Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 4, Chapter 3

By M.T. Anderson

Part 4, Chapter 3

  • If you felt like we were in Octavian's head before, now we're really in it—Octavian's getting seriously philosophical about his current state.
  • His conclusions?
  • First, even though his body is all shackled, it's still solid, with color, resistance, motion—in other words, it's still a body that has bodily characteristics, even in the absence of all senses.
  • But that's not anything special.
  • What is unique is this second point: He can't feel anything.
  • All the pain from the bit and shackles has faded because the mask has become an extension of his body; it's become a part of him.
  • What's more, his body—even though totally senseless—is still conscious and aware; it's just that it's bereft (of what exactly, Octavian doesn't specify).
  • What does all this show?
  • There is no separation between different forms of matter; it's a lot like he's returned to an original, unified state.
  • You can't differentiate between what binds you and what is you.
  • (Deep, huh?)

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