Walden Two | Study Guide

B. F. Skinner

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Walden Two | Chapter 28 | Summary



In their bedroom on Sunday morning, Burris asks Castle if he thinks Frazier is really a fascist. Castle is uncertain, but he is unhappy with the lack of individuality and democracy he has seen. They meet up with the rest of the group in the dining area, and Barbara flirts with Frazier. This makes Frazier uncomfortable. When the rest of the group is preparing to attend a Sunday service in the theater, Frazier pulls Burris aside, and they go to his room. Burris is surprised by how slovenly the room is. Burris is honest about his assessment of the community, saying he is not really satisfied with it and doesn't know why. Frazier points out his personal failings and confesses he is not the type of person he hopes Walden will produce, but this is because he is not a product of the community. He thinks there can never be a "total conversion" of someone not born there. He admits there will be no ultimate success with the community until all members have Walden Two heritage.


Frazier's discomfort with Barbara's advances illustrates some of the behavior modification that has happened to Frazier while at Walden Two. He tells Burris he has forgotten what women on the outside can be like. Burris's pleasure at seeing Frazier uncomfortable with Barbara is telling. It indicates a vindictive streak in Burris, as if he desires to discredit or humiliate Frazier. Frazier's declaration he cannot be expected to exhibit all the skills and virtues of the people born in Walden Two indicates a deep insecurity. It is an admission his great experiment will not totally succeed for a generation. Of course it is still only supposition Walden Two will succeed even when inhabited by an indigenous population.

Frazier has been the main protagonist in the story, a hero of sorts, who is fighting against social norms to create a new society. It is interesting at this point in the story we witness an unflattering view of him. It reminds us of the fragility of the Walden Two endeavor, that it is a human construct with no covenant to anything but science.

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