Study Guide

Breaking Stalin's Nose Chapter 26

By Eugene Yelchin

Chapter 26

  • When Sasha finally returns to class, Nina Petrovna sticks him in the back of the room where the bad, suspicious students sit.
  • Sasha's cold and shivering. Turns out that he passed out in the biology lab, and when the school cleaning woman found him, she dumped a bunch of icy cold water on him to wake him up.
  • Sasha watches the teacher rehearse with the good students for the Pioneers rally.
  • He notices that Vovka's picture is now blacked out on the class photo, along with Four-Eyes's.
  • Nina Petrovna asks the class who loves Stalin best, since that person will get to carry the banner in the ceremony. Well, since he has no shot of being a Pioneer now, Sasha decides to cut loose a bit. He takes the banner, climbs up onto the teacher's desk, and marches in place with it, singing a patriotic song.
  • The teacher tries to catch him, but he hops from desk to desk until—oops!—he falls and Nina Petrovna grabs him.
  • Just as the teacher's about to take the banner away from him, a group of State Security agents burst in with Vovka. Now Sasha's really in for it! Especially when Vovka points in his and the teacher's direction, saying: "That scum there" (26.11).
  • Without saying anything, one of the agents goes to the teacher's desk, and takes something out.
  • Cue some more Dramatic Music: it's Stalin's nose.
  • Nina Petrovna starts denying she had anything to do with it, and Vovka grins at Sasha. Something clicks into place for Sasha, and he realizes that when Vovka disappeared from the cafeteria earlier, he must have been planting the nose in the teacher's desk.
  • More frog-marching, this time for poor Nina Petrovna. She's taken away.