Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 11

By M.T. Anderson

Part 2, Chapter 11

  • According to Octavian (the narrator), history is usually written by memoirists.
  • But not this year.
  • This year, history is unavoidable because war is nearing.
  • There are riots and beatings—all for those who side with the Brits.
  • Even Harvard men join in on the violence. (We're pretty sure there's a joke in here about Harvard students, but we'll leave that one up to you.)
  • Meanwhile, the College is poorer. Since the Transit of Venus, changes have clearly occurred.
  • Who could have imagined, during that summer of the Transit of Venus, that nine months later war would break out between the colonials and the Red Coats? That the Red Coats would actually fire into a crowd and kill five men?
  • About those dead five men: two of those bodies get displayed for public viewing—well, sort of. You have to pay a fee to see the corpses.
  • Which Bono does.
  • He says paying threepence isn't much to see history.
  • The whole chapter ends with a quote from Seneca, about how waiting for war is way worse than war itself.

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