Life takes us on a journey. Sometimes there are unexpected twists and turns in the road, and involuntary changes are forced upon us. Factors beyond the reach of our control are altered and our lives take on a sudden change of direction. A turn for the worst? Perhaps, it is really all up to how the individual deals with the change, whether to hide from it, or grow from it. This is apparent in The Maestro as Paul Crabbe is faced with the involuntary change of moving to Darwin. As a result, he is faced with change in every aspect of his life and eventually he grows from it as he learns to live in a new city and make new friends whilst growing up. In the case of Peekay, our young hero in The Power Of One, the journey to adulthood is a trying one, made even more difficult by the constant curve balls that are thrown his way. Set in Africa, World War II, his mother suffers a nervous breakdown and Peekay is sent to boarding school. As the youngest and only English speaker in the school, he was brutally tortured by the other boys. After a traumatic year, Peekay is sent to live with his grandfather. That 5th year in Peekay’s life set off a chain reaction of changes for the rest of his childhood years over which he had little or no control. Losing his Nanny, the death of his friend Piet, the imprisonment and death of Doc, the murder of Peekay’s pet chicken Grandpa Chook and other constant hardships challenged Peekay’s will to continue in life. But, instilled with the independent spirit, or the “power of one”, Peekay learns to accept change, and to grow from it. The changes in his life, in turn, change who he is. From a shy, lonesome boy at the start of the novel, to a confident, independent young man at the story’s close. Involuntary change is a constant force in The Power Of One, but Peekay only learns and grows from the twists and turns in his life, taking each experience in his stride and becoming a better…
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