Walden Two | Study Guide

B. F. Skinner

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Walden Two | Chapter 2 | Summary



This chapter focuses on the preparation for the trip to Walden Two and the initial meeting with Frazier. The professor, his colleague Castle, Rogers, Steve, and their two female companions Mary Grove and Barbara Macklin comprise the party traveling to Walden Two. Burris describes the setting of Walden Two and the seeming indifference of Frazier, their host.


In the first half of the chapter, the author places emphasis on time to quicken the pace of the narrative. For example, Burris narrates, "On Wednesday morning, rather breathless from my new tempo, I found myself on a train." Skinner also creates urgency by establishing a narrow window of time in which to visit Walden Two: "The only free time in the near future was almost upon us."

Setting continues to be important. The narrator describes the rural landscape of Walden Two and the various buildings and room details, including "the natural finish of the woodwork and the earth-colored walls." The community is surrounded by pasture and woodland, which is a stark contrast to the environment of the university. Exterior space becomes as important as interior.

Skinner creates tension by sharing the narrator's frustration with Frazier's mysterious behavior. Burris appears to have expected a more vocal and doting guide. Like the narrator, readers are not certain how Frazier views his guests since he is quiet through most of the group's initial meeting with him.

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