Brave New World
Summary: Outline the main events of each chapter (ca. 200 words).
Work on the following assignments:
- Contrast Bernard’s and Lenina’s understanding of personal relationships.
- Explain what makes Bernard and Helmholtz unhappy and describe their friendship.
- Lenina has some doubts about the system. Explain what they are and discuss her solution to the problem.
- Why is Bernard unhappy at the orgy-porgy, although he participates in its rituals?
- Imagine that Lenina is asked to write a report for the Beta newspaper about the religious ceremony in the pueblo, giving also critical judgement of the event.
- What are John’s feelings towards Lenina, and why does he use Shakespeare quotations to express his feelings?
- Make a list of things John is introduced to or shown and state how he reacts to them.
- Describe the relationship between love and violence as depicted here. Does john really love Linda?
- Explain the philosophy behind the Hospital for the Dying. Why has it been decided that everyone should die at the age of 60?
- Explain the role of the World Controller in this Chapter.
- Outline the fundamental aspects of the political ideology of the World State.
- Explain why John kills himself.
Choose one character and work on his/her appearance, character and attitude.
- John the Savage
After the building is presented, the director of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre guides a group of students through the facilities. They get to see machines that are used in order to produce embryos. They are told the basics of cloning: Bokanovsky’s Process that only Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons undergo in order to be mass produced and Podsnap’s Technique, which reduces the time of development. Furthermore, the caste system is explained by Henry Foster, a fertilizer and predestinator. The Alphas and Betas are the attractive and intelligent people of society who have leadership positions, whereas Epsilons are the stupid ones. The caste system grants stability, which is one of the mottos next to identity and community. These three principles shall keep society together.
Afterwards, the students watch Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning that trains one-year-old children. Electro shocks and sirens are used when the babies want to touch books and flowers in order to make them dislike knowledge and nature. Since they are going to become Deltas, the working class, they shall concentrate on their work. If not, they would destabilize society. Furthermore Epsilons are not able to read or write. The students are also shown sleeping children that listen to repeated catchphrases. These hypnopaedic sentences implant basic things that grant stability. For example, Betas are told the hierarchy and they are also told not to like lower castes. The students additionally learn that the word “Ford” is used to replace “God”, who is worshipped by the Director.
The students continue their tour outside of the Centre and are shown how children are conditioned in order to be promiscuous at an early age. Suddenly Mustapha Mond appears. He is one of the ten World Controllers that make the rules of the World State. He explains that history isn’t taught anymore because old things like Jesus or philosophy are bunk, he mainly criticizes religion. Paradoxically he keeps The Holy Bible in his safe. Mond later on explains why “family” has been banished: family is a reason for madness and suicide, besides it evokes perversion like sadism to chastity. Mond reflects how the World State was founded. After the Nine Years’ War they had decided whether people should be forced or conditioned (e.g. hypnopaedia) to like something.
Lenina Crowne, a Beta Minus fertilizer in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, is scolded by her friend Fanny for only having one guy in a very long time. She explains how Lenina might be going with Bernard Marx, which doesn’t make Lenina feel any better. Besides, there is a difference between her current dating partner Henry Foster and Bernard Marx. Bernard dislikes superficial sex films and is shocked by Foster’s view of Lenina being an object of desire. In the World State it is normal to have a lot of different partners frequently.
Lenina asks Bernard to take her to New Mexico. Since Bernard is an Alpha he is able to leave the World State. Because of his defect (regarding his caste he is 8 cm too short and not respected by lower castes) he reacts nervously and insecure. Besides, he likes Lenina a lot and is not used to being somebody who is asked for any kind of date. On their helicopter flight Lenina and Henry see the differences of the castes. For example, they exist in work and movement (e.g. train or helicopter).
In the meantime the difference between the two friends Helmholtz and Marx are revealed. Both suffer from being individual. As against Bernard’s height is too short, Helmholtz’ intellectual abilities are overdeveloped. Therefore, he is always thinking about something and is also liked by women. On Bernard’s way to Helmholtz, other differences between the castes are revealed. Here, they exist in medial consumption like the papers. Lower castes are able to only understand one-syllable words. When Bernard arrives at Helmholtz’ flat they talk about their dissatisfaction and problems.
Henry and Lenina return from the Stoke Poges Club House by helicopter. When they are near to the Slough Crematorium, Lenina learns that everybody is burnt after death and is used as fertilizer. She reveals her attitude towards the values of the caste members, to which Alphas und Betas are more useful than the lower castes. Henry, as a committed fertilizer and predestinator, tells Lenina something about being physically identical to other castes. After a switchback, caused by rising gas of somebody that has just being burnt, they calm each other by saying the hypnopaedic sentence “Everybody’s happy now” and finally they land. Afterwards they have dinner and go to a party where they take soma and dance to synthetic music. Back at home they have sex.
Meanwhile Bernard attends the Solidarity Service, which is comparable to the Christian Service. Bernard feels uncomfortable when the other people worship Ford. Due to his emptiness inside he feels isolated and disinterested watches how 12 twelve people unify into one person during the ceremony. The ceremony’s aim is integrating people into society, which does not affect Bernard.
Bernard and Lenina head to the Savage Reservation, a place where undeveloped humans live. Before they start off they meet each other and reveal their different understanding of dating. Lenina prefers having sex and wants to talk rather superficially. In the end he gives in (due to soma) and they have sex.
Afterwards Bernard is told by the Director who gives him permission to fly to the Reservations that he once took a Beta Minus woman there. The Director admits that he still thinks about it and remembers how this woman disappeared during a storm. Bernard tells Helmholtz what he has been told and that he was asked to finally fit into the society when he voiced his compassion, otherwise he was going to be banished to Iceland. Helmholtz again dislikes Bernard’s self-pity.
Together, Bernard and Lenina get to know life in the Reservation. Babies are born naturally, they have a variety of religions and various languages are spoken. Because of Lenina and Bernard have taken soma, they cannot understand what they are shown during the guided tour. The habitants are called Indians and they are not able to leave the Reservation. When Bernard calls Helmholtz he is told that the Director recently decided to banish him, whereupon he takes soma. Finally, Bernard and Lenina are taken to the pueblo of Malpais.
Bernard and Lenina start their experience in the Reservation of pueblo of Malpais. Lenina is disgusted by the Indians because they are half-naked and live between dirt and smell as against Bernard, who is fascinated by the surrounding. Both watch a ritual of sacrifice to the gods Pookong and Jesus in which a man is whipped to death. Afterwards they meet John the Savage. Since he looks different from the Indians he is not able to join the ritual. While talking Bernard considers that John has to be the son of The Director since John’s mother Linda once came from another place. When they meet Linda, who is fat and ugly, they learn her story and that she drinks a lot of alcohol. Instead of soma she uses the drug peyotl. Linda describes the incident by saying she was walking in the mountains when she fell and hit her head. Finally some natives found her and brought her back to the village. She has always been unable to condition her son because as a Beta she only used to be fertilizer. Bernard realizes that bringing them back to the World State could cause humiliation to the Director.
Bernard learns different things of John’s past and childhood. John once tried to kill Popé, who is one of the many sex partners Linda had, because he brought her drugs. Linda taught John to read and so he was able to understand The Complete Works of Shakespeare when he was twelve years old. John also received typical Indian culture like making bows and arrows. Bernard learns that the Indians have a lot of different rituals. However, he became an outsider and Bernard quickly sympathizes with him. John’s happiest times were when Linda told him about her world, with the flying helicopters and the soma, though she wasn’t able to answer most of his questions about the world. On the reservation, Linda soon became addicted to Pescal and Indian alcohol and suffered strongly from the damaging side-effects. Bernard decides to take John and his mother to London. John expresses he feelings towards Lenina when he is happy about that she is not married to Bernard.
Bernard calls Mustapha Mond and asks him whether he is allowed to bring John the Savage and his mother Linda to London. Mond agrees and calls this intention an interesting experiment.
John breaks into the rest-house where Lenina sleeps 18 hours after having taken a very high dose of soma. Lenina is overwhelmed in a negative way by all the things she saw there. Firstly John thinks that Bernard and Lenina left. But then he finds Leninas suitcase and likes her clothes, which smell of her perfume. John is fascinated by Lenina’s beauty and watches her sleeping while he quotes Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. However, he is ashamed of his thoughts of seeing her naked. John quickly leaves the rest-house in order to meet Bernard.
The director is waiting for Bernard to return because he wants to expose him in front of the employees for selfish reasons. Whereas Henry Foster praises Bernard’s work, the director assesses his behaviour as a danger to the society. Furthermore, a new Alpha Plus can be created easily. When Bernard enters the room, he is going to be banished to Iceland. To the surprise of all Linda and John are presented. They reveal their relation to the director, whereupon the whole crowd is laughing, except the director who - stunned and humiliated - escapes the room.
- Quote paper
- C. J. (Author), 2011, Brave New World - Summary and assignments, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/177906