At the end of chapter 17, the World Controller tells John, “Basically, you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.” He clearly thinks John is misguided, if not insane. And as the Controller goes on to list all the forms of suffering and misery the right to be unhappy entails, it may seem hard to argue with him. Summarize the Controller’s position and place it in a philosophical/ethical context.
Mustapha Mond quite reasonably points out that he and his fellow World Controllers do not like inconvenience and discomfort. John perversely claims that he does. To comfort and convenience he opposes God, poetry, danger, freedom, goodness, and sin. It is at this point that Mond says John is claiming the right to be unhappy:
Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.
(The entire section contains 334 words.)
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