Study Guide

Breaking Stalin's Nose Chapter 23

By Eugene Yelchin

Chapter 23

  • While they wait outside the principal's office, Sasha tells Vovka that he's sorry to hear about his dad.
  • Sasha's really surprised that Vovka's dad is a criminal. When the two were friends, Vovka's father seemed like a really stand-up Communist kind of guy.
  • The two are summoned into the principal's office. Uh-oh...
  • When Sasha tries in a friendly way to get Vovka to stand up, Vovka threatens to turn him in for being a wrecker and for damaging the statue.
  • Turns out that the principal will now be in trouble for harboring criminals. He tells Vovka that he should have gotten rid of him after his father was arrested.
  • And as for Sasha? The principal knows that his dad has been arrested, and he thinks Sasha should have manned up and told him himself. Then he would have given Sasha a chance to publicly renounce his dad and purify himself.
  • Sasha feels Vovka staring at him when the news about his dad comes out.
  • Vovka has to physically support Sasha, who suddenly sinks to the ground. It's all becoming real for him now; he realizes his dad is not coming back.
  • And now the two discover that the principal is sending both of them to the orphanage for children of enemies of the state. Do you get the feeling that this has got to be one packed orphanage? We do, too.
  • Vovka tells the principal that Four-Eyes did not break the statue, but the principal doesn't care. A confession was already made, and that's apparently the end of that.
  • The principal agrees to hear Vovka out, though, and sends Sasha back to class.