sebastian lipuma connor tomlinson tim cira n.
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Sebastian LiPuma , Connor Tomlinson, Tim Cira. Character Analysis. Judge is a huge Afrikaans who traumatizes 5 year old Peekay at his first boarding school Judge makes P eekay his personal slave “prisoner of war” Swastika tattoo on his arm . The Judge. librarian in Barberton

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the judge

Judge is a huge Afrikaans who traumatizes 5 year old Peekay at his first boarding school

Judge makes Peekay his personal slave “prisoner of war”

Swastika tattoo on his arm

The Judge
mrs boxall

librarian in Barberton

a kind and generous woman who started the mysterious Sandwich Fund which gathers food, tobacco, money, and letters for black prisoners and their families.

has a weekly column in the local newspaper called "Clippings from a Cultured Garden.”

becomes great friends with Peekay and with Doc

Loves classical music & Doc's concerts.

Mrs. Boxall
peekay s mother

Never know her name

She has a nervous breakdown when Peekay was young

She is gone for a long period of time (years) which Peekay calls “the nervous breakdown place”

She goes back and moves in with Peekay and Grandpa in Barberton

spends most of her time eagerly trying to convert people to Christianity

Peekay’s Mother

spends most of his time caring to his rose garden for his long-dead English wife

smokes on his pipe a lot

He always tells Peekay irrelevant stories when Peekay goes to him for advice.

He is racist but has respect for Inkosi-Inkosikazi since they cured him of his gall stones

He helps Peekay convince his mother to let him teach the black inmates at the Barberton prison

big hettie

An Irish woman who is obesse

She Sits next to Peekay during Hoppie's boxing match against Jackhammer Smit in Gravelotte

She gets stuck in the train compartment

She dies when the train reached the town of Kaapmuiden after she stuffed her face with food

Big Hettie teaches Peekay the importance of pride and courage

Big hettie

Power Of One


Lyndsay Sanchez

Hannah Tipton

Sydney Lawrence

full moon
Full Moon
  • Symbolizes death
  • It was a full moon when grandpa Chook and Geel Piet both died
  • Doc talks about his death in crystal cave Africa on a full moon
  • The final image of the novel is a full moon
  • The opposite of the full moon symbol could mean optimism and hope to overcome the horrors of death
the snake
The Snake
  • When Peekay was young he was circumcised and he was very ashamed and embarrassed and called it a “hatless snake”
  • Later in the novel Peekay sloughed his outer skin and it helped him mentally get over his embarrassment
  • At the end of the novel the black mamba snake is a symbol of danger
  • It is a sign from Doc warning Peekay of the accident in the minds
the tadpole
The Tadpole
  • Called the tadpole angel or OnoshobishobiIngelosi
  • It’s a symbol of hope
  • The black minors used to call him tadpole angel and he would get very embarrased, finally he accepted the name
power of one


Themes relating to the novel

- Camouflage and Survival

- Coexistence of Magic and Logic

- Relationship between Boxing and Fighting

camouflage and survival
Camouflage and Survival
  • Peekay describes camouflage as an essential need for survival against antagonists in someone’s life.
  • Being yourself is an important thing but for Peekay’s situation camouflaging your personality can be a good defense against threats.
coexistence of magic and logic
Coexistence of Magic and Logic
  • In the novel, Peekay looks at magic as an alternative method of perseverance. Logic will keep you on a straight path but Peekay’s symbolic magic is the true source of determination.
boxing vs fighting
Boxing Vs. Fighting

Becoming the Welterweight champion is Peekay’s single most important goal held closest to his heart.Boxing also helped Peekay to realize his meaning of life and aided his self doubt.

Fighting in Peekay’s point of view is an event that would allow him to erase the torment of his past and unleash the pain he has held in for so long .

  • “Intelligence is a harder gift. For this you must work, you must practice it, challenge it, and maybe toward the end of your life you will master it. Cleverness is the shadow, whereas intelligence is the substance.”
  • Is an old drunkard German music teacher,
  • Represents the world of logic and rationality, but he understands the mystical side of life at the same time.
  • Peekay summarizes his character: "Doc was calm and reason and order." However, Doc tells Peekay that when truth is not at stake, it is better to choose mystery above logic.
  • Doc's relationship with Peekay begins when they meet in the hills behind Peekay's home in Barberton-Doc moved to South Africa from Germany fifteen years previously,
  • His favorite word is “absoloodle"
  • . Doc loves coffee, but he loves Johnny Walker whisky even more, drinks right before every concert.
  • Doc was a famous concert pianist in Germany, but during a concert in Berlin in 1925 he froze up while playing Beethoven's Symphony Number Five, and has been terrified to play every since.
  • Doc becomes Peekay's piano teacher, general mentor, and best friend.
  • Doc is very tall.
  • Doc gets arrested because he is German and they think he’s a spy and has to spend the years during World War II in the Barberton prison.
  • He mentor Peekay while in prison, and he barters giving piano concerts (something which he hates doing) in order to be allowed to see Peekay each day.
  • Peekay with the help of Doc , Geel Piet and Mrs. Boxall start a system in which prisoners can write letters to their families and Peeky would sneak them out.
  • He tells Peekay that he loves him more than his life. Once Doc is liberated from prison, he and Peekay return to their roaming about the Barberton hills.
  • One of Doc's chief hobbies is to document different kinds of cacti, and he teaches Peekay all of the prolific Latin naming system
  • Together Doc and Peekay discover the "crystal cave of Africa," where Doc takes himself to die.
  • Only peeky knows where Docs body is.
  • Doc's death has a great impact on Peekay, who is only accustomed to brutal death (Grandpa chook, Big Hetti and GeelPeit).
  • Peekay describes his and Doc's love for one another as "so fierce that it burned like a flame inside of us." Doc teaches Peekay confidence, a love of music, a love of learning, a love of Africa, and how to conquer his fears.
  • “Okay, stand up, on this brick wall, stand on one leg, good, now close your eyes, say three times "absoloodle".
  • -Narrates the story from the age of five up until the age of seventeen.
  • -Peekay's mother suffers from a nervous breakdown, so he is brought up by his black Zulu nanny (Mary Mandoma), and his grandfather. Grandfather lives on a farm.
  • -Best friend when he was a child was a chicken
  • -He is sent to an Afrikaans boarding school at the age of five.
  • -Peekay's Englishness creates great problems for him at school, where the older, Afrikaans boys treat him brutally (traumatizes him) and give him the name Pisskop" (pisshead) and the main bully is referred to as “The Judge”
  • -His childhood haunts him and leaves him with a deep-set insecurity and vulnerability.
  • -He is not a self-righteous hero- Moreover; he does have the ability to do the wrong thing.
  • -His grandfather sells the farm and they move with his mother in the city. His mother is a crazy Christian and gets rid of his nanny and only keeps the two maids (Dee and don) for the kitchen(and they take care of peekay)
  • -Peekay develops his own values.
  • -He excels at boxing, (started in the Barberton prison) not losing a match throughout the novel.
  • “A waterfall begins from only one drop of water, sir. Look what comes from that...”
  • -His boxing mentor is a black prisoner named Geel Piet, who stresses the importance of footwork.
  • -Peekay represents all sides. He is the mediator between the English and Afrikaans boys at school in Barberton; the Afrikaans boxers call him a "proper boer" while his hordes of black supporters believe that he is one of their chiefs, come to avenge them and challenge the white government.
  • -Peekay's mentors, Doc and Mrs. Boxall, claim that he is a genius, while the black South Africans in the novel hail him as the Tadpole Angel, a chief who has come to lead them out of white oppression.
  • -Peeky is sent to the Prince of Whales School, becomes friend with levy. Levy and Peekay go to business together doing mostly scams.
  • -He tries to open a school for blacks with Levy, gets shut down.
  • -When they graduates they plan to go to Oxford, but Peekay doesn’t have the money.
  • -Becomes a grizzly, man who works with explosives in the mines, makes a lot of money- almost dies, saved by his Russian friend who dies because of it.
  • -In the end he faces the judge again, who happened to be his diamond driller, he beats him up.
  • “First with the head, then with the heart.”
giel peet
  • Geel Piet is a Cape Colored man who works at the Barberton prison.
  • He becomes Peekay's boxing coach and teaches Peekay his famous eight- punch combination (worked on footwork).
  • Geel Piet is most important, however, in that he teaches Peekay how to box rather than fight and Peekay calls him an "artist."
  • Geel Piet is the only non-white character in the team of the Barbaton blues.
  • Peekay sees Geel Piet for what he is- a generous friend, and a stellar boxing coach.
  • Geel Piet introduces Peekay to the shadowy world of prison black markets and together they keep the prisoners with a supply of tobacco, letters, and sugar.
  • Geel Piet acts as a foil to Peekay in that he is described as a "limbo man"-the man between white and black, the true man of Africa, liked by no one, and hated by all.
  • Geel Piet is brutally murdered by one of the prison warders named Borman, and thus becomes Peekay's first direct experience with the horrors of racism.
  • But he is remembered throughout the book, he is avenged because Smit beats him up, and he later dies in a very painful way.
  • “yes boss”
morris levy
Morris Levy
  • Morrie is a very rich Jewish boy who becomes Peekay's partner at the Prince of Wales School.
  • “a token jew’
  • Morrie, who is a foil to Peekay, teaches Peekay the tricks of business-gambling and he and Peekay set up all kinds of "scams" together.
  • Morrie, like Peekay, is an "outsider" because of his Jewishness, and Morrie has to put up with racism.
  • Morrie is a loner, an intellectual, a fine joke-teller, and a generous friend.
  • He undergoes a catharsis during the course of the novel-through Peekay he comes to know black people for the first time in his life, and he becomes extremely invested in the night school that he and Peekay start for the black boxers at Solly Goldman's gym.
  • When Peekay does not win a Rhodes scholarship, Morrie wants to pay for him to attend. He is prepared to defer his own degree in order to study with Peekay.
  • He does not understand Peekay's boxing dream, however, and wants Peekay to become his law partner.
  • Morris Levy becomes a very good friend of Peekay
lieutenant smit
Lieutenant Smit
  • Lieutenant Smit works at the Barberton prison and is one of the boxing coaches.
  • Brother of the well-known boxer, Jackhammer Smit.
  • Which is why he and Peekay initially strike up a friendship because Peekay saw Jackhammer Smit fight against Hoppie in Gravelotte.
  • Smit, a reasonably non-prejudiced man, avenges Geel Piet's death for Peekay by beating up Borman.
  • Yet Smit is not entirely against racist attitudes-at his introduction, he allows his colleague Klipkop to beat one of the servants for an offense that he did not commit.
  • Smit is very proud of peeky, and respects him for his heart when he fights.
  • “a proper boer”

Jeff B

  • Totis Jusakos
the power of one the hero s journey

The Power Of One-The Hero’s Journey

By: Abi Gardner & Bridget LaPorte

the ordinary world
The Ordinary World

The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

  • The boy, later known as Pisskop, got his nickname because of the trial he was put through by two other boys. He was told to kneel in a shower and was then peed on, he was later told to pull down his pants.
the call to adventure
The Call To Adventure

Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.

Pisskopis introduced mainly sympathetically , started to earn respect from his peers for holding the record for the most beatings in his school, on the other hand he’s still physically and verbally beat down and tormented. This is also when he realizes his love for boxing.

refusal of the call
Refusal Of The Call

The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead

Peekay puts on a tough exterior, when in reality he is easily broken down and hurt.

meeting with the mentor
Meeting With The Mentor

The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

Peekay meets HoppieGroenewald, who Peekayuses to compare lives with. He is introduced as Peekaysmentor and uses the boxing plot as “mentors in education”.

crossing the threshold
Crossing The Threshold

At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.

Peekay is being forced to grow up very fast, causing him to adapt to new settings of life, with very few memories from his past.

tests allies enemies
Tests, Allies, & Enemies

The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

Jackhammer Smit’s loss to Hoppie in the boxing ring taught Hoppie’s mentor (Peekay) the idea that small can still prevail over large, with the understanding that Jackhammer is one of the toughest boxers to beat.


The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

When Peekay gets off the train at Barberton and suddenly realizes there is no one he knows awaiting his arrival, he sits and wait for his nanny to pick him up. When his mother picks him up in the car with a pastor, he realizes that his mother wants him to become more Christian again.

the ordeal
The Ordeal

Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life. 

During the Eastern Transvaal boxing championship Peekay is put up against his three biggest rivals, Du Toit, Geldunhuis, and Killer Koon. This opposes as the biggest challenge to Peekay in the book, and he even used the title when he says “The power of one was stirring inside him”, helping him remember all of his mentors and help along the way.

the reward
The Reward

The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.

Geel Piet is the man who Peekay becomes friends with while in jail, they make a deal for Geel to help Peekay become a boxer then soon join the Barberton Blues, a boxing team. When one of the other guys on the team gets sick Peekay fills in for him, gaining his reward for being on the team.

the road back
The Road Back

About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission

Peekay ends up winning the championship for Geelbut after awhile he has to go back to normal life and return to prison. He goes back to reality after his triumph.

the resurrection
The Resurrection

At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.

Every so often on holidays Peekay would return to where his prison was located and he doesn’t enjoy it as much as his new small town life. He’s noticed that people are leaving the prison more accomplished such as being more literate.

return with the elixir
Return With The Elixir

The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.

When being home Peekay returns to see his rival Judge. To Peekay, winning the world championship boxing match was a great enough fight of it’s own to where he doesn’t have to put up with the pitiful fights of his old rivals.

the power of one plot map

The Power Of OnePlot Map

Hector Torres

Anthony Saab

  • The book starts with a white African boy named Peekay that is being messed around with and bullied by the Judge.
  • “The Judge ordered that I be beaten up only a little at a time. A punch here, a flathander there, and if I could stop being a pisskop he’d stop even that, although he added, for a rooinek, this was probably impossible.”
  • Peekay struggling to discover and keep himself in what is pretty much called “The Power Of One”
  • This is due to him having such a horrible childhood in a boarding school.
  • “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. The mind is the athlete, the body is simply the means it uses to run faster or longer, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, or box better”
  • When 17 year old Peekaycomes Face to face with his childhood bully, "the Judge."
  • When they are about to brawl
  • “’He been sniff gelignite, he crazy! Run, Peekay. That Boer kill you!’ The Judge dropped from the bar and with an angry roar charged toward me. A powder headache as severe as his could cause temporary insanity, and I knew he was capable of killing.”
d nouement
  • The book ends with Peekay beating up The Judge.
  • The Judge had a tattoo of a swastika on his arm and Peekay put his initials on it and left him in a pool of blood and vomit.
  • “I had waited a long time for this moment. I knew exactly what to do. The Judge was the bull, and I was the matador. It was I who would shape the fight.”