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The Power of One Bryce Courtenay. Tylia Johnson Period 6 17 May 2013. Bryce Courtenay. Born 14 August 1933 in Limpopo, South Africa Attended one of the most prestigious schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, The Prince of Wales school.

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the power of one bryce courtenay
The Power of OneBryce Courtenay

Tylia Johnson

Period 6

17 May 2013

bryce courtenay
Bryce Courtenay
  • Born 14 August 1933 in Limpopo, South Africa
  • Attended one of the most prestigious schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, The Prince of Wales school.
  • He was branded a communist at the age of 17 for teaching Africans how to read and write, he was thrown out the country
  • At the age of 50 he quit his job and created his own agency, Harris Robinson Courtenay
  • Symbolic
  • *Use symbols to enhance characters and meaning of story as whole
  • Thematic
  • *Gradually reveals life lessons throughout the story
  • Cultural
  • *Utilizes real political and societal issues
1980 s
  • *The effect of the Richard Nixon scandal
  • *Attempt of assassination on Reagan
  • *War between Mozambique and South Africa
  • *Collapse of the Apartheid in Africa
setting of the novel
Setting of the Novel
  • Takes place roughly between 1939 and 1951, World War II period and the beginning of the apartheid era
  • Book One and Two take place in South Africa while Book Three takes place in Northern Rhodesia
major characters
Major Characters
  • Peekay; main character; protagonist; obtains the power of one
  • The Judge; antagonist; beats Peekay down mentally and physically during his boarding school days; defeated by Peekay
  • Doc; significant mentor; strong relationship with Peekay; teaches Peekay to be himself and embrace who he is
  • Geel Piet; Peekay’s boxing trainer; close friend; his life lessons led to the defeat of The Judge
  • Hoppie; the reason Peekay began to box; “First with the head, then with the heart”
  • Morris Levy; teaches Peekay the tricks and ways of gambling; partner at the Prince of Wales; he learns about black people through Peekay
  • The Slow Poison of the Apartheid
  • The Importance of Camouflage for Survival
  • The Necessary Existence of Logic and Magic
  • Big vs. Small
  • The Snake; “hatless snake”; cause Peekay shame and embarrassment; later becomes the symbol for Peekay’s transformation; the end of the novel the black mamba snake becomes a symbol for danger; foreshadows
  • The Loneliness Birds; foreshadows a turning point in the growth of Peekay; appears after a death
  • The Full Moon; symbolizes death; can also symbolize birth; significant in last scene
  • “Tadpole Angel”; symbol of hope for blacks
major conflicts
Major Conflicts
  • Peekay v. The Judge; controls Peekay; abuses Peekay leaving him scarred and afraid to be himself; Peekay is victorious over The Judge in final scene
  • Peekay v. Peekay; does not allow the camouflage to be removed; with the help of mentors he learns who he is
  • "Collapse of Apartheid." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. <>.
  • Courtenay, Bryce. The Power of One. Toronto: MacArthur &, 1999. Print.
  • Nelson, Elizabeth. "The Power of One Themes." N.p., 12 Aug. 2007. Web. 17 May 2013. <>.
  • "Welcome to the World of Bryce Courtenay." The World of Bryce Courtenay. Penguin Group, n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. <>.