This too can apply in the deeper sense to the mythic "child" of the stillborn Republic. But in the immediate context of Viola asking for the Bible, the "child" must also be Christ, recalling the novel's several references to the Casa Gould's Madonna with "Child." Though Viola disapproves of priests, his dedication to the Bible -- mentioned twice already in this chapter -- signifies that Christ's message of love for humanity is the same ideal that, in its own way, animated Viola's life purpose. In this reading, what Viola had to protect was that ideal, which the Utopian society threatened to do away with by virtue of doing away with all ideals, and replacing them with actual love. Viola's "strange, mournful" tone may refer to his facing, on some level, the tragic dilemma that has dominated the novel: that the struggle is more important than the goal, that the dream-ideal defends its own existence first, ahead of its purported beneficiaries. In the world of pure Christian love, there could be no Christ.