Monday, February 7, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 1-3

 BLOG PROMPT: Why do the Judge and jury hate Pisskop?  Where does this hatred come from?  How does Pisskop deal with this cruelty?  What is the lesson or theme that the author most likely wants readers to learn about the nature of human cruelty and prejudice?

         In The Power of One, Bryce Courtney uses the characterization of Pisskop to reveal that being born in a nurturing environment gives you the strength to endure and survive human cruelty and prejudice.
Pisskop was born in love, warmth, and laughter as depicted in the first paragraph when he is suckling on his nannies breast feeling safe under her large hands.  He is forced to leave his safe environment and for the first time, experiences feeling different and therefore eliciting hate from others.  His life that has known only love was suddenly turned completely around.  He has to face getting pissed on, being whipped, and being ostracized by the other students.  
When they discover that Pisskop is circumcised, they immediately zone in on that difference, and hate him for it.  Although the Judge is the ultimate bully in this case, the other students follow his lead, as it is human nature to follow the strongest and allow them to be the leader.  The hatred originates from two things: first from the intolerance they are taught at home, and secondly from fear that stems from ignorance.  The combination of ignorance, coupled with their fear and human nature's pack mentality cause the scenario of one individual being tortured for being different.  
I think that  Brice Courtney wants its readers to identify how cruelty can hurt an individual, but most importantly how love and a kind heart can survive such pain.  When Pisskop returns to school, after having felt special and loved again during his Christmas vacation at home, he is better equipped to face the cruel Judge and jury.  " ...the power of one- 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." 
Pisskop's character reveals to the reader that if we are taught to be tolerant and accepting to those who are different it would overcome any type of hatred. 

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