Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 3

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Part 2, Chapter 3

  • We've got a new guy entering the scene: Mr. Sharpe.
  • Mr. Sharpe's here to save the day—he's got money (or, at least, he represents people with money), and he's willing to spend it on the College.
  • But Mr. Sharpe isn't exactly your benevolent benefactor.
  • First of all, he only faces people in order to assess them—otherwise, he paces and only shows you his profile.
  • When he meets Mr. Gitney and the rest of the College peeps, the first question he asks them is whether an animal can feed on itself to survive.
  • Why does he ask that question?
  • It's basically his way of going into his agenda for the College. He points out that the way the College was run in the past just can't be if it wants to survive into the future, so his plan is for the College to expand into the real world.
  • That means: (1) No more of Mr. Gitney's numerical naming system—it's just too hierarchical; and (2) he wants the Painter to make a mural of the Arts and Sciences sitting on top of Utility (which, he thinks, ought to kind of look like an ox).

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