In Chapter XVI Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, and John are summoned to the office of the World Controller, Mustapha Mond, after the riot of the Deltas in which John throws away their soma, preaching freedom and rebellion while Bernard and Helmholtz joined in, coming to John's defence.
After they enter, Bernard takes a seat near the back of the room, hoping to draw attention away from himself. On the other hand, Helmhotz seats himself in the most comfortable chair, while John wanders around the room with anxiety. When Mustapha Mond enters, he addresses John, noting that the savage does not like the New World. Conversing with the men, Mond explains that the New World is stable now with no room for tragedies which cause social instability. Therefore, he will send off the dissidents.
When Mond assigns Iceland to Bernard, he begins to beg, throwing himself on his knees before the Controller in a "paroxysm of abjection." As Mond tries to make him stand up, Bernard continues to grovel until Mond rings for his secretary, who leaves and returns with three green-uniformed twin footmen, but Bernard continues his groveling until he is carried out, crying and protesting, displaying great weakness of character.
Then, as Mond turns to Helmholtz Watson, he says that happiness must be paid for, and Helmholtz is paying for it because he is interested in beauty. Mond asks Helmholtz if he prefers a tropical climate or something more "bracing." Helmholtz replies that he prefers a "thoroughly bad climate."
The Controller nodded his approbation. "I like you spirit Mr. Watson. I like it very much indeed. As Much as I officially disapprove of it....." What about the Falkland Islands?"
"Yes, I think that will do," Helmholtz answered.
Then, in contrast to Bernard, Helmholtz draws himself up with a certain dignity and excuses himself to go and see "how poor Bernard's getting on."
Finally, turning back to John, Mustapha Mond spends the most time with him, discussing how religion has now been replaced by science: "Christianity without tears--that what soma is," Mond tells John. But, John tells Mond,
"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."
Having stated that he wants the right to be unhappy, John chooses to make his "hermitage" the old lighthouse which stands on the crest of the hill where he can observe nature and enjoy solitude, undisturbed, working on a garden or something with the land. John desires to "escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life." Believing that he will be left alone, John is content. However, three days later, like "turkey buzzards settling on a corpse, the reporters came" and John's solitude and existence is destroyed.