The Power of One

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Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

As is so often the case with a legend, every incident has two possible interpretations, the plausible and the one that is molded to suit the making of the myth. Man is a romantic at heart and will always put aside dull, plodding reason for the excitement of an enigma. As Doc had pointed out, mystery, not logic, is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own insignificance.

Peekay makes this observation at the end of Chapter Sixteen. The quotation highlights the dichotomy between mystery and logic which exists throughout the novel. The black South Africans represent the African mystery, while the white South Africans represent the desire to quash the African spirit through logic. Although Doc himself is representative of logical, rational thought, in this quotation Peekay stresses the fact that Doc is able to straddle both worlds. Peekay, too, is seen as a mediator between the English and the Afrikaners, and black and white. The myth of the Tadpole Angel is a myth of hope-it is this theme of hope that makes the prevailing tone of the novel an optimistic rather than pessimistic one.