Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 1-3 Prompt

In The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay demonstrates through the characterization of Pisskop and the Judge, that hatred and resentment are still existent in South Africa and affect the way people treat each other. In the beginning of the novel, Pisskop seems to be getting bullied for no particular reason. The first time the Judge is introduced in the novel is when Pisskop says, “When the Judge and his council of war had all pissed on me, they left.” The Judge and his council obviously have not interacted with Pisskop and have simply chosen to judge him. If this is the first interaction given to the audience, the Judge has not even given Pisskop a chance. This first encounter has clearly expressed through the hatred of the Judge that such feelings still exist in South Africa.

Pisskop’s proper upbringing was encouraging him to stay hopeful about his situation, and keep faith. He had not done anything wrong, however, he states, “The Judge ordered that I be beaten up in only a little time.” The Judge and his followers would like to cause Pisskop as much pain and harm as they can. Pisskop had not even known them for long, and they already feel it necessary to make him feel miserable. They obviously have no sympathy for his feelings, as they still see him with resentment because of his culture.

Pisskop approaches his situation with a surprisingly open mind and a strong sense of faith. However, being bullied by the Judge and his followers seems to knock his original self esteem down. After listening and recognizing what the Judge is saying, Pisskop sadly states, “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.” Although Pisskop is developing a low self-esteem, he is holding on to some of the hope he had when the novel began. The actions and misbehavior of the Judge are effecting how Pisskop sees himself as a person, when it is most likely a misconception anyhow. The Judge holds anger and resentment for Pisskop, and it is beginning to affect him. Bryce Courtenay makes is obvious through The Power of One that anger and hatred exist in the South African society and can completely determine how people are mistreated, judged, but also giving them an even stronger will to overcome the reputation of their culture.

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