Saturday, August 29, 2009

Question of the Week (8/28/09)

In The Power of One, violence is a day-to-day certainty for our protagonist Peekay. Give several examples of how Peekay manages this violence using evidence from the text. Do you think violence always perpetrates more violence? Are there exceptions? Or is standing up to an aggressor in a non-violent manner more successful? Discuss your reasons, again citing examples from the text.

82 comments:

Jeff said...

why has no one written yet?

Ms. Piro said...

Your guess is as good as mine. What do you think about the question?

Michael said...

Peekay attempts to avoid the violence by blending in. He states that anonymity is his best defense. Violence does tend to beget violence, especially on larger levels, such as international. For instance when The japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the majority of people thought that we ought to go to war. However, on personal levels you find a lot more pacifistic attitude. Many people will acknowledge that it is preferable to walk away from a fight than get embroiled in it. In the book, non-violence seems to be doing absolutely squat for Peekay, he is still being hit, and bullied, and even abused by a teacher. It seems that non-violence is only effective when it is a choice, not forced inactivity.

Emily said...

There's a point in Chapter 3 when Peekay explains different ways that the judge tortures him and he mentions that what really gets them is the fact that he doesn't cry. That shows he's stronger than them in a way because even though he's being beaten he's able to hold everything back. In this particular section Peekay also tells us that behind the blindfold he's learned to be in two places at once (down in the country, by the waterfalls). This is how he manages violence, by escaping to his safe place. In some ways violence can perpetrate more violence, but not in Peekay's case. He just kind of sits back and lets it all happen, but doesn't really fight back. If he did he'd just get hurt more.

hayley said...

I think that nonviolence in effective when one is up against overwhelming odds. If there is a way the you could beat your tormentor, it is better if you do that, instead of sitting there and taking it again and again. When Peekay faced the Judge and Jury, if there was some way, either physically, or by talking to them that he could beat them, he would be better off if he did that. Still, since in Peekay's position, the other boys are not only stronger, but there are more of them and they are better loved by the teachers. Since he couldn't win through any form of violence, it's good that he doesn't fight.

michaela.helble said...

It's true that nonviolence is effective against overwehlming odds, but it's also really hard to just sit there when people are doing horrible things. It's difficult not to fight back with violence if someone is making you angry. Even if you know it's better or right to just walk away, that doesn't always happen because you don't want someone to get away with doing something to you. I think that the Judge wants Peekay to fight back, and shows that he's angry when Peekay doesn't fight back by asking Peekay why he doesn't ever cry.
Also, even though it doesn't really seem like it, Peekay does stand up to his agressor (the Judge) in a nonviolent way. In chapter three, he manages to do the judge's arithmetic in return for not having to march`anymore, and is told he will be safe from Hitler until the end of the term. He isn't ever completely free from being tormented, but that was a good start.

Sonya said...

As most people have said, nonviolence is almost always more effective against overwhelming odds such as the situation Peekay finds himself in. However, as some people have also mentioned, being able to stand by and not fight back can be harder than using violence in return. The Judge wants Peekay to fight back, cry, or show some sign that his violence is paying off, but Peekay never gives him this satisfaction. Peekay shows that he is stronger because he can manage the pain inflicted on him, and knows when fighting back is just fighting a losing battle.

Katie said...

As others have said, Peekay does his best to blend in by learning the language and dumbing himself down. The only reason he felt the need to blend in so is that he is a small boy wihtout the ability to defend himself. On the train, he talks to Hoppie about being able to beat up a boy bigger than himself. If Peekay had been able to, I think he would have fought the Judge and Jury. Because he is unable to do this, he does not give them the satifaction of seeing him cry.

Jeff said...

I think that Peekay uses violence to adapt to different situations. He understands that violence will be a natural part of his life because he is different, and so he learns to accept it and not worry or feel sorry for himself. It makes him feel stronger and allows to him to grow and become more mature.

Kiana said...

Peekay does not fight back against the Judge and the Jury. As others have said, he knows they want to make him cry but by not giving in he is stronger. He deals with violence by going to another place, the waterfalls. I think if he fought back it would encourage the Judge to continue beating up Peekay. In chapter 3, when Granpa Chook poops in the Judge's mouth, the Judge becomes more violent and kills Granpa Chook. He also throws stones at Peekay who again does not fight back even though his best friend is being killed.

lynda said...

I think PK just takes whatever other throw at him, mainly because there's no one there to see whats happening to him or to protect him. However I don't think his non violent approach to the judge and jury is very healthy, and not at all successful mainly because it's probably deteriorating his emotional well being

Robin Smith said...

I believe that In Peekay's situation he takes the correct approach. The Judge tortures Peekay to try to get a response out of him, and if Peekay were to respond the judge would just give him heavier punishments. Peekay minimizes his punishments by being as much of a background figure a s possible, making himself appear dumb and boring. He has quickly learned that when ever he has blown his cover and shown that he is really a intelligent person it has worked out badly for him. If Peekay were in in a more modern environment where he could tell someone about the abuse he was suffering, that would be a completely different situation.

Leah said...

Peekay manages the violence through his calm and mature attitude. In the text, it is clear that, young as he is, his instinct for survival is incredibly strong. In situations that would easily break older individuals, he remains stable and constantly adaptive. In school he learns that mediocracy and obedience are survival techniques, and he uses them to avoid violence. When violence is unavoidable, as others have noted, he escapes mentally into a safe place where the other boys cannot hurt him.

Burton said...

Peekay is very mature for his age and deals with the punishment of Judge in a way to make each beating as easy as it can get. He does this by not reacting and making the beating less fun for the judge and his friends. He also deals with the violence by making the chicken his friend, and allowing himself to find a piece of home so far away.

lauren.hoh said...

When the judge is beating Peekay in chapter 3, he closes his eyes and thinks of the place with 3 waterfalls, where he is a warrior. He also tries to listen to Inkosi-inkosikasi's voice. i don't think you should fight violence with more violence because by doing nothing it just makes the person bullying you get more frustrated.

Alice.Rottersman said...

In order to combat the day-to-day violence, Peekay develops two methods. His first level of defense is blending in, which essentially acts to minimize his abuse. He describes this blending in clearly, "The holidays had blunted my sense of survival: adapt, blend, become part of the landscape, develop camouflage, be a rock or a leaf or a stick insect, try in every way to be an Afrikaner" (23).
When this fails, Peekay moves on to his second line of defense; he removes himself from whatever nasty situation he may be in, deciding that, "the person on the outside was only a shell, a prescence to be seen and provoked" (45). Peekay mentally goes to another place allowing him to accept his hardships.
More often then not, violence brings on more violence, however not always. Whether one cannot fight back, or one does not choose to, abyssus abyssum invocat is not always true. For example, Peekay, rather than fighting back, just accepts all the harrassment, however, he does not cry. This is an attack of its own sort, shown by the emotional reaction of the Judge, "'Why won't you cry, you fucking bastard?' he sobbed" (50).
In the end, Peekay's nonviolence is directly successful only to a certain extent, but it does not stop his tormentors. At the same time, it does not necessarily bring more harm upon Peekay, so I would still consider it the better course of action. Even though it does not end anything immediately, morally it follows the "Two wrongs don't make a right" idea, and sometimes the longer, kinder road to safety is not always the worse one. For example, all democratic decisions require much more time than dictatorial ones.

Alice.Rottersman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin Donohue said...

I think the way that Peekay manages daily struggles with violence tends to perpetrate even more violence. As many others mentioned earlier, he spends so much time trying to hide how smart he is, and on top of that he sees too many things that he does not agree with, which collectively makes him frustrated. I think that because of his frustration, he tells you things exactly as he sees it and to him there is no harm in that; it is simply the truth. An example of this is when Pikkay sees the Judge's Nazi tattoo for the first time and rudely states, "You have marks like a kaffir woman on your arm" (pg 23). When Peekay makes these remarks or refuses to give in to their orders, the Judge and his jury seem to have more opportunities to hurt Peekay, whether verbally, emotionally or physically.

Sam said...

Peekay is able to shield himself from the violence by hiding his true self, whether it means pretending to be dumb in school or taking his mind to a different place. I feel as though some violence is needed to keep order, however without any restraints on that violence it gets out of hand and gets carried away. I feel as though often times an individual standing up against violence - in any way - will lead to more violence. Although, if a group or more than one individual stands up against the same cause then a shift will be made.

Ella said...

Until Peekay enrolls in boarding school, he never realized how much his ethnicity made an automatic impression on people. When he goes to the school, he suddenly becomes hated and is tortured. He is really surprised because I believe that he really didn’t know how much his kind was hated. Being so young, he knew that he was small and knew he couldn’t take on the judge and the jury by himself. So he blends in trying to minimize the abuse that he was receiving. As he gets older, he realizes that if he obeys the judge’s command and actually helps out the judge by doing his math homework, the punishments will start to decrease and he knows that by helping the judge, the judge will pass and leave the school. But Peekay standing up in non-violent way to the judge didn’t really help himself in the end because his chicken was killed trying to defend Peekay. My question is would you consider what the chicken did a violent matter?

Jennie said...

Hello all...does this work without making an account?

Jennie said...

Aaaaand just kidding--I just had to make an account. I'm working on this whole blog thing. I'm usually pretty computer-savvy, but blogs are not my thing (yet).

Nicolas said...

Peekay's nonviolence protects him in a way from further bullying. By not resisting or crying, he earned a little respect from the Judge's followers. Had Peekay resisted, there would have been much more abuse, perhaps to the point where Peekay's life would have been endangered. We saw on pages 47-50 what happened when Peekay showed even a little resisitance to the Judge; his chicken was killed, and the Judge beat and kicked him. However, an important part of that scene is that the Judge's friends pulled him off of Peekay, perhaps because they respected him.

Brendon said...

Peekay tries not to cry whenever he is beaten and he gains respect from the judge and his gang. Also, he acts older than he is, which allows for a new view on his character. Being a five year old, he is seen as young and vulnerable. As the book goes on we see that he is smarter and more mature than a normal kid his age, which gives him a way out of some of his beatings (Like doing the Judges homework).

sgmhoopgirl said...

I think violence for the most part always perpetrates more violence. People want revenge, they want the people who hurt them to feel the pain of the loss of a loved one or a limb. Also people think that the only way to end the conflict is to fight back. Another way people use violence is for power... power through fear is one of the most commonly known reasons for dictators and wars. For instance Hitler through fear convinced the germans that jewish people deserved to be tortured and exterminated.

sgmhoopgirl said...

how do you get it to say your name?? sgmhoopgirl is Sarah McAndrew.. how do I get it to say that??

Ms. Piro said...

I think the way to identify yourself is by your username, and I believe you can change that under your profile. If not, maybe a picture?

Megan Pattison said...

Like Brendon said, I think his determination to not cry is very imporant. When Peekay doesn't react by crying or with retaliation, the Judge and his friends get very frustrated. By using this tactic, Peekay is able to keep a part of his pride intact. Peekay also works very hard to blend in with the crowd. By never letting himself stand out, Peekay has found a way to avoid more violence. When Peekay meets Hoppie, I feel like his view on violence changes. Because Hoppie is a boxer, Peekay realizes there's more to violence than just hitting eachother. Peekay learns "first use your head, then your heart." I think Peekay sees this as a way to deal with violence that is thrown at you. He now knows little isn't always beaten by big, and this new realization gives Peekay hope.
In general, I think reacting against violence with violence, always leads to more of the same. On the other hand, I don't think you can always let yourself be attacked without trying to fight back. Peekay hasn't done any fighting back, but I think he'll learn how to overcome his shame and defend himself as he gains more confidence.

Hayley said...

I believe it will be very difficult for him to gain confidence. He has to gain it through others before he gains it through himself. I think that he needs to stand up for himself before he can be confidant, but he won't be confident until he stands up for himself. That's why Hoppie means so much to him. Hoppie is someone little, like him, who fights (and wins) against big. Hoppie's success is a huge thing for Peekay, because he sees that it is possible to win through violence. I predict that he will be a very different boy when he goes back to school. That said, it's still important to blend in. While he might be able to fight one or two kids, and win some respect, he can't take them all.

mason vogt said...

The first example that comes to mind of how Peekay deals with his violence is when(like many other people have said) he focuses on his own perfect world, a paradise where he could escape it all. He describes this place as "in the night country, by the waterfalls, Iwas safe from the storm troopers, who were unable to hurt me, and make me cry" (45)

Alice.Rottersman said...

Apparently we also have to respond to entries, so, Ella, in response to your question, I do not think what the chicken did was violent (if your talking about it, er, defecating on the Judge, that is). Despite all the personification used, Granpa Chook is still a chicken. We saw earlier that he relieves himself where ever and when ever he wants (i.e. on Peekay's bed). Therefore I wouldn't consider it a direct, violent attack on the judge.

Ms. Piro said...

Please make sure that you add some information about yourself to your profile because we have student from both world classics classes commenting on the same blog! Thanks and keep up the good writing.

Chamileon said...

YAY! IT WORKED! i think that his passive reactions are potentially problematic, but it may work its self out

kelsey said...

I think that Peekay did a surprisingly good job at dealing with his violence. As many people have said already, I think the best example of this is when he is against the tree, and he separates himself from the painful reality, and goes to a place where he feels safe. I think that this is a good way for him to prevent himself from becoming violent and "getting back at" the Judge and the rest of the boys. However, I don't think that he will be able to keep going to that "safe place", and will eventually cave in and get back at the rest of the boys from school. I think that with all of that anger being bottled up inside him for so long, at some point he has to let it out.

Katie said...

I agree with Brendon in that I think Peekay is much more mature than the average 5 year old. He doesn't cry at things that would send an "normal" 5 year old into hysterics. I think this is his personality as well as his realization that he must adapt and fit in as much as possible. This again is a very sophisticated realization for a small kid.

Leah said...

I agree with what sarah (aka sgmhoopgirl!) says about violence for the most part leading to more violence. I do not think violence and hate are the answers Peekay should turn to. Revenge only leads to more revenge; hate only cultivates more hate. Neither of those things are healthy or constructive. Hayley said that Hoppie was so important to Peekay because he demonstrated that violence was effective, but I don't really think of Hoppie's boxing as violence, and I don't think that's what struck Peekay. Violence is much too negative. In the boxing ring, two individuals are facing off as equals, fighting for their pride and themselves and their supporters. I think that is what meant so much to Peekay, that equality that the boxers have with their gloves on, no matter what size they are. So I think we should distinguish between Peekay turning toward violence and Peekay turning toward boxing. Violence is unhealthy and leads to more, while boxing will help him to grow.

Kiana said...

I agree with Megan. Peekay's ability to stay strong and not cry like the Judge wants allows him to feel more confident and keep some pride. This allows him to refrain from retaliating with more violence. Like many have said, he is both more mature and smarter than most five year olds, and because of that he is able to find the best way to deal with all the violence he experiences.

Jennie said...

Sorry it's taken me sooooo long to respond to this question. There have been some major blog-problems encountered. But all is well now, so here goes...
Peekay manages the violence he has to endure by adapting. He attempts to blend in (and is successful some of the time). He learns to be "the best at nothing," because if he is the best at anything, he is punished for that by his classmates.
In this case, I don't think violence perpetrates more violence. Peekay deals with his torture in different ways, but not by lashing out to pay the other boys back by using violence. At some points he tries to be silent and take his punishment. He does talk back the the Judge once, but usually his sticks to his "blend in" policy.
I believe that in many cases violence DOES lead to more violence. But Peekay is a special little five-year-old, and fighting back doesn't even cross his mind in the beginning. (Perhaps this is because he would be fighting an eleven-year-old with the entire school on the opposing side...)
Sometimes responding to violence with nonviolence (or no response at all--not even crying) is the best way to get to your opposer. When Peekay doesn't react to the Judge's tormenting, the Judge gets wriled up and really mad that Peekay isn't crying. He actually outright tells him to cry! I don't know if Peekay was trying to stir up this kind of a reaction, but in his case, not responding to the Judge's violence had the biggest effect on the Judge.

Nathaniel brown said...

Peekay does not seem at all prone to violence. He seems to intent on surviving to retaliate against his oppressors. The only point when he seems to actually become angry is when the Judge kills Grandpa Chook and Peekay says "You're shit and your mother is a whore." Otherwise he always has kept his anger in check. First with the mind and then with the heart is his motto. Usually violence perpetrates violence, but this is usually not wise. Peekay makes the right decision because he only needs to last until the judge leaves school.

tylertorh said...

Peekay knows that in order to survive he is going to have to haave great self discipline which i find amazing. Peekay is only five and he is learning how to manipulate people. I feel that Peekay is going to grow up into a great leader because he will be able to sway people to join his cause.

Megan Pattison said...

I agree with Jennie that Peekay uses adaptation as a self defense mechanism against the Judge and others who bully him. The other day, we all talked about his politeness, and how it sometimes gets him into trouble. I think this is where Peekay fails to adapt. He doesn't see that by being polite to the Judge and other children, he is making himself stand out and therefore he's letting himself become vulnerable.

Jennie said...

I just had a very nice and long response written when my computer decided to go CRAZY and now I'm starting over. But what I said was that I agree with what a lot of people have mentioned by now, but especially how Sonya put this: "being able to stand by and not fight back can be harder than using violence in return." I agree with that completely. Our gut reaction is to defend ourselves and fight back. It's difficult to be yelled at without wanting to yell your defense right back! So imagine being in Peekay's shoes...he's keeping himself even from crying! That takes tons of self-control and discipline. I know I would have been balling! But Peekay seems to know when it's best to keep his feelings inside (me, not so much). Maybe later in the book he'll get to defend himself openly, and stand up for himself. (Perhaps in a boxing ring....)

kelsey said...

I agree with Emily, that it may take just as much, or even more strength to hold all of his anger back, even though he is in such a bad situation. It may take strength to beat somebody up, and make their life miserable, but I think it definately takes more to hold yourself back.

lynda said...

I agree with Sarah. I think violence is a natural response to fear.

tylertorh said...

an example of Peekay managing his violence is how when he is getting beaten up at the tree he goes to his "Happy Place" and nothing can make him cry then.

Bryce said...

I think that he manages all the violence's by finding some sort of happiness.. for example when he gets beat up by the judge he finds happiness being with granpa chook or he deals with losing Nanny by finding a new friend, Doc. He always finds happiness...

George Papa said...

I think that Peekay handles his problems much better then some five year old, i think that hes kind of trained himself to be able to repress it in a way, i dont really know how its going to manifest itself later on but i think that its just that peekay is special because any other five year old would have broke down in the begining

Daniel Alberta said...

Peekay manages violence by trying to blend in and camoflauge. He wants to keep his cover so nobody finds out that he is Englis

Burton said...

i agree with tor peekay is able to control his violence by having a happy place, and without those he would not have made it through school.

Emily Lohr said...

I agree with Bryce because I do believe that Peekay finds happiness, not through violence, but through finding friends and such. Even though he's been through so much bad, he still manages to find happiness.

lynda said...

Hi I'm Lynda, I'm a junior this year, my favorite color is green, I've got two cats and a dog. My favorite food is kettlecorn and almonds

Alex Krass said...

Peekay has a lot of ways to deal with his violence. He uses his waterfall dream place while he is being tortured so he is not focusing on what is happening but instead on something that makes him happy. He also uses people and things in his life like Grandpa Chook and his Nanny to deal with his troubles.

christopher.harwick said...

I think it is a good idea not to fight back. If Peekay had decided to fight back he problem would have gotten beat up even worse than he had already. This happened when he talked back to the judge a few times.

Michaela Helble said...

I agree with Brendon when he says that Peekay is much smarter and more mature than a normal kid his age, and that this helps him to avoid some of his punishment. But Brendon also said that when Peekay doesn't cry, he starts to earn the respect of the Judge and his gang. I don't agree with this. I think that Peekay just makes the Judge madder. With Peekay's lack of response, the Judge feels like he's losing the ability to hurt Peekay and make Peekay scared, which just makes his beatings of Peekay more and more vigorous. Although it's possible that the Judge's gang might be impressed by Peekay, I don't think they ever start to respect him.

Daniel Alberta said...

I agree with alex because i believe that peekay tries to imagine himself in a better place or situation then what he is in

Alex Krass said...

I agree with christopher.harwick. I think it is a good idea that he doesn't fight back so he doesn't get in more trouble and he keeps his camouflage on.

Chris W said...

Yeah, so...
In this book violence hasn't led to more violence. Peekay is treated rather horribly by the judge. Despite that, he never really fought back. In chapter three Granpa Chook gets killed, yet he holds back. It seems as if it will be different though, especially after boxing was introduced to him...
He's a tough kid, at five no less. Historically, standing up to an aggressor peacefully doesn't really work, and that makes sense, however, in his situation avoiding violence with the judge is smarter, considering at that point the odds were against him...
...and yeah....

Alex Krass said...

HI. I am alex i am in the 10th grade. I like to play sports especially lacrosse. I also do XC and basketball

Lupi said...

The way peekay managed the violence from judge changed from before he went home on vacation and after vacation. Before vacation he went to his tree and that was his "happy place" like Tor said. but after the vacation he has grandpa chook which gives him a friend, so he can kind of talk to him. And when his nanny leaves he deals with it by finding doc, so eventually he has happiness, but it is only for a short time period

Daniel G said...

My main point has been touched by almost everyone else, but basically all peekay does when he is exposed to violence is use his camouflage and not join the violence. Lots of times people tell kids that not joining the violence is the right thing, which is often true, but sometimes you need to stand up for yourself, even if it does involve a little fighting back. When peekay just stood there and took the abuse from the judge, he wasn't really doing himself a favor except getting a smaller punishment. If he tried to stand up for himself, it could have lead to one of two things; he either could have gotten out of his punishments all together or they may have worsened by a good bit more. He just had to play it safe, or take a chance, and neither was a really good option.

Robin Smith said...

I agree with Alex, Peekay has found more better ways to defend himself than fighting back. If he had fought back he would be beaten badly, but when he goes to the place with the three waterfalls he can protect himself at least mentally.

Chris W said...

...I agree with Tor for the most part...other than the time when Granpa Chook died...he's been good with holding back his tears...emotionally he's very well controlled....

Jeff said...

HI!!!!!!!!!

Brendon said...

Jeff, I agree with what your saying but i don't think that he understands that violence has to be a part of his life. Further more, I believe that Peekay still worries about the beatings to come, but while he is being beaten, he does not show pain or weakness.

Sonya said...

I agree with Jennie that Peekay knows when to keep his feelings inside. He knows when he needs to camouflage and not draw too much attention to himself. However, he doesn't seem to know when showing his feelings would be a good thing, and he thinks that camouflage is always the best, which isn't true. I think that he needs to learn to have a balance between hiding and showing his feelings; between blending in and standing out. Sometimes standing out isn't a bad thing.

Mallory said...

Peekay is strong and he is able to hide his pain. When he's tied to the tree he just thinks of the place with the three waterfalls are to make him feel braver. He also creates a friend with the chicken so he won't be completely alone. Towards the end of the school torture he realizes how smart he is and he uses his intelligence to manipulate the judge.

Michael said...

Peekay seems almost unreal in his emotional control. I don't know any 5 year old who could face what he has and not cry, I must say that I find it a little annoying that Peekay is so perfect.

Lauren Hoh said...

I agree with what Bryce said. Whenever Peekay is in trouble he tries to find some sort of solitude and block out what is really happening. This could also be a bad thing though, because by not dealing with what is happening to him and by not having a person to talk to about it, besides Nanny who is now gone, all of the hurt is building up inside of him.

Mallory said...

I agree with Tor. I think that Peekay is strong because he can leave where he physically is and go to his "happy place", as Tor put it.

kyle.castillo said...

I believe that non violence is impossible for Peekay. He has been hated against for things that are completely out of his control, he has done nothing wrong. No matter what Peekay does he will always be beat upon. His only hope is learning boxing, he thinks if he learns how to box he will get beat up less and can fight back. While this may seam savage he is doing the only thing he can do and it will work for him later on. I think Peekay must learn to fight before he can be safe.

Jeff said...

I hate you brendon. He doesn't understand anything because he's six. Come on, we all know that and you are stupid for thinking that. he doesn't show violence because he's scared of more vioelence

Sam said...

In response to Chris W's post, I agree. Peekay avoids violence by not really fighting back and doing his best to camouflage in. He does a good job of not bringing more violence to himself, by enduring what he gets and remaining quiet.

Erin Donohue said...

As Jennie mentioned, the self control skills that Peekay has at his age are tremendous. I think that as people mature they still struggle with the things that Peekay finds to be easy (such as pain when he is being bugged by his peers and escaping to his special place). As we discussed in class, Peekay has not learned things or feelings such as hate towards others, or significant loss prior to Grandpa Chook's death, so his reactions to these events in his life are based off of the things that he has observed. It seems that in addition to these developing feelings, he worries about keeping his camouflage 'up' too.

Hayley said...

Still, in response to Kyle, it would be great if Peekay could learn to box, but he would have to be VERY good, before it would be an advantage. Since he is small, and quite likely weaker than the other boys who play rugby, if he got in a fight he would be out numbered and out gunned. He would have to pretend to be weak until he could without a doubt beat everyone. Even then there would be friends and family of the people he defeated that would want revenge. His enemies would never stop.

Nicolas said...

"lynda said...
I think PK just takes whatever other throw at him, mainly because there's no one there to see whats happening to him or to protect him. However I don't think his non violent approach to the judge and jury is very healthy, and not at all successful mainly because it's probably deteriorating his emotional well being"

I disagree. Although his nonviolent response probably isn't good for his emotional well-being, it is the best thing you can do in his situation. What would you suggest he do? Had he fought back every time, they would have beaten him much more, perhaps even to the point of death. Although that seems extreme, if Peekay had allowed the other schoolboys to build up hatred against him, then I think by the end of the term they very easily could have accidentally beaten him to death.
You're right that his non-violence isn't very healthy; however, Peekay's situation is not even remotely healthy, and very dangerous for him.

val14 said...

Peekay can very well control his emotions and gets past every barrier he is put through. He imagines himself with the medicine man in the forest, and also uses "camouflage" to blend in with the other kids at school.

Violence doesn't always perpetrate more violence. For example, if a kid at school is being abused by a classmate, he is threatened into not telling anyone about the situation (like Peekay and the Judge. The Judge is also bigger than him and has an army of school boys). In other cases, you are confident and know you can take on a bully. Example: later in the book (chapter 5), Hoppie stands up for himself using words (when he is at the cafe with Peekay). But it's different every time depending on the situation a person is in.

Meghan Licciardi said...

I think that in most instances standing up to people in a non violent manner is better, but not always effective. It depends on the circumstances that people find themselves in. Peekay finds himself with very little options other then being primarily passive. He learns quickly to control his emotions, that crying makes things worse for him. He tries to deal with his violence by blending in, to the best of his ability. And because he has learned to hate himself, and feel like there is something wrong with him instead of everyone else, he doesn't get mad at the judge the way you would expect. He does not hate the jude, and because of it he does not really stand up for himself. If you do not believe that there is an injustice done to you, you are not going to get upset, or retaliate. And though he believes that the judge is unfair, and he does not like what is being done to him, he thinks it is because he is different and weird, and is his fault.

Kyle said...

To Hayley's response, I didn't say that Peekay needs to go beat everyone up, but its that he can protect himself if he ever really needs it. As Hoppie said, "First with the head then with the heart, that's how a man gets ahead from the start." Peekay still has to keep his wits but what boxing does is give him some hope, it really is one of the only good things in his life, and hope is really the only thing he is running on.

mason vogt said...

I agree with Kyle. I wrote this in my paper too, i said that Peekay hasen't really been shaped to hate someone, or groups of people, so he has innocence that saves him from being racist

Sarah McAndrew said...

I agree with michaela.helble, it is extremely hard to just sit there while terrible things are happening to the people around you.

galvinj said...

Peekay's main defense is his "camouflage". He just tries to conform to the bell curve and act as passive/normal as possible. He also sort of averages out situational violence. i.e. -calling people "Sir" or "Ma'am" and almost excessively uses please and thank you. Violence doesn't always bring about more violence, Peekay's entire personality subscribes to the notion of keeping the peace. Although, he is a pretty big exception himself. A thousand other kids in his same position would end up perpetrating more violence themselves.

George Papa said...

I also agree with burton because if he didn't have his own type of get away or "happy place" then i would imagine that it would be incredibly difficult for him to have continued through school as well as he did and im sure he would have had more problems with the kids at school as well.