Octavian Nothing Part 1 Summary Detailed summary, highlighting the major point of Part 1: The Transit of Venus in the novel The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing written by M.T. Anderson.
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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
M. T. Anderson
We are first introduced to Octavian immediately in Part 1, as he is the narrator.
We are given insight into what goes on within the Novanglian College of Lucidity, and how Mr.
Gitney, also known as 03-01 goes about his experimentations within the household. Octavian
and his mother, Princess Cassiopeia of her homeland (Africa) are the center of his
experimentation, in which 03-01 is devoted, along with his other servant residing in the house, to
discovering the secrets of the universe, in order to create a perfect world in which all are united.
The visitation of Lord Cheldthorpe (02-01) when Octavian was eleven had changed the structure
of the College forever. Since he was a ‘gracious’ donator to the college, in order to continue Mr.
Gitney’s studies, which he would later publish for the world to bare witness, 03-01 encouraged
the princess to whatever she must to foster his involvement. However, when the visit of Lord
Cheldthorpe of the New Creation came to an end, he wished to bring the princess back to
England with him, as a result of his acquired affection for her. Being too wise for her own good,
Cassiopia realized that if she agreed, she would be completely under his control and have no
freedom, which she is under the impression she receives in her current state at the college. As a
result of his dismissal to marriage, Cassiopia refused to leave, which only angered the Lord, who
was not use to anyone, most especially a ‘negro’, refusing any of his claims or propositions.
Octavian, who had been listening through the other side of the door, barged into the room when
he heard an attack in an attempt to protect his mother. Unfortunately, this action of his gave them
both brutal punishments consisting of lashes and bitter confinement in an ice-house located
within a hill.
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