Walden Two | Study Guide

B. F. Skinner

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Walden Two | Chapter 20 | Summary

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Summary

On the roof of one of the common rooms, Burris's party relaxes in deck chairs and on cushions as Frazier defends his concept of the "Good Life." The first condition he associates with the Good Life is health is preferable to illness. The second is the ability to do as little unsavory labor as possible while not creating adverse conditions for anyone. Third is the chance to manifest one's talents and special skills. Finally, he proposes relaxation and rest are part of the Good Life. Frazier argues all of these conditions are present in Walden Two.

Frazier also talks at length of the Walden Code, which is the agreed-upon conduct of each member of the community. This code controls behavior even down to the etiquette of how to civilly express one's boredom.

Analysis

Castle is unsatisfied with Frazier's explanations and feels the community has no intellectual or artistic concern about long-term goals. He thinks the situation at Walden Two is mainly focused on the moment. Frazier counters this by saying most people live day-to-day and long-range planning is often aimed at having security or a sense of personal achievement. Both of these concerns are downplayed in Walden Two.

Frazier's reference to the "Good Life" originates with Aristotle's Ethics. It represents the ideal existence one would desire. In this case Frazier professes the Walden Two community is as good as existence can get. The theme of health is accentuated in this chapter. It is, along with a strong economic base and wisdom, the path on which to transcend modern society.

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