This is a complicated relationship between the two men. At first, Mustapha Mond appears determined to "teach" John, to bring him over to the World State way of thinking. By the end however, John has proven himself Mond's equal, and claims his right to unhappiness. Mond and John engage in a chapter's worth of verbal and mental sparring. Mond offers up the history of the World State and examples of why happiness in any form is better than pain and suffering. What John sees though is an attempt to control his life, to force him to relinquish his autonomy.
Mond is pleased with John's mental prowess, and enjoys the philosophical debate. He challenges John's notions of art and religion, pointing out that members of the World State have no need for such distractions. Ultimately, Mond tries to prove he has the upper hand by denying John’s request to join Helmholtz or Bernard in exile. For a while, John is distressed by this. Then he builds his own exile by taking residence in an abandoned lighthouse. Soon though, his place of solitude is discovered. John eventually proves he has the power in the relationship by taking his own life, thereby denying the World State control.