Study Guide

Nothing Chapter 4

By Janne Teller

Chapter 4

  • The kids go to Pierre Anthon's tree pulling Holy Karl's bike trailer full of stones. They've gone down to the river to gather the heaviest ones, so they're ready to start pelting away.
  • Jon-Johan commands them all, including Henrik, to throw at least two stones apiece at Pierre Anthon. Otto is keeping tally to make sure everyone actually does it. 
  • Aye aye, captains. The kids start flinging the stones at Pierre Anthon while he throws plums at them, taunting them about the pointlessness of their actions. 
  • And while we don't recommend bringing a plum to a stone fight, for the most part, Pierre's getting the better of them. He's just too high up, and they all keep missing. 
  • That is, until Agnes gets really mad and manages to graze him. 
  • It doesn't hurt him, though, and he responds with statistics about how many hours of their lives they'll waste doing pointless things like sleeping, cleaning, and having babies (and throwing stones). He estimates that they've got at most nine decent years, total, to live.
  • When he tells them they're just throwing stones because they don't have the guts to climb trees, they all throw rocks at the same time and manage to knock him out of the tree.
  • They leave him howling in the hedges, because Holy Karl has to return the trailer and they have to get home.
  • The next morning, he's not in the tree, so they assume they've won the battle.
  • But two days later, he's back, his face covered with Band-Aids, and he's armed with a whole new onslaught of taunts. When Agnes passes by, he tells her it's pointless to try to be good at anything, because someone else will always be better. This kid should really write motivational posters.
  • She tells him to shut up, because she's going to be a famous fashion designer, and she gives him the finger. Way to stay classy, Aggie.
  • A few days later, Jon-Johan calls them all to the soccer field again, and they make a plan to show Pierre Anthon that something matters after all. 
  • And so the heap of meaning is born.

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