Application Of The Power Of One To Modern Society

Although the “power of one” looks like it only applies to a fictional character, it can have a huge significance in anyone’s life because of pressures, questions, and chaos in modern society. The notion of 'the power of one' (title) is a continuous theme in the story, and as he grows up, Peekay brings it up several instances. The first time he comes throughout it is when he has to go to boarding school, facing bullies after holidays at the farm, “Ahead of me lay the dreaded Mevrou, the Judge, and the jury, and the beginning of the power of one, where I would learn that in each of us there is a flame that must never be allowed to go out.”. This thought would continue during the story as Peekay matures and is influenced by the lectures of numerous characters he runs into.

Peekay says, for example, when he meets Hoppie “He had given me the power of one—one idea, one heart, one mind, one plan, one determination”. Doc also gave a life lesson to Peekay. This is evident in the story when Peekay states, “Doc had taught me the value of being the odd man out”. The power of one was built on the courage to stay unconnected and to follow the truth. Peekay later learned this at the end of the novel and only because of the people who were active in his life and taught him important lessons.

It's ironic that Peekay learns the power of through his friends. It seemed that he needed the principles of others to find his “power of one.” Moreover, having an understanding of freedom and fighting for himself was really necessary for him because he would later lose friends in the book. Once Peekay got out of boarding school he made extremely good friends. They were his mentors that shaped him into his new self. Doc who looks after Peekay and teaches him to envision, revealed to Peekay that, “Doc never talked down.” and “Much of what he said would take me years to understand, but I soaked it up nevertheless, storing it in my awkward young mind wherever it could mature and later come to me”.

As he grows into a man, Peekay is able to articulate what precisely he processes by “the power of one.” It's no longer just a feeling anymore, but a philosophy that he can outline and Hoppie gives him an ingenious quote for Peekay and for everyone to use. Hoppie says “First with the head and then with the heart, that’s how man stays ahead from the start”. The significance is showing that intelligence comes before strength. After Peekay took this into heart he last says “This was for me the power of one and, once it had been attained, I knew nothing could destroy me”.

The “power of one” not only applies to Peekay, but it can apply to people in modern society. Many people in life are faced with various challenges. It’s up to them on how they will overcome it. Peekay was just known as a rooinek by his peers and was even beaten up for it. He could have agreed with his bullies and characterized himself on what others thought of him. It only takes one person to change someone’s life and Peekay had the help of many. The “power of one” is applied to people because of how similar everyone’s life is. Everyone is faced with negativity and impediments in their lifetime. Knowing your “power of one” can give you the courage to be different and determination to follow the truth. This signifies that anyone who has no hope of winning can find some type of extraordinary confidence in themselves to do the impossible, simply like Peekay did. 

16 December 2021
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