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Course Hero. "Walden Two Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed November 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walden-Two/.

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Course Hero, "Walden Two Study Guide," February 6, 2018, accessed November 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walden-Two/.

Walden Two | Plot Summary

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Summary

Life at Walden Two

A professor of psychology named Burris is approached by a former student named Rogers and his friend Steve Jamnik. They encourage Burris to reach out to his former classmate, Frazier, who founded an experimental community named Walden Two. Frazier invites them all to visit his community. After overcoming his initial hesitation, Burris decides to join them, and he invites his colleague, a philosophy professor named Castle, to come along. Burris, Castle, Rogers, Steve, and Rogers's and Steve's respective girlfriends Barbara Macklin and Mary Grove all leave for a retreat at Walden Two.

Upon arriving at the community, the group is at first disoriented and feels there must be something wrong. They are confused by the citizens' pleasant dispositions and the lack of any rigorous scheduling or traditional work ethic. Frazier greets the visiting party and quickly familiarizes them with the day-to-day workings of the community, including the work-credit system. The visiting group is expected to contribute labor while at Walden Two.

Arguments on Both Sides

Tension mounts, particularly between Frazier and Castle, as Castle begins to criticize what he views as a lack of free will in the Walden Two inhabitants. He is convinced there is some unsettling truth behind what he is seeing in the community. Burris also has some misgivings, but he tends to serve as a mediator between Frazier and Castle. For the most part, Frazier defends Walden Two very successfully.

As Castle becomes more disgruntled with the community, Steve and his girlfriend Mary decide to join. Rogers also wants to join, but he faces conflict with his fiancée Barbara, whose conservative tastes steer her away from the idea. Burris begins to shed his doubts about the community. He gradually comes to feel it is indeed a better option than the life he has been living up to this point.

Joining the Community

Leaving Castle in the train station where the group will return to their outside lives, Burris decides to become a Walden Two inhabitant. He lets go of his university position, not even informing the university he has quit. He has made a complete transformation in his thinking and values, and he looks forward to the many endeavors he will be able to enjoy in his new life in the community.

Walden Two Plot Diagram

Climax123456789Rising ActionFalling ActionResolutionIntroduction

Introduction

1 Meeting with Rogers and Steve, Burris learns of Walden Two.

Rising Action

2 A woman's openness at the theater makes Burris uneasy.

3 Burris chides himself and admires Frazier's thinking.

4 Burris views marriage and childbearing practices as radical.

5 Burris struggles with his desire to join Walden Two.

6 Castle accuses Frazier of fascism.

Climax

7 Burris and Frazier meet at the Throne, a ledge in the woods.

Falling Action

8 Burris descends the Throne area with Frazier.

Resolution

9 Burris decides to join the Walden Two community.

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