novel.
4. A passage that seemed significant to me is, “My childlike notion of camouflage to avoid being emotionally besieged had persisted. In my mind, although I’m certain at the time I would not have been able to articulate the idea, the mines represented a return to the fear of that first boarding school. But this time it was I who would win…but this time I would not be broken. I had come to the mines to find out who the hell I really was.” (495) This quote shows that Peekay wants to overcome all of the difficulties he faced and is still facing in his life. He finally, through all of his hardships, has the power of one, the power to control his own destiny, and to think his own way, on his own terms. He has the power to be different, and to make his own identity. His entire journey, starting from the age of five, has greatly influenced who he is and the end of the novel, and he learns so much from his mentors, experiences, and obstacles he encountered.

Journal Entry - Chapter 22

1. Chapter 22 pages 435 to 457
2. Peekay is left with an empty sadness and loneliness because Doc dies. Peekay, at first does not understand why Doc did not put up a fight, or why he did not wait for Peekay to get back and be with him during his last moments on earth. Peekay builds the courage to go and look for Doc, and finds a hidden note outside the crystal cave explaining why Doc did what he did. Peekay realizes that Doc will always be with him, and that they can never be separated. Peekay returns to school, and convinces Singe ‘n’ Burn to allow Peekay and Morrie run a night school for black boxers. It becomes very successful, until one night, a police officer searches the school on a mistaken warrant, promising that he will be back with a correct warrant, and take anyone who does not have a passbook to prison. They decided to discontinue this night school and start a Correspondence School, which will become a big hit.
a. Gideon Mandoma
b. “ ‘I do not come from a nation of slaves, but I have been made a slave. I come from a people who are brave men, but I am made to weep. I, who am to become a chief, have become what no man ought to be, a man without rights and without a future.’ ” (447)
- Strong-Minded
- Motivated
- Understanding
- Friendly
- Courageous
- A Leader
d. As the novel goes on, Peekay starts to be influenced more and more by Gideon. Starting with the boxing match, Gideon challenges Peekay. Peekay almost loses his match, and the title of Onoshobishobi Ingelosi. Gideon gives Peekay the idea to start a school for black boxers, making Peekay really think about how blacks are treated in that time, and how they can never “beat the system”. “In South Africa, when a black skin is involved, politics and social justice have very little in common.” (445) Gideon helps open Peekay’s eyes. 
4. A quote that really stood out to me in this chapter is, “And we would always be bound together, he was very much a part of me. He had found a small, frightened, and confused little boy and had given him confidence and music and learning and a love for Africa and taught him not to fear things.” (441) This quote shows that many people influenced Peekay, but even if they go away, the ideas they taught Peekay will never leave him. This also relates to the power of one because these mentors introduced the idea of courage, and originality to Peekay when he was young, helping him grow and fully understand what it really means, shaping his identity.

Journal Entry - Ch. 18

1. Chapter 18 – Pages 379 – 385

2. At the end of term, Peekay is relieved to go back home to his mother, grandfather, Doc, and all the people at the prison. He likes that his small village does not change and is very static. Mrs. Boxall starts a new school at the prison, educating everyone, blacks and whites. Peekay’s dream of being the welterweight champion of the world continues to grow, as he intends to find a new coach, making him miss Geel Piet even more. Peekay’s musical talent becomes rusty, as Doc believes the teacher at Peekay’s boarding school is aiding him to pick up bad habits, and is unimpressed when Peekay plays a jazz song by a famous composer. In his other free time during Peekay’s holidays, he plays chess with Mr. Bornstein or helps Grandpa in the garden. Peekay continues to mature and grow up throughout this chapter. 

a. Doc
b. “But the black men, they understand. I teach them a little of this and a little of that and they teach me a little of that and a little of this.” (383)
- Intelligent 
- Understanding
- Fair & Just 
- Kind
- Knowledgeable
- Wise
- Inspirational
d. Throughout this novel, Doc is a mentor to Peekay. He always tells him that standing out and being wrong is better than fitting in and going with the crowd, influencing Peekay’s ideas about camouflage. He encourages Peekay to be his own person, and fills him with knowledge about music and about life. “ ‘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.’ ” (383) Doc is fair and respects everyone of any race, prompting Peekay to do the same. 

4. In this chapter, a quote that stood out to me was, “I was beginning to understand how intellect separates men.” (384) In the general sense, it signifies that people of different educations and views on certain topics leads to conflict. But, it also could relate to the racism during this time. Whites thought they were above blacks; they thought they were better than them and therefore isolated and treated blacks terribly. The white people’s intellect, being how they thought of themselves, separated them from blacks. This thought of whites being superior escalated and escalated, resulting in discrimination. All of this relates back to the power of one, not just for Peekay, but for the people who are thought to be lower than others, the people who need hope and a change. 

Journal Entry - Chapter 17

1. Chapter 17 – pages 349 to 378

2. In chapter seventeen, Peekay is made a hero after winning match after match in boxing. He gains the respect from both the blacks and whites that come to watch his matches. Morrie and Peekay start a betting business, where they make a great deal of pocket money. However, this business slowly becomes less popular because no one wants to be against Peekay. This type of betting comes to a halt, but a new idea emerges that still provides these two boys with money: a bank that gives out loans, called the “Boarder’s Bank”. Peekay begins transforming and growing up in this chapter, soon understanding what an apartheid is, and the true meaning of separation between blacks and whites. Later, Peekay and Morrie both get picked to be a part of “Sinjun’s People”, a group of boys selected by Singe ‘n’ Burn, the head of the school. 


a. Singe ‘n’ Burn

b. “Singe ‘n’ Burn was an Englishman coming to the end of what is usually referred to as a distinguished career. To parents he represented all the values of the English public school system…For the board of governors he epitomized a system of privilege…In his twenty years as headmaster of the Prince of Wales School, Singe ‘n’ Burn never quite came to the terms with the wealthy South African schoolboy.” (369)

- logical
- open-minded
- believes in the individual
- thinks ahead/for the future

d. Singe ‘n’ Burn is beginning to have a greater effect on Peekay. He believes that an ideal person is a Renaissance man, or someone who is intelligent but also is his or her own person with his or her own ideas and opinions. “ ‘It is the spirit of the boy, an unselfconscious ability to maintain his status among his peers while remaining true to himself in his beliefs, opinions, and actions.’ ” (370) What Singe ‘n’ Burn believes of a man is different than what Peekay believes. Peekay thinks about blending in, and about camouflage, while this headmaster wants people to be strong-minded and unique. Also, this is not the first time Peekay has been faced with a challenge between blending in and standing out, just like Doc says. Singe ‘n’ Burn hand-picked Peekay to become a member of “Sinjun’s People” which will start influencing Peekay’s ideas on himself and his own identity.

4. A passage that stood out to me in this chapter is, “ Doc had taught me the value of being the odd man out: the man who senses that there is an essential collective sanity to humans and who assumes the role of the loner, the thinker, and the searching spirit who calls the privileged and the powerful to task. The power of one was based on the courage to remain separate, to think through to the truth, and not to be beguiled by convention or the plausible arguments of those who expect to maintain power.” (360) This quote stood out because it explains what it means to have the power of one, one person, one individual, and one mind. It means that a person who thinks differently and for him or herself will have the power in the end, not the people who follow the crowd. This quote inspires Peekay, as he will develop the courage to drop his camouflage and think individually, without worrying about blending in or being average.

This I Believe Prompt

While reviewing the essay The Power of Self-Preservation by Hugo Haas, I got an insight on Haas’s point of view on the world. He reflected on his experience when the Nazis took over, and how he lost some loved ones, effecting him in a negative way. He believes that above all of the bad situations one might be put in, one must never give up on himself or herself. “First of all, I learned to believe in the tremendous power of life itself and in the power of self-preservation.” He said he never gave up on himself, and he always had a drive to succeed. He expresses his views on the joy of creation, beauty present in all things, friendship eliminating loneliness, and love being the strongest element in life. 

In Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One, the main character Peekay becomes determined and motivated early in life. Hoppie, one of Peekay’s mentors, teaches Peekay to always believe in himself. “I had hope. I had witnessed small triumph over big. I was not powerless.” (98) This motivation and hopefulness stays with Peekay and finally shows during a boxing match between Peekay and a boy much bigger than him. “They had to give me a go. I had to fight Kroon…I could take him, I knew I could take him.” (249) Peekay has faith that he will win, just like Haas was always motivated and never gave up. Haas says, “…I never lost the drive to go on, even in situations of hopelessness and despair,” meaning that no matter what the situation, Haas always strived to go on. Both of these characters never gave up on themselves, against all odds. Haas also says, “I believe in love…For love is the strongest element that in the final analysis, fulfils our life.” Peekay, in the end when he is leaving for a new school, realizes that love is what is going to help him carry on in his life. “In teaching me independence of thought, they had given me the greatest gift an adult can give to a child besides love, and they had given me that also.” (315) 

I can relate to this essay by Haas, because I once gave up and did not have faith in myself. Several years ago, I was trying out for a sports team and before even going into tryouts, thought I was not going to make it. I thought there were too many people, I would not stand out, and the coaches would not see anything special in me. I gave up because I thought that in this particular situation, I had no chance of making it. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, for that year I did not make the team, and I realized afterwards that I had to believe in myself for me to perform well and succeed, helping me in the years to come. Like Haas, I believe that the key ingredient to success is motivation and having faith in yourself, no matter what

Power of One Ch. 7-9 Prompt

In the novel, The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay illustrates that having someone to guide another can really influence that person and shape his or her views on the world. On the train ride home, Peekay meets several new characters that he begins to look up to, even though he has not known these people very long. Hoppie, the train guard, is the first person Peekay encounters on his journey. Hoppie repeatedly tells Peekay in the short time they spend together, that even though the odds might be against Peekay, he should always remember this saying, “ ‘First with the head and then with the heart, that’s how a man stays ahead from the start.’ ” (103) He gives Peekay hope that no matter what the circumstance is, even if there is absolutely no chance that Peekay will win, it is always possible. “I had known him a little over twenty-four hours, yet he had managed to change my life. He had given me the power of one – one idea, one heart, one mind, one plan, one determination…He gave me a defense system, and with it he gave me hope.” (103) By meeting Hoppie, Peekay begins to grow up and mature, but he still has this innocence. Hoppie is the first one who starts to influence Peekay’s identity, by telling him he has the power of one, but at the same time, Peekay still wants to blend in and be camouflaged. 

After Hoppie leaves Peekay, he is watched over by Big Hettie, the second person who starts to influence Peekay. Peekay still believes that camouflage is the only way to survive, but when Big Hettie says, “ ‘Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it,’ ”(115) it slowly starts to sink into his mind that it is okay to stand out. Peekay does not understand what all of this means now, as he is only six years old, however, conversations like these will influence Peekay later on in his life. When Doc, or Professor von Vollensteen starts to teach Peekay, he also says that it is much better to be different, and not follow the crowd, even if he is wrong. “ ‘Always listen to yourself, Peekay. It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. If you are wrong, no matter, you have learned something, and you will grow stronger.’ ”(157) This is against Peekay’s ideas of blending in, but all of these mentors who tell Peekay to be different are slowly influencing him, even if he does not realize it.

Power of One Ch. 4-6 Prompt

Through the characterization of Peekay, Bryce Courtenay expresses in the novel, The Power of One, that blending in does not strengthen a person, but power comes from someone who is motivated, determined, and stable, no matter who or what that person is up against. The main character, Peekay, struggles with fitting in, especially at boarding school. He believes that if he is camouflaged and does not stick out in any way, all the torment he receives will end. He says, “Mediocrity is the best camouflage known to man,” (30) meaning he wants to be ordinary, and regular, not the exemplary student he really is. On the other hand, even though Peekay likes the idea of being common, standard, and nothing more, he believes that one needs to be unique on the inside, just not on the outside. For Peekay, this is where the power of the individual comes into play. “…- how I learned that in each of us there burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out. That as long as it exists within us we cannot be destroyed.” (20) Peekay only wants to be different on the inside, however in reality, to be a strong-minded person, he or she needs to be independent and unique both inside and out. When a person has a mind that is individualistic, and he or she is not trying to be just ordinary, that person will have power, in any circumstance. 

An example of a strong-minded person is Hoppie Groenewald, one of Peekay’s allies. Hoppie, a welterweight boxer and train guard and conductor, teaches Peekay that he should always stick up for himself, no matter who he is up against. “I had hope. I had witnessed small triumph over big. I was not powerless.” (98) This ties into the idea of the power of one, that power does not come in numbers or sizes, but in the person, in the individual.

Power of One Ch. 1-3 Prompt

In the novel, The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay illustrates through the characterization of the Judge and jury that it is easy to follow the crowd and draw conclusions about another without fully knowing him or her just because of the person’s background, or where he or she comes from. It is unchallenging to make assumptions of another because a certain group of people told one to think a certain way or believe certain things. The Judge and the jury all hate and torment Pisskop because he is a rooinek, or an Englishmen in a Dutch boarding school. This novel is set during the war between the English and Dutch over land in South Africa, so the Dutch kids in the school naturally hate the English. The Judge and the jury do not know Pisskop for who he really is, but they all hate him because he is English and on top of that, the jury follows in the footsteps of the Judge, believing what the Judge tells them. “To the boys at school, I was the first live example of the congenital hate they carried for my kind.” (3) The fact that this boy already knows that people will hate him illustrates that people are prejudiced towards others because of the person’s background. “ ‘This tattoo means death and destruction to all rooineks. And you, Pisskop, are going to be the first.’ ” (23) The Judge and jury assume that Pisskop is a dirty rooinek that needs to be killed, and they do not even know him. 

In the second chapter of the book, Pisskop accepts a chicken from the greatest medicine man in Africa, Inkosi-Inkosikazi. Pisskop takes the chicken with him when he returns to boarding school, and this companionship helps Pisskop get through all the torment he receives from the Judge and jury. “Finally it became clear that the toughest damn chicken in the whole wide world had no intention of deserting his friend, even if his own life was at stake.” (27-28) Pisskop understands that his chicken is there for him and that he is going to help him get through all of his tough times, including when Judge picks on Pisskop. The author elaborates on the friendship of Granpa Chook and Pisskop because he wants to display the type of friendship where a person is not judging another, but respecting him or her for who he or she is. However, in this novel, judgments are made without even knowing the person, leading to even more hatred and violence in that area.

Bedroom Prompt

Bare white walls, hungry for a tint, tone or shade. The soft, fluffy carpet caressed her toes as her feet sunk down into the floor. A twin bed sat in the back corner with loud, aquamarine blue sheets tightly wrapped around the old mattress. Two feathery pillows, in matching cases, leaned lazily against the stark white headboard. Accompanying the bed was a blue and green polka dot nightstand, music bursting through the speakers of the iHome. Across from the bed, with little room in between, was the tall dresser with six drawers and circular knobs. Next to the dresser, was the disorderly desk, textbooks, folders, and papers lying in a heap. A royal purple gooseneck lamp on the left corner of the desk provided extra light, since the two twin windows did not attract the sun’s rays. Every now and then the deep purple paper lanterns dangling from the window would catch the sun and light up the room. The double sliding door closet was pressed into the wall in the left corner, close to the desk. The smiles of friends served as decoration, on corkboards hanging on the walls, and in frames standing on the desk and dresser. Memories secured in a trunk plastered with bumper stickers lies adjacent to the closet. Abruptly, the lightweight door flies open, slamming against the wall, the bronze handle scratching the paint, and the forceful wind shuffling some papers on the desk. She rushes in, heaves her bag onto her back, and sprints out of the door. 

Chapter 5 Prompt

            Through the characterization of Curley’s wife in the short novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates that malicious people, in the end, get what they deserve. At first, the reader can sense that Curley’s wife is alone, and isolated in the ranch house, however she does leave the house and lingers around the bunkhouse to flirt with the other workers on the ranch. “ ‘Well – she got the eye.’ ‘Yeah? Married two weeks and got the eye?’ ”(28) She admits that she does not even like Curley but only married him to get out of her mother’s sight. She is just using Curley, thinking she could advance and get ahead in life by doing so.
            The short conversation between Curley’s wife and Crooks reveals another, unpleasant side of her. Crooks is trying to stand up for Lennie and protect his own space, but she treats him very poorly even though she was the one who was wrong to begin with. “ ‘Listen, nigger,’ ‘You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?’…‘Well, you keep your place then, nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.’ ” (80-81) She does not have any respect for anyone and this gets her into trouble again later, but with a more unfortunate outcome.
When Curley’s wife meets Lennie, everyone tells her to leave him alone. “ ‘You let this guy alone. Don’t you do no messing aroun’ with him.’ ” (80) George also tells Lennie to stay as far away from Curley’s wife as he can and Lennie remembers this. “ ‘George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you –talk to you or nothing.’ ” (86) Curley’s wife knows that Lennie does not understand many things said to him, but this still does not stop her from trying to flirt with him. Lennie tells her that he likes to touch soft things, and she sees what Lennie did to the harmless puppy, but offers her hair to him anyway. “ ‘When I’m doin’ my hair sometimes I jus’ set an’ stroke it ‘cause it’s so soft…‘Here – feel right here.’…‘Oh! That’s nice,’ and he stroked harder.” (90-91) She knew what she was she was doing by flirting with Lennie, but she kept doing it anyways.
Curley’s wife dies because she scares Lennie and he unintentionally strangles her, however she could have avoided her own death by not talking to Lennie. Curley’s wife is not the nicest person, and therefore, got herself into trouble, getting what she deserved in the end.