Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 3, Chapter 7

By M.T. Anderson

Part 3, Chapter 7

  • On the back of Private Goring's last letter, there's a list of questions and answers that Goring titles "Prince's Catechism."
  • The Captain has asked Goring to get more information out of Octavian, just in case an "Adjutant" (a military officer) asks questions about Octavian.
  • Octavian doesn't answer most of the questions though, questions like: where he's from, if he fled Boston, where he learned to play the violin, if he has papers stating he's free, where he lived, and if he lived in a house.
  • Octavian does, however, answer affirmatively to the question of whether or not he lived outside.
  • He's also asked if he lived in a house with family, and this question causes Octavian to look down and reply that he's "'never even dwelt inside [him]self.'"
  • Both the Captain and Goring think that Octavian escaped from some tyrant master.
  • But Goring doesn't say this to Octavian, though he does tell him that slavery will be gone soon (oh, how wrong he is).
  • Then Goring gets seriously Biblical—like fire and brimstone-y, preacher-style—about how God will punish those who have slaves.

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