He has rejected organised religion and the "terrifying mystery of Scripture and pulpit". His is a rational God who can be approached through the exercise of human reason. Tristan is already reading Descartes and Harvey, and when he grows up he wants to be a scientist: "a giant of natural philosophy" and the "prophet of a new world". He is particularly fascinated by the workings of the human body, so he aspires to a medical career. Not far into the novel he sets up a makeshift laboratory and starts to dissect rodents.