How does the Director threaten Bernard? What effect does the threat have on him? Why do you think Bernard responds this way to being threatened? How does his response help develop his character?
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The Director yells at Bernard for failing to conform to societal standards. He threatens to send Bernard to Iceland if the latter does not begin to conform his personal life to the demands of society. Bernard returns home and brags to Helmholtz about his encounter with the Director by embellishing the details. He tells Helmholtz that he confronted the Director and told him to go to the "Bottomless Pit," even though this account is false. Helmholtz is unimpressed, and hates the way Bernard goes from self-pity to arrogant boasting. Bernard’s emotional rebellion adds to the rising tension of the storyline.