The Power of One

  • Study Guide

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

History will tell of how the election of the Nationalist party headed by Dr. Daniel Francois Malan was the turning point when the Afrikaner once again became the dominant force in the country. History is bound to treat this event with great pontification, showing how the struggle between the two white tribes of Africa reached its climax.

This quotation, which opens Chapter Twenty-One, marks a break away from Peekay's conventional first person narrative. Instead, history is the subject of both of the sentences above. In such a way, Bryce Courtenay ironically undermines the institution of historical recording itself. Readers know that the succession of the Nationalist Party to the South African parliament was a fatal disaster, unworthy of "great pontification." The quotation is indicative of Courtenay's subtle ironic criticism of racism and apartheid in South Africa-he is not melodramatic with his judgments. Courtenay also highlights here the fictional quality of history-in an era when history textbooks cannot be trusted, the line between fact and fiction is indelibly blurred.