Philip Castle's story about fighting the bubonic plague with his father encapsulates one of the central tenets of Bokononism quite well. Julian realized at a certain point that he was fighting a losing battle, well aware of the irony of being a doctor with no cure. The fruitlessness of his efforts did not upset Julian, however, but rather lent a sort of levity to the situation. His response was to find humor in it. Phillip does not seem to troubled about it either.