Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 6

By M.T. Anderson

Part 2, Chapter 6

  • Everyday is the same for Octavian; he translates boring fragments of texts.
  • Mr. Sharpe doesn't speak to him, and instead he just gives Octavian an assignment and leaves.
  • Greek and Latin become drudgery.
  • If he fails or makes mistakes, Octavian gets whipped, and while the whippings aren't as bad as that first whipping he got under Lord Cheldthorpe, they're a lot more regular.
  • This means his hands are always bloody, cut, and bandaged tightly—he needs the bandages because he's in charge of handling Mr. Sharpe's clothes and can't get them bloody.
  • But Octavian's okay with his demotion from princeling to servant.
  • He would have felt awkward to be growing up, playing the violin and reading, while other slaves toiled around him.
  • It is weird, though, to do chores, like prep dinner, then run to eat dinner in the dining hall, with the scholars who didn't prep the food.

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