“There shall be no more tyranny. A handful of men cannot seize power over thousands. A man shall choose who it is shall rule over him. . . . We give all we have, lives, property, safety, skills . . . we fight, we die, for a simple thing. Only that a man can stand up.”

James Otis speaks these words in Chapter VIII. Otis is brilliant but insane, so he has not been involved in the Boston Observers even though he was a founder. Nonetheless, Otis speaks these words as part of a rousing speech at one of the Boston Observers’ meetings. Here Otis offers his idealistic vision of what the American Revolution seeks to achieve: an independent nation based on the principles of freedom and equality, where the rights of every man are the same, regardless of class, wealth, and religion. His lofty sentiments inspire everyone in the room, particularly Johnny, and he helps to unite the audience against the British government. “So that a man can stand up” becomes Johnny’s personal war cry, and he repeats it to himself in moments of doubt. Johnny does not admire Otis’s sentiments merely because Otis is an articulate, enthusiastic speaker. Rather, Johnny rationally believes that human beings each have the natural right to liberty and freedom.