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)
- 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.