Study Guide

Nothing Chapter 2

By Janne Teller

Chapter 2

  • It's the first day of 7th grade in Taeringvej, and it's also the second week in August.Ā 
  • Class 7A shows up to Mr. Eskildsen's classroom, and he gets all philosophical right off the bat, telling them to be joyful because there would be no such thing as vacation if there were no such thing as school.
  • Fair enough. Everybody else laughs, but Pierre Anthon gets up and says the words that make up chapter 1. Then he puts all his stuff back into his backpack that he's just taken out and walks out the door, leaving it "smiling" open.
  • Everybody else freaks out a little, because they're all supposed to amount to something, and existential nihilism has no place in their plans, even if they are Danish.
  • Agnes, our narrator, realizes that all of a sudden she's scared of Pierre Anthon.
  • Still, she goes with the rest of the class after school to the hippie commune where Pierre Anthon lives.
  • He's sitting in a plum tree throwing plums. Not at them, mind you; that would be meaningless. When a plum happens to hit one of the other kids, he tells them it's just chance.
  • This plum tree business goes on for the next few days, with Pierre Anthon sitting up there taunting his classmates with reminders of their meaninglessness as they walk to and from school.
  • Sofie, one of the kids in 7A, asks Pierre Anthon what exactly he thinks he's doing, and he says he's contemplating the sky and getting used to doing nothing.
  • As fun as it is to be reminded every morning that life is meaningless, the kids decide they have to do something to get Pierre Anthon out of that stinkin' tree.

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