Aldous Huxley -


                                ALDOUS HUXLEY'S                             
                                BRAVE NEW WORLD                             
                              by Anthony Astrachan                          
                                 SERIES EDITOR                              
                                 Michael Spring                             
                           Editor, Literary Cavalcade                       
                                Scholastic Inc.                             
        We would like to acknowledge the many painstaking hours of work     
       Holly Hughes and Thomas F. Hirsch have devoted to making the Book    
                            Notes series a success.                         
            (C) Copyright 1984 by B a r r o n ' s Educational Series, Inc.         
   Electronically Enhanced Text (C) Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.     
          THE NOVEL                                                         
          The Plot................................. HBRAPLOT                
          The Characters........................... HBRACHAR                
          Other Elements                                                    
               Setting............................. HBRASETT                
               Themes.............................. HBRATHEM                
               Style............................... HBRASTYL                
               Point of View....................... HBRAVIEW                
               Form and Structure.................. HBRAFORM                
          THE STORY................................ HBRASTOR                
          A STEP BEYOND                                                     
          Tests and Answers........................ HBRATEST                
          Term Paper Ideas......................... HBRATERM                
          Glossary................................. HBRAGLOS                
          The Critics.............................. HBRACRIT                
          Advisory Board........................... HBRAADVB                
          Bibliography............................. HBRABIBL                

                              THE NOVEL                                     
                               THE PLOT                     (HBRAPLOT)      
  Brave New World is partly a statement of ideas (expressed by              
characters with no more depth than cartoon characters) and only partly      
a story with a plot.                                                        
  The first three chapters present most of the important ideas or           
themes of the novel. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning            
explains that this Utopia breeds people to order, artificially              
fertilizing a mother's eggs to create babies that grow in bottles.          
They are not born, but decanted. Everyone belongs to one of five            
classes, from the Alphas, the most intelligent, to the Epsilons,            
morons bred to do the dirty jobs that nobody else wants to do. The          
lower classes are multiplied by a budding process that can create up        
to 96 identical clones and produce over 15,000 brothers and sisters         
from a single ovary.                                                        
  All the babies are conditioned, physically and chemically in the          
bottle, and psychologically after birth, to make them happy citizens        
of the society with both a liking and an aptitude for the work they         
will do. One psychological conditioning technique is hypnopaedia, or        
teaching people while they sleep- not teaching facts or analysis,           
but planting suggestions that will make people behave in certain ways.      
The Director also makes plain that sex is a source of happiness, a          
game people play with anyone who pleases them.                              
  The Controller, one of the ten men who run the world, explains            
some of the more profound principles on which the Utopia is based. One      
is that "history is bunk"; the society limits people's knowledge of         
the past so they will not be able to compare the present with anything      
that might make them want to change the present. Another principle          
is that people should have no emotions, particularly no painful             
emotions; blind happiness is necessary for stability. One of the            
things that guarantees happiness is a drug called soma, which calms         
you down and gets you high but never gives you a hangover. Another          
is the "feelies," movies that reach your sense of touch as well as          
your sight and hearing.                                                     
  After Huxley presents these themes in the first three chapters,           
the story begins. Bernard Marx, an Alpha of the top class, is on the        
verge of falling in love with Lenina Crowne, a woman who works in           
the Embryo Room of the Hatchery. Lenina has been dating Henry               
Foster, a Hatchery scientist; her friend Fanny nags her because she         
hasn't seen any other man for four months. Lenina likes Bernard but         
doesn't fall in love with him. Falling in love is a sin in this             
world in which one has sex with everyone else, and she is a happy,          
conforming citizen of the Utopia.                                           
  Bernard is neither happy nor conforming. He's a bit odd; for one          
thing, he's small for an Alpha, in a world where every member of the        
same caste is alike. He likes to treasure his differences from his          
fellows, but he lacks the courage to fight for his right to be an           
individual. In contrast is his friend Helmholtz Watson, successful          
in sports, sex, and community activities, but openly dissatisfied           
because instead of writing something beautiful and powerful, his job        
is to turn out propaganda.                                                  
  Bernard attends a solidarity service of the Fordian religion, a           
parody of Christianity as practiced in England in the 1920s. It             
culminates in a sexual orgy, but he doesn't feel the true rapture           
experienced by the other 11 members of his group.                           
  Bernard then takes Lenina to visit a Savage Reservation in North          
America. While signing his permit to go, the Director tells Bernard         
how he visited the same Reservation as a young man, taking a young          
woman from London who disappeared and was presumed dead. He then            
threatens Bernard with exile to Iceland because Bernard is a                
nonconformist: he doesn't gobble up pleasure in his leisure time            
like an infant.                                                             
  At the Reservation, Bernard and Lenina meet John, a handsome young        
Savage who, Bernard soon realizes, is the son of the Director.              
Clearly, the woman the Director had taken to the Reservation long           
ago had become pregnant as the result of an accident that the citizens      
of Utopia would consider obscene. John has a fantasy picture of the         
Utopia from his mother's tales and a knowledge of Shakespeare that          
he mistakes for a guide to reality.                                         
  Bernard gets permission from the Controller to bring John and Linda,      
his mother, back to London. The Director had called a public meeting        
to announce Bernard's exile, but by greeting the Director as lover and      
father, respectively, Linda and John turn him into an obscene joke.         
Bernard stays and becomes the center of attention of all London             
because he is, in effect, John's guardian, and everybody wants to meet      
the Savage. Linda goes into a permanent soma trance after her years of      
exile on the Reservation. John is taken to see all the attractions          
of new world society and doesn't like them. But he enjoys arguing with      
Helmholtz about them, and about Shakespeare.                                
  Lenina has become popular because she is thought to be sleeping with      
the Savage. Everyone envies her and wants to know what it's like. But,      
in fact, while she wants to sleep with John, he refuses because he,         
too, has fallen in love with her- and he has taken from Shakespeare         
the old-fashioned idea that lovers should be pure. Not understanding        
this, she finally comes to his apartment and takes her clothes off. He      
throws her out, calling her a prostitute because he thinks she's            
immoral, even though he wants her desperately.                              
  John then learns that his mother is dying. The hospital                   
illustrates the Utopia's approach to death, which includes trying to        
completely eliminate grief and pain. When John goes to visit Linda          
he is devastated; his display of grief frightens children being taught      
that death is a pleasant and natural process. John grows so angry that      
he tries to bring the Utopia back to what he considers sanity and           
morality by disrupting the daily distribution of soma to lower-caste        
Delta workers. That leads to a riot; John, Bernard, and Helmholtz           
are arrested.                                                               
  The three then confront the Controller, who explains more of the          
Utopia's principles. Their conversation reveals that the Utopia             
achieves its happiness by giving up science, art, religion, and             
other things that we prize in the real world. The Controller sends          
Bernard to Iceland, after all, and Helmholtz to the Falkland                
Islands. He keeps John in England, but John finds a place where he can      
lead a hermit's life, complete with suffering. His solitude is invaded      
by Utopians who want to see him suffer, as though it were a sideshow        
spectacle; when Lenina joins the mob, he kills himself.                     
                            THE CHARACTERS                  (HBRACHAR)      
  Because this is a Utopian novel of ideas, few of the characters           
are three-dimensional people who come alive on the page. Most exist to      
voice ideas in words or to embody them in their behavior. John,             
Bernard, Helmholtz, and the Controller express ideas through real           
personalities, but you will enjoy most of the others more if you see        
them as cartoon characters rather than as full portraits that may seem      
so poorly drawn that they will disappoint you.                              
  THE DIRECTOR OF HATCHERIES AND CONDITIONING                               
  The Director opens the novel by explaining the reproductive system        
of the brave new world, with genetically engineered babies growing          
in bottles. He loves to throw "scientific data" at his listeners so         
quickly that they can't understand them; he is a know-it-all impressed      
with his own importance. In fact, he knows less and is less                 
important than the Controller, as you see when he is surprised that         
the Controller dares to talk about two forbidden topics- history and        
biological parents.                                                         
  The Director comes alive only when he confesses to Bernard Marx that      
as a young man he went to a Savage Reservation, taking along a woman        
who disappeared there. She was pregnant with his baby, as a result          
of what the Utopia considers an obscene accident. The baby grows up to      
be John; his return to London leads to the total humiliation of the         
  The Director's name is Thomas, but you learn this only because            
Linda, his onetime lover and John's mother, keeps referring to him          
as Tomakin.                                                                 
  HENRY FOSTER                                                              
  Henry is a scientist in the London Hatchery, an ideal citizen of the      
world state: efficient and intelligent at work, filling his leisure         
time with sports and casual sex. He is not an important character           
but helps Huxley explain the workings of the Hatchery, show Lenina's        
passionless sex life, and explore the gulf between Bernard and the          
"normal" citizens of Utopia.                                                
  LENINA CROWNE                                                             
  Lenina is young and pretty despite having lupus, an illness that          
causes reddish-brown blotches to appear on her skin. She is, like           
Henry Foster, a happy, shallow citizen, her one idiosyncracy is the         
fact that she sometimes spends more time than society approves              
dating one man exclusively.                                                 
  Like all well-conditioned citizens of the World State, Lenina             
believes in having sex when she wants it. She can't understand that         
John avoids sex with her because he loves her and does not want to          
do something that he thinks- in his old-fashioned, part-Indian,             
part-Christian, part-Shakespearean way- will dishonor her. She              
embodies the conflict he feels between body and spirit, between love        
and lust.                                                                   
  Lenina is more a cartoon character than a real person, but she            
triggers John's emotional violence and provides the occasion for his        
suicide when she comes to see him whip himself.                             
  THE CONTROLLER, MUSTAPHA MOND                                             
  Mond is one of the ten people who control the World State. He is          
good-natured and dedicated to his work, and extremely intelligent;          
he understands people and ideas that are different, which most              
Utopians cannot do. He has read such forbidden books as the works of        
Shakespeare and the Bible, and knows history and philosophy. Indeed,        
he resembles the Oxford professors that Huxley knew, and his                
discussion of happiness with the Savage resembles a tutorial between        
an Oxford don and his most challenging student.                             
  Once a gifted scientist, the Controller made a conscious choice as a      
young man to become one of the rulers instead of a troublesome              
dissident. He is one of the few Utopians who can choose, who has            
free will, and this makes him more rounded and more attractive than         
most of the characters you'll meet in the book. It also makes him           
concerned with morality, but he uses his moral force and his sanity         
for the immoral and insane goals of the Utopia. You may decide that he      
is the most dangerous person in Brave New World.                            
  BERNARD MARX                                                              
  A specialist in sleep-teaching, Bernard does not fit the                  
uniformity that usually characterizes all members of the same caste.        
He is an Alpha of high intelligence and therefore a member of the           
elite, but he is small and therefore regarded as deformed. Other            
people speculate that too much alcohol was put into his bottle when he      
was still an embryo. He dislikes sports and likes to be alone, two          
very unusual traits among Utopians. When he first appears, he seems to      
dislike casual sex, another departure from the norm. He is unhappy          
in a world where everyone else is happy.                                    
  At first Bernard seems to take pleasure in his differentness, to          
like being a nonconformist and a rebel. Later, he reveals that his          
rebellion is less a matter of belief than of his own failure to be          
accepted. When he returns from the Savage Reservation with John, he is      
suddenly popular with important people and successful with women,           
and he loves it. Underneath, he has always wanted to be a happy member      
of the ruling class. In the end, he is exiled to Iceland and                
protests bitterly.                                                          
  HELMHOLTZ WATSON                                                          
  Helmholtz, like Bernard, is different from the average Alpha-plus         
intellectual. A mental giant who is also successful in sports and sex,      
he's almost too good to be true. But he is a nonconformist who knows        
that the world is capable of greater literature than the propaganda he      
writes so well- and that he is capable of producing it. When John           
the Savage introduces him to Shakespeare, Helmholtz only appreciates        
half of it; despite his genius, he's still limited by his Utopian           
upbringing. He remains willing to challenge society even if he can't        
change it, and accepts exile to the bleak Falkland Islands in the hope      
that physical discomfort and the company of other dissidents will           
stimulate his writing.                                                      
  JOHN THE SAVAGE                                                           
  John is the son of two members of Utopia, but has grown up on a           
Savage Reservation. He is the only character who can really compare         
the two different worlds, and it is through him that Huxley shows that      
his Utopia is a bad one.                                                    
  John's mother, Linda, became pregnant accidentally, a very unusual        
event in the brave new world. While she was pregnant, she visited a         
Savage Reservation, hurt herself in a fall, and got lost, missing           
her return trip to London. The Indians of the Reservation saved her         
life and she gave birth to John. The boy grew up absorbing three            
cultures: the Utopia he heard about from his mother; the Indian             
culture in which he lived, but which rejected him as an outsider;           
and the plays of Shakespeare, which he read in a book that survived         
from pre-Utopian days.                                                      
  John, in short, is different from the other Savages and from the          
Utopians. He is tall and handsome, but much more of an alien in either      
world than Bernard is. John looks at both worlds through the lenses of      
the religion he acquired on the Reservation- a mixture of Christianity      
and American Indian beliefs- and the old-fashioned morality he learned      
from reading Shakespeare. His beliefs contradict those of the brave         
new world, as he shows in his struggle over sex with Lenina and his         
fight with the system after his mother dies. Eventually, the                
conflict is too much for him and he kills himself.                          
  Linda is John's mother, a Beta minus who sleeps with the Director         
and becomes pregnant accidentally, 20 years before the action of the        
book begins. She falls while visiting a Savage Reservation, becomes         
unconscious, and remains lost until the Director has to leave. She          
is then rescued by Indians, gives birth to John, and lives for 20           
years in the squalor of the Reservation, where she grows old, sick,         
and fat without the medical care that keeps people physically young in      
the Utopia. Behaving according to Utopian principles, she sleeps            
with many of the Indians on the Reservation and never understands           
why the women despise her or why the community makes John an                
outcast. When she returns to London, she takes ever-increasing doses        
of soma and stays perpetually high- until the drug kills her.               
                            OTHER ELEMENTS                                  
                               SETTING                      (HBRASETT)      
  Setting plays a particularly important role in Brave New World.           
Huxley's novel is a novel of Utopia, and a science-fiction novel. In        
both kinds of books the portrayal of individual characters tends to         
take a back seat to the portrayal of the society they live in. In some      
ways, the brave new world itself becomes the book's main character.         
  The story opens in London some 600 years in the future- 632 A. F.         
(After Ford) in the calendar of the era. Centuries before,                  
civilization as we know it was destroyed in the Nine Years' War. Out        
of the ruins grew the World State, an all-powerful government headed        
by ten World Controllers. Faith in Christ has been replaced by Faith        
in Ford, a mythologized version of Henry Ford, the auto pioneer who         
developed the mass production methods that have reached their zenith        
in the World State. Almost all traces of the past have been erased,         
for, as Henry Ford said, "History is bunk." Changing names show the         
changed society. Charing Cross, the London railroad station, is now         
Charing T Rocket Station: the cross has been supplanted by the T, from      
Henry Ford's Model T. Big Ben is now Big Henry. Westminster Abbey, one      
of England's most hallowed shrines, is now merely the site of a             
nightclub, the Westminster Abbey Cabaret.                                   
  The people of this world, born from test tubes and divided into five      
castes, are docile and happy, kept occupied by elaborate games like         
obstacle golf, entertainments like the "feelies," and sexual                
promiscuity. Disease is nonexistent, old age and death made as              
pleasant as possible so they can be ignored.                                
  Some parts of the earth, however, are allowed to remain as they were      
before the World State came to power. With Bernard and Lenina, you          
visit one of these Savage Reservations, the New Mexican home of the         
Zuni Indians. It is a world away from civilized London: the Zunis           
are impoverished, dirty, ravaged by disease and old age, and still          
cling to their ancient religion.                                            
  The settings in Brave New World, then, seem to offer only the choice      
between civilized servitude and primitive ignorance and squalor. Are        
these the only choices available? One other is mentioned, the               
islands of exile- Iceland and the Falkland Islands- where                   
malcontents like Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson are sent. But            
Huxley does not discuss these places in enough detail to let us know        
whether or not they provide any kind of alternative to the grim life        
he has presented in the rest of the book.                                   
                                THEMES                      (HBRATHEM)      
  This novel is about a Utopia, an ideal state- a bad ideal state.          
It is therefore a novel about ideas, and its themes are as important        
as its plot. They will be studied in depth in the chapter-by-chapter        
discussion of the book. Most are expressed as fundamental principles        
of the Utopia, the brave new world. Some come to light when one             
character, a Savage raised on an Indian reservation, confronts that         
world. As you find the themes, try to think not only about what they        
say about Huxley's Utopia, but also about Huxley's real world- and          
your own.                                                                   
  Community, Identity, Stability is the motto of the World State. It        
lists the Utopia's prime goals. Community is in part a result of            
identity and stability. It is also achieved through a religion that         
satirizes Christianity- a religion that encourages people to reach          
solidarity through sexual orgy. And it is achieved by organizing            
life so that a person is almost never alone.                                
  Identity is in large part the result of genetic engineering. Society      
is divided into five classes or castes, hereditary social groups. In        
the lower three classes, people are cloned in order to produce up to        
96 identical "twins." Identity is also achieved by teaching everyone        
to conform, so that someone who has or feels more than a minimum of         
individuality is made to feel different, odd, almost an outcast.            
  Stability is the third of the three goals, but it is the one the          
characters mention most often- the reason for designing society this        
way. The desire for stability, for instance, requires the production        
of large numbers of genetically identical "individuals," because            
people who are exactly the same are less likely to come into conflict.      
Stability means minimizing conflict, risk, and change.                      
  2. SCIENCE AS A MEANS OF CONTROL                                          
  Brave New World is not only a Utopian book, it is also a                  
science-fiction novel. But it does not predict much about science in        
general. Its theme "is the advancement of science as it affects             
human individuals," Huxley said in the Foreword he wrote in 1946, 15        
years after he wrote the book. He did not focus on physical sciences        
like nuclear physics, though even in 1931 he knew that the                  
production of nuclear energy (and weapons) was probable. He was more        
worried about dangers that appeared more obvious at that time- the          
possible misuse of biology, physiology, and psychology to achieve           
community, identity, and stability. Ironically, it becomes clear at         
the end of the book that the World State's complete control over human      
activity destroys even the scientific progress that gained it such          
  3. THE THREAT OF GENETIC ENGINEERING                                      
  Genetic engineering is a term that has come into use in recent years      
as scientists have learned to manipulate RNA and DNA, the proteins          
in every cell that determine the basic inherited characteristics of         
life. Huxley didn't use the phrase but he describes genetic                 
engineering when he explains how his new world breeds prescribed            
numbers of humans artificially for specified qualities.                     
  4. THE MISUSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONING                               
  Every human being in the new world is conditioned to fit society's        
needs- to like the work he will have to do. Human embryos do not            
grow inside their mothers' wombs but in bottles. Biological or              
physiological conditioning consists of adding chemicals or spinning         
the bottles to prepare the embryos for the levels of strength,              
intelligence, and aptitude required for given jobs. After they are          
"decanted" from the bottles, people are psychologically conditioned,        
mainly by hypnopaedia or sleep-teaching. You might say that at every        
stage the society brainwashes its citizens.                                 
  A society can achieve stability only when everyone is happy, and the      
brave new world tries hard to ensure that every person is happy. It         
does its best to eliminate any painful emotion, which means every deep      
feeling, every passion. It uses genetic engineering and conditioning        
to ensure that everyone is happy with his or her work.                      
  6. THE CHEAPENING OF SEXUAL PLEASURE                                      
  Sex is a primary source of happiness. The brave new world makes           
promiscuity a virtue: you have sex with any partner you want, who           
wants you- and sooner or later every partner will want you. (As a           
child, you learn in your sleep that "everyone belongs to everyone           
else.") In this Utopia, what we think of as true love for one person        
would lead to neurotic passions and the establishment of family             
life, both of which would interfere with community and stability.           
Nobody is allowed to become pregnant because nobody is born, only           
decanted from a bottle. Many females are born sterile by design; those      
who are not are trained by "Malthusian drill" to use contraceptives         
  7. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS THROUGH DRUGS                                 
  Soma is a drug used by everyone in the brave new world. It calms          
people and gets them high at the same time, but without hangovers or        
nasty side effects. The rulers of the brave new world had put 2000          
pharmacologists and biochemists to work long before the action of           
the novel begins; in six years they had perfected the drug. Huxley          
believed in the possibility of a drug that would enable people to           
escape from themselves and help them achieve knowledge of God, but          
he made soma a parody and degradation of that possibility.                  
  This society offers its members distractions that they must enjoy in      
common- never alone- because solitude breeds instability. Huxley            
mentions but never explains sports that use complex equipment whose         
manufacture keeps the economy rolling- sports called Obstacle Golf and      
Centrifugal Bumble-puppy. But the chief emblem of Brave New World is        
the Feelies- movies that feature not only sight and sound but also the      
sensation of touch, so that when people watch a couple making love          
on a bearskin rug, they can feel every hair of the bear on their own        
  9. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FAMILY                                          
  The combination of genetic engineering, bottle-birth, and sexual          
promiscuity means there is no monogamy, marriage, or family.                
"Mother" and "father" are obscene words that may be used                    
scientifically on rare, carefully chosen occasions to label ancient         
sources of psychological problems.                                          
  10. THE DENIAL OF DEATH                                                   
  The brave new world insists that death is a natural and not               
unpleasant process. There is no old age or visible senility.                
Children are conditioned at hospitals for the dying and given sweets        
to eat when they hear of death occurring. This conditioning does            
not- as it might- prepare people to cope with the death of a loved one      
or with their own mortality. It eliminates the painful emotions of          
grief and loss, and the spiritual significance of death, which              
Huxley made increasingly important in his later novels.                     
  11. THE OPPRESSION OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES                              
  Some characters in Brave New World differ from the norm. Bernard          
is small for an Alpha and fond of solitude; Helmholtz, though               
seemingly "every centimetre an Alpha-Plus," knows he is too                 
intelligent for the work he performs; John the Savage, genetically a        
member of the World State, has never been properly conditioned to           
become a citizen of it. Even the Controller, Mustapha Mond, stands          
apart because of his leadership abilities. Yet in each case these           
differences are crushed: Bernard and Helmholtz are exiled; John             
commits suicide; and the Mond stifles his own individuality in              
exchange for the power he wields as Controller. What does this say          
about Huxley's Utopia?                                                      
  12. WHAT DOES SUCH A SYSTEM COST?                                         
  This Utopia has a good side: there is no war or poverty, little           
disease or social unrest. But Huxley keeps asking, what does society        
have to pay for these benefits? The price, he makes clear, is high.         
The first clue is in the epigraph, the quotation at the front of the        
book. It is in French, but written by a Russian, Nicolas Berdiaeff. It      
says, "Utopias appear to be much easier to realize than one formerly        
believed. We currently face a question that would otherwise fill us         
with anguish: How to avoid their becoming definitively real?"               
  By the time you hear the conversation between the Controller, one of      
the men who runs the new world, and John, the Savage, you've learned        
that citizens of this Utopia must give up love, family, science,            
art, religion, and history. At the end of the book, John commits            
suicide and you see that the price of this brave new world is               
fatally high.                                                               
                                STYLE                       (HBRASTYL)      
  Although Huxley's writing style makes him easy to read, his               
complex ideas make readers think. Even if you're not familiar with his      
vocabulary or philosophy, you can see that, as the critic Laurence          
Brander says, "The prose was witty and ran clearly and nimbly."             
  Huxley's witty, clear, nimble prose is very much an upper-class           
tradition. Brave New World- like all of Huxley's novels- is a novel of      
ideas, which means that the characters must have ideas and must be          
able to express them eloquently and cleverly. This demands that the         
author have considerable knowledge. In pre-World War II England such        
novels were more likely to have been written by members of the upper        
class, simply because they had much greater access to good                  
education. Huxley, we remember, attended Eton and Oxford.                   
  Huxley, like other upper-class Englishmen, was familiar with history      
and literature. He expected his readers to know the plays of                
Shakespeare, to recognize names like Malthus and Marx, to be                
comfortable with a word like "predestination." (Literally "predestine"      
means only "to determine in advance," but it is most importantly a          
word from Christian theology- describing, in one version, the doctrine      
that God knows in advance everything that will ever happen, and             
thereby decides who will be saved and who will be damned.)                  
  Although Huxley was very serious about ideas, he never stopped            
seeing their humorous possibilities. His biographer, Sybille                
Bedford, says that in 1946 he gave the commencement speech at a             
progressive school in California, where he urged the students not to        
imitate "the young man of that ancient limerick... who                      
                                       ....said "Damn,                      
               It is borne in on me that I am                               
                 A creature that moves                                      
                 In predestinate grooves;                                   
               I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram!"                             
  To appreciate this joke, you have to remember how a tram or               
trolley car moves on its tracks. It's a reminder that you'll have much      
more fun with Brave New World and get much more out of it if you don't      
let the language scare or bore you. Use the glossary in this guide and      
your dictionary as tools. See how many of the words you know. See if        
you can guess what some words mean from their spelling and the context      
in which you find them. Look them up and see how close you are. Look        
up the ones whose meaning you can't guess. If you put even a few of         
the words you meet for the first time in Brave New World into your          
vocabulary, you'll be winning a great game.                                 
  Games were an important part of an upper-class English education          
in Huxley's day. Many elite students developed a readiness to make          
jokes with words and ideas. You may find some of Huxley's jokes funny,      
while you may think the humor has vanished from others. But you'll          
have more fun with the book if you try to spot the humor. You'll            
find big jokes like the Feelies, movies that you can feel, as well          
as see and hear. You'll also find little jokes like plays on words- as      
in calling the process for getting a baby out of its bottle                 
"decanting," a word ordinarily used only for fine wine. There is humor      
in "orgy-porgy," a combination of religious ritual and group sex, a         
parody of a child's nursery rhyme.                                          
  In Brave New World Huxley plays many games with his characters'           
names. He turns Our Lord into Our Ford, for Henry Ford, the inventor        
of the modern assembly line and the cheap cars that embodied the            
machine age for the average man. He names one of his main characters        
for Karl Marx, the father of the ideas of Communism. His heroine is         
called Lenina, after the man who led the Russian Revolution. Benito         
Hoover, a minor character, has the first name of the dictator of            
fascist Italy and the last name of the President of the United              
States who led the nation into the Great Depression, but he is              
"notoriously good-natured." Look up any names you don't recognize.          
                            POINT OF VIEW                   (HBRAVIEW)      
  Huxley's point of view in Brave New World is third person,                
omniscient (all-knowing). The narrator is not one of the characters         
and therefore has the ability to tell us what is going on within any        
of the characters' minds. This ability is particularly useful in            
showing us a cross section of this strange society of the future.           
We're able to be with the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning in        
the Central London Conditioning and Hatchery Centre, with Lenina            
Crowne at the Westminster Abbey Cabaret, with Bernard Marx at the           
Fordson Community Singery. The technique reaches an extreme in Chapter      
Three, when we hear a babble of unidentified voices- Lenina's, Fanny        
Crowne's, Mustapha Mond's- that at first sound chaotic but soon give        
us a vivid understanding of this brave new world.                           
                          FORM AND STRUCTURE                (HBRAFORM)      
  Brave New World fits into a long tradition of books about Utopia, an      
ideal state where everything is done for the good of humanity as a          
whole, and evils like war and poverty cannot exist.                         
  The word "Utopia" means "no place" in Greek. Sir Thomas More first        
used it in 1516 as the title of a book about such an ideal state.           
But the idea of a Utopia goes much further back. Many critics consider      
Plato's Republic, written in the fourth century B. C., a Utopian book.      
  "Utopia" came to have a second meaning soon after Sir Thomas More         
used it- "an impractical scheme for social improvement." The idea that      
Utopias are silly and impractical helped make them a subject for            
satire, a kind of literature that makes fun of something, exposing          
wickedness and foolishness through wit and irony. (Irony is the use of      
words to express an idea that is the direct opposite of the stated          
meaning, or an outcome of events contrary to what was expected.)            
  In this way two Utopian traditions developed in English                   
literature. One was optimistic and idealistic- like More's, or              
Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888), which foresaw a mildly            
socialist, perfect state. H. G. Wells, an important English writer,         
believed in progress through science and wrote both novels and              
nonfiction about social and scientific changes that could produce a         
  The second tradition was satiric, like Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's        
Travels (1726), in which both tiny and gigantic residents of distant        
lands were used to satirize the England of Swift's day. Another             
satiric Utopia was Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1872; the title is an           
anagram of "nowhere"), which made crime a disease to be cured and           
disease a crime to be punished.                                             
  In Brave New World, Huxley clearly belongs in the satiric group.          
(Though toward the end of his career he wrote a nonsatiric novel of         
a good Utopia, Island.) He told a friend that he started to write           
Brave New World as a satire on the works of H. G. Wells. Soon he            
increased his targets, making fun not only of science but also of           
religion, using his idea of the future to attack the present.               
  As in most works about Utopia, Brave New World lacks the                  
complexity of characterization that marks other kinds of great novels.      
The people tend to represent ideas the author likes or dislikes. Few        
are three-dimensional or true to life; most resemble cartoon                
characters. As do many writers of Utopian works, Huxley brings in an        
outsider (John the Savage) who can see the flaws of the society that        
are invisible to those who have grown up within it.                         
  As Huxley worked on his book, his satire darkened. The book became a      
serious warning that if we use science as an instrument of power, we        
will probably apply it to human beings in the wrong way, producing a        
horrible society. Brave New World belongs firmly in the tradition of        
Utopian writing, but the Utopia it portrays is a bleak one, indeed.         
                              THE STORY                     (HBRASTOR)      
                             CHAPTER ONE                                    
  The novel begins by plunging you into a world you can't quite             
recognize: it's familiar but there's something wrong, or at least           
different from what you're used to. For example, it starts like a           
movie, with a long shot of a building- but a "squat" building "only"        
thirty-four stories high. The building bears a name unlike any              
you've heard in real life- "Central London Hatchery and Conditioning        
Centre"- and the motto of a World State you know doesn't exist.             
  The camera's eye then moves through a north window into the cold          
Fertilizing Room, and focuses on someone you know is a very                 
important person from the way he speaks. He is the Director of              
Hatcheries and Conditioning, and he's explaining things to a group          
of new students who still have only a very limited understanding of         
what goes on here.                                                          
  You may find the Director and his Hatchery strange, but you probably      
know how the students feel as they try to note everything the Director      
says, even his opening remark, "Begin at the beginning." You know           
how anxious you can be to make sure you don't miss something a teacher      
says, something that will be important later on.                            
  In fact, the functions of the Hatchery are hard to understand             
because Huxley has the Director throw large amounts of "scientific          
data" at you without giving you time to figure out their meaning.           
Huxley thereby undermines one of his intentions here- to use the            
Director as a cartoon character who expounds some of the scientific         
ideas that the author wants you to think about. He also wants to            
satirize a world that makes such a know-it-all important and powerful.      
Sometimes the real world gives such people power, too. You may meet         
scientists like the Director in college or businesspeople like him          
at work.                                                                    
  The Director talks about incubators and fertilizing, about                
surgically removing the ovary from the female and keeping it alive          
artificially. He talks about bringing together ova (the unfertilized        
eggs of a female) and male gametes (the cells or spermatozoa                
containing the father's half of the genetic material needed to make         
a new being) in a glass container. He talks about a mysterious budding      
process that turns one egg into 96 embryos. The Director mentions           
all these things and more before Huxley tells you that the Hatchery         
hatches human beings.                                                       
  The Director takes that fact for granted, but Huxley surprises you        
all the more by letting it sneak up on you. Do you think it's               
frightening or disgusting to breed human beings like chickens on a          
farm? In this Utopia, the price is worth paying to control the total        
population; it breeds as many or as few people as the world                 
controllers decide are needed. Huxley's imaginary world is thus             
dealing with a real world problem- overpopulation. You've probably          
read or heard warnings about this, warnings that the world, or the          
United States, or a developing country like Kenya, has more people          
than it can feed. China is trying to reward families that have only         
one child and penalize those that have more, but no country has yet         
tried to do what Huxley's brave new world does.                             
  The Director talks less about stemming overpopulation than he does        
about increasing population in the right way. In the real world,            
it's unusual for a woman to produce more than ten children, and the         
average American family has two or fewer. In Huxley's world,                
Bokanovsky's budding process and Podsnap's ripening technique can           
produce over 15,000 brothers and sisters from a single ovary. You           
may know this idea from the word "cloning," used in science fiction         
and to describe look-alike clothing styles. Identical clones will make      
a stable community, the Director says, one without conflict.                
  In the world of Bokanovsky and Podsnap, babies are not born. They         
develop in bottles and are "decanted"- a word that usually refers to        
pouring wine gently out of its bottle so that the sediment at the           
bottom is not disturbed.                                                    
  The Director takes you and the students to the bottling room,             
where you learn that the clone-embryo grows inside the bottle on a bed      
of sow's peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen of an adult female           
pig). In the embryo room, the bottled embryos move slowly on belts          
that travel over three tiers of racks- a total of 2136 meters (about 1      
1/3 miles) during the 267 days before decanting. Huxley makes a             
point of the distance because each meter represents a point at which        
the embryo is given specific conditioning for its future life.              
  The 267 days are approximately equal to the nine months it takes a        
baby to develop inside its mother in the real world, but neither            
Director nor students mention that kind of birth. "Mother" is an            
unmentionable and obscene word in this brave new world, as you'll           
see in the next chapter. Although Huxley doesn't state it yet, if           
you think about it you'll see that bokanovskifying and bottling mean        
that nobody becomes pregnant. This gives you a hint of what will be         
said concerning sex and family life.                                        
  In this world, a person's class status is biologically and                
chemically engineered. The genes that determine brains and brawn are        
carefully selected. Then, a bottled embryo undergoes the initial            
conditioning that will determine its skills and strength, in keeping        
with its destiny as an Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon.               
  These names are letters in the Greek alphabet, familiar to                
Huxley's original English readers because in English schools they           
are used as grades- like our As, Bs, etc.- with Alpha plus the best         
and Epsilon minus the worst. In Brave New World, each names a class or      
caste. Alphas and Betas remain individuals; only Gammas, Deltas, and        
Epsilons are bokanovskified. Alpha embryos receive the most oxygen          
in order to develop the best brains; Epsilons receive the least             
because they won't need intelligence for the work they'll do, like          
shoveling sewage.                                                           
  Embryos predestined to be tropical workers are inoculated against         
typhoid and sleeping sickness. Bottles containing future astronauts         
are kept constantly in rotation to improve their sense of balance.          
There's a conditioning routine for every function in this society.          
Nobody complains about having to do hard, dirty, or boring work;            
everyone is conditioned to do their job well and to like it.                
  In this chapter you meet two people besides the Director, though you      
hardly notice them in the barrage of scientific information, and you        
don't get to know them very well until later. One is Henry Foster, a        
Hatchery scientist, one of the cardboard characters that Huxley pushes      
to keep the plot moving. The other is Lenina Crowne, one of only two        
women who are important in the story. She is as close as Brave New          
World comes to having a heroine, but she is so completely a creature        
of the system that she barely has any personality. She is a technician      
in the embryo room, which like a photographic darkroom can be lit only      
with red light. Everybody who works in this room has purple eyes and        
lupus, a disease that causes large red or brown patches to appear on        
the skin. Huxley doesn't tell you whether this is a result of the           
red light or a way of matching the workers to the workplace, but            
neither purple eyes nor blotched skin prevents Lenina from being            
"uncommonly pretty." Thus, the author shows you that standards of           
beauty and sex appeal are different in this world of the future.            
  NOTE: Brave New World is a novel about a Utopia, an ideal state in        
which everything is done for the good of humanity, and evils like           
poverty and war cannot exist.                                               
  Perhaps you, too, have created stories about imaginary countries          
in which everything happens the way you think it should, countries          
that could be called ideal states if you looked at them closely. Or         
you may have seen the television program, "Fantasy Island," which is a      
modern, mass-audience twist on the theme of Utopia, a place that            
grants you your fondest wishes.                                             
  Some aspects of Brave New World may seem attractive to you.               
Everybody is happy, hygienic, and economically secure. There is little      
sickness and no old age, poverty, crime, or war. But notice how the         
Director emphasizes that bokanovskifying is "one of the major               
instruments of social stability," and how he reminds his students that      
the motto of the World State is "Community, Identity, Stability."           
  The most important events in this novel all center around conflicts       
between people like the Director, who want to maintain stability,           
and people whose actions might threaten this stability, even                
unintentionally. The Director never questions what people have to give      
up to achieve the World State's goals. Later in the book, other             
characters do ask this question, and they provide some answers. As you      
read Brave New World, keep asking yourself this question. What price        
would we have to pay to live in this Utopia?                                
                             CHAPTER TWO                                    
  This chapter takes you from the biological and chemical conditioning      
of embryos to the psychological conditioning of children in Huxley's        
world of the future. The Director shows the students how Delta              
infants, color-coded in khaki clothes, crawl naturally toward               
picture books and real flowers, only to be terrorized by the noises of      
explosions, bells, and sirens and then traumatized by electric              
shock. The babies learn to associate books and flowers with those           
painful experiences, and turn away from them.                               
  NOTE: This section of the center is named the Neo-Pavlovian               
Conditioning Rooms for the Russian scientist, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov         
(1849-1936). In a classic experiment he trained dogs to salivate at         
the sound of a bell that was linked to memories of food, proving the        
theory of the conditioned reflex. You'll see how Pavlov's theories          
have been used- and misused- throughout the brave new world.                
  The reason for making the infants dislike books is psychological- if      
they read the wrong things, they might lose a bit of the                    
conditioning that guarantees stability. The reason for making them          
dislike flowers is economic. If, as adults, they traveled to the            
country, they would "consume transport." Here Huxley makes fun of           
the way some economists use the word "consume." He means that when          
they  travel to the country, people use cars, trains, or helicopters.       
Thus, "consuming transport" is good for an economy that sells               
transport services and makes vehicles. But if they only went to             
enjoy nature, they would "consume" nothing else. Instead, they are          
conditioned to dislike nature and love sports, which have been              
redesigned to involve elaborate mechanical and electronic equipment.        
They therefore "consume" transport in traveling to the country to           
"consume" sports equipment. This sounds as though they gobble it up,        
but in reality they are using it and wearing it out, thereby                
doubling the economic benefit.                                              
  In proceeding to the next kind of conditioning, the Director gives        
you your first clue to this world's religion: the phrase "Our Ford,"        
obviously used as religious people in the real world might say "Our         
Lord." You learn that the calendar year is no longer A. D. (Anno            
Domini, the year of our Lord) but A. F., After Ford. Instead of making      
the sign of the cross, the Director makes the sign of the T, from           
the Model T Ford.                                                           
  NOTE: This is a parody of Christianity- not so much of its essential      
beliefs as of the way organized religion can be used to control             
society. In 1931 it seemed funnier and more daring than it does today,      
especially in England, where the Anglican church is established             
(linked to the state). Huxley made Ford the new Jesus because Ford          
became the best-known symbol of modern industry after he invented           
the automobile assembly line that produced cheap, basically                 
identical cars. Watch for further elaboration of the Ford religion          
in later chapters.                                                          
  The next conditioning technique is hypnopaedia, sleep-teaching.           
The Director tells the students it was discovered accidentally              
hundreds of years earlier by a little Polish boy who lived with his         
"father" and "mother," two words that hit the students' ears with much      
more force than obscene words hit your ears today. Would you be             
shocked if your high school principal, a middle-aged gentleman who          
spoke correct English with a proper accent, used a carefully                
enunciated obscene word during a school assembly? That's how the            
students feel when the Director utters those unmentionable words.           
  In the Director's story, little Reuben Rabinovitch discovered             
hypnopaedia by hearing in his sleep a broadcast by George Bernard           
Shaw, the British dramatist, and sleep-learning it by heart though          
he knew no English. Shaw thought himself a genius both as playwright        
and political thinker, as did many of his followers. Huxley makes a         
little joke at the expense of people who claim to recognize genius but      
really know no more about it than a sleeping child who can't speak the      
language it's expressed in.                                                 
  The Director goes on to explain that hypnopaedia doesn't work for         
teaching facts or analysis. It works only for "moral education," which      
here means conditioning people's behavior by verbal suggestion when         
their psychological resistance is low- by repeated messages about           
what's good or bad, in words that require no intellectual activity but      
can be digested by a sleeping brain. (This is Huxley's own explanation      
in Brave New World Revisited, a book of essays written in 1958, a           
generation after the novel appeared. He also found that in the real         
world, sleep-teaching of both kinds shows mixed results.)                   
  The Director gives you and the students an example of this kind of        
moral education, a sleep-lesson in class consciousness for Betas. They      
learn to love being Betas, to respect Alphas who "work much harder          
than we do, because they're so frightfully clever," and to be glad          
they're not Gammas, Deltas, or Epsilons, each more stupid than the          
preceding. "Oh no," the tape suggests to them, "I don't want to play        
with Delta children."                                                       
  In other words, the Betas learn to love the system and their place        
in it. The lesson, repeated 120 times in each of three sessions a week      
for 30 months, seals them into that place. Huxley likens it to drops        
of liquid sealing wax, which the English upper classes used to seal         
envelopes, placing a drop of wax on the edge of the flap and                
pressing a design into it as the wax hardened. The envelope couldn't        
be opened without showing a break in the wax. Sealing wax is seen           
infrequently in the U.S. today, but if you imagine a candle dripping        
endlessly, you will understand the effect.                                  
                            CHAPTER THREE                                   
  This chapter switches back and forth from place to place and from         
one set of characters to another in order to give you your first            
view of sex, love, and the nonexistent family in the brave new world.       
  In the first scene, the Director and some almost embarrassed              
students show you that sex is a game that children are encouraged to        
play. Later scenes make plain that for adults, sex is a wholesome           
source of happiness, rather like going to a health club. Nobody             
lives with or is married to one person at a time. in fact, there is no      
marriage. Everybody is expected to be promiscuous- to keep switching        
sexual partners without any important reason for distinguishing one         
partner from another.                                                       
  Huxley expected his readers to be surprised or at least to giggle at      
the idea of promiscuity as a virtue. Some of them surely thought            
promiscuity meant happiness, as Huxley's characters do, but they had        
grown up with the idea that it was wicked. Today, many teachers and         
clergymen claim that high school and college students are promiscuous,      
but Time magazine says that Americans in general are becoming less so.      
"Promiscuous" is a word that can make you feel a connection between         
the real world and Brave New World, and help you decide if you would        
like the novel's world better than the one you live in.                     
  In the first scene, the Director is upstaged by one of the ten men        
who run the world, the Resident Controller for Western Europe,              
Mustapha Mond. (Alfred Mond was a British chemist, economist, and           
cabinet minister; for Huxley's original readers the name probably           
had the same kind of ring that "Rashid Rockefeller" would for               
Americans.) He tells the students, "History is bunk." This is an            
anti-intellectual quotation from Henry Ford, who believed that a            
person who wasted time studying history would never create anything as      
revolutionary as an assembly line. But the Resident Controllers tell        
people that "history is bunk" for another reason: people who know           
history can compare the present with the past. They know the world can      
change, and that knowledge is a threat to stability. (George Orwell         
went a step further in 1984 and had the rulers of his state constantly      
rewrite history because they knew that if they controlled people's          
memories of the past, it would be easier to control the present.) This      
quote shows Huxley to list the glories of history, from the Bible to        
Beethoven, in a single paragraph, thus showing what his new world           
has whisked away like dust.                                                 
  Also whisked away is the family. The Controllers description of           
traditional families links fathers with misery, mothers with                
perversion, brothers and sisters with madness and suicide.                  
  Mond says this is the wisdom of Our Freud, as Our Ford chose "for         
some inscrutable reason... to call himself whenever he spoke of             
psychological matters." This is another of the intellectual and             
serious jokes that Huxley loves to make. Sigmund Freud                      
revolutionized psychology and invented psychoanalysis, but people           
misuse his name and twist his ideas to fit their dogmas, just as            
they do Christ's.                                                           
  Mond compares love to a pipe full of water that jets forth                
dangerously if you make just one hole in it. This is a metaphor for         
individual motherhood and monogamy, which he believes produces              
people who are mad (meaning "insane," not "angry"), wicked, and             
miserable. The water only makes safe, "piddling little fountains" if        
you put many holes in the pipe- a metaphor for the safety of growing        
up in a group and for being promiscuous.                                    
  After the Controller repeats the Director's lessons about the need        
for stability and population control, he adds something new- the            
elimination of emotions, particularly painful emotions. When he asks        
the students if they've ever experienced a painful feeling, one says        
it was "horrible" when a girl made him wait nearly four weeks before        
going to bed with him. Do you think that's real pain? Or is it part of      
Huxley's satire?                                                            
  NOTE: Even as satire, this idea is very important in Huxley's             
book: the idea that people can live happily without emotional pain,         
and that the way to achieve this happiness is to eliminate as many          
emotions as possible, because even happy feelings carry the                 
possibility of pain with them. Huxley's Utopia is built on this             
idea. Do you think it's true that human beings can live this way?           
Would it make you happy in the long run? Make a note of your answer so      
you can see if you change your mind after you finish the book.              
  The Controller makes these points as the "camera eye" of the novel        
switches back and forth from him to Lenina Crowne coming off work,          
changing clothes, and talking to her friend Fanny; from them to             
Henry Foster and other men, and back again. As the chapter                  
continues, it becomes more and more difficult to tell which scene           
you're viewing because Huxley stops identifying the character who is        
speaking at any given moment, and you have to decide that from the          
nature of the remark.                                                       
  Through Lenina and Fanny you learn more of the mechanics of               
feeling good, as they turn different taps for different perfumes and        
use a "vibro-vacuum" for toning up skin and muscles. In a world             
where no woman bears a child, women need periodic Pregnancy                 
Substitutes- chemical pills and injections to give them the hormonal        
benefits that pregnancy would give their bodies. And one fashion            
item is a "Malthusian belt" loaded with contraceptives, rather like         
a soldier's bandolier with magazines of bullets. Thomas Malthus was         
a political economist who wrote in 1798 that population increases much      
more rapidly than does subsistence; later groups that wanted to             
limit population often invoked his name.                                    
  The two women also give you a closer look than the Controller's talk      
did at personal relations in a world that prizes promiscuity and makes      
monogamy impossible. Fanny reproaches Lenina for seeing nobody but          
Henry Foster for four months. She calls Henry a "perfect gentleman"         
because he has other girlfriends at the same time.                          
  After the scene switches to Henry, you meet another very important        
character: Bernard Marx, a specialist in hypnopaedia. He's unusual          
in this world because he likes to be alone, and he despises Foster for      
conforming to the culture of promiscuity, drugs, and "feelies"- movies      
that appeal not only to your eyes and ears but also to your sense of        
touch. (Brave New World was written only a few years after silent           
films gave way to "talkies," as the first films in which audiences          
could hear the actors speak were called.)                                   
  Bernard is on the verge of falling in love with Lenina, and he hates      
Foster for talking about her as though she were a piece of meat.            
Lenina is also interested in Bernard, if only because he is a bit           
different in a world in which everybody conforms. Bernard is                
physically small for an Alpha, and Fanny repeats a rumor that his           
small stature was caused by someone adding too much alcohol to his          
blood-surrogate when he was an embryo. Lenina says "What nonsense,"         
but later she'll wonder if this is true.                                    
  NOTE: When Bernard becomes angry, Foster offers him a tablet of           
soma. Although this is one of the most important concepts in the book,      
Huxley doesn't signal it for you the first time he mentions it. A           
voice that can only be that of the Controller reviewing the history         
that produced the world state, says that five centuries earlier the         
rulers realized the need for the perfect drug. They put 2000                
pharmacologists and biochemists to work, and in six years they              
produced the drug. The voice doesn't mention the name soma; Foster          
does that when he offers Bernard the tablet, and Foster's friend the        
Assistant Predestinator says, "One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy        
sentiments." A bit later, the Controller says that half a gram of soma      
is the same as a half-holiday, a gram equals a weekend, "two grams for      
a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the Moon."        
In other words, soma makes you high- like marijuana or LSD- but has         
none of the dangerous side effects those drugs can have. This world         
couldn't function without soma, because the world can't be kept free        
of pain without a drug that tranquilizes people and makes them high at      
the same time- and never leaves them with hangovers.                        
  The word soma, which Huxley always puts in italics, is from the           
Sanskrit language of ancient India. It refers to both an                    
intoxicating drink used in the Vedic religious rituals there and the        
plant from whose juice the drink was made- a plant whose true identity      
we don't know. Soma is also the Greek word for body, and can be             
found in the English word "somatic," an adjective meaning "of the           
body, as distinct from the mind." Huxley probably enjoyed his               
trilingual pun.                                                             
  The Controller's description of soma is part of a scene scattered         
over several paragraphs in which he explains that in this Utopia there      
is no old age. People remain physiologically young until they reach         
their sixties and die. Would you like to stay young and healthy             
until you die, and know that you would die in your sixties? Many            
people would say "yes" at first. But what price would you have to           
pay for a lifetime of youth? Huxley wants you to answer that question,      
too. If you never grow old, you never feel the pains of aging- but you      
never feel the positive emotions of achievement or contentment with         
the life you've lived, either. You never know the wisdom that comes         
from changes in your body, mind, and life, from the knowledge that          
death is approaching.                                                       
                             CHAPTER FOUR                                   
  In this chapter, Huxley turns from building up his new-world              
technology to telling his story, which gives more vivid life to             
Lenina, Bernard, and a new character named Helmholtz Watson. Lenina is      
still little more than the typical hedonist of the new world. (A            
hedonist is someone who believes that pleasure is the highest good.)        
In the first scene, Lenina makes sexual advances toward Bernard in a        
crowded elevator and can't understand why he is embarrassed. Then           
she goes to a suburban park with Henry Foster to "consume" sports           
equipment. In some ways she is the book's heroine, but Huxley forces        
you to see how shallow she is.                                              
  In the second scene, Bernard reveals himself as someone you can           
understand more easily than most of the other characters you have           
met so far- because he's more of an individual, more like you or            
someone you know, and less like the instructional cartoon characters        
of the Director and Controller or the always cheerful conformists           
and clones.                                                                 
  By accident, Bernard is small for an Alpha. This makes it hard for        
him to deal with members of lower castes, who are as small as he is,        
but by design. He treats them in the arrogant but insecure way that         
some poor whites in the old South treated blacks, or that                   
lower-class British people treated natives in Africa or India in the        
days of the British Empire. Huxley's original readers knew such people      
as friends or relations, or through the novels of Rudyard Kipling.          
Americans might know them best through the novels of William Faulkner.      
  Bernard goes to meet his friend Helmholtz, a writer and emotional         
engineer. Like Bernard, Helmholtz is unhappy in a world of people           
who are always happy.                                                       
  Like Bernard, he is different from most Alphas. He is different           
not because he is short and feels inadequate, but because he is a           
mental giant. He is successful in sports, sex, and community                
activities- all the activities in which Bernard feels he is a failure.      
But Helmholtz is still not happy because he knows he is capable of          
writing something beautiful and powerful, rather than the nonsense          
that he has to write for the press or the feelies.                          
  While the two friends are talking, Bernard suddenly suspects someone      
is spying on them, flings the door open, and finds nobody there.            
This is surprising, because while you've been told that the state runs      
everything in this new world, you haven't felt oppressed by the             
rulers. You find nothing like the Big Brother of George Orwell's novel      
1984 or the secret police in books about Nazi Germany or the Soviet         
Union. The scene is a reminder that this world, too, is a                   
                             CHAPTER FIVE                                   
  This chapter gives more dimensions to the familiar pictures of            
Lenina as hedonist and well-trained citizen and Bernard as a                
malcontent among contented comrades. In scene one, Lenina and Henry         
return from their Obstacle Golf game. By now you know that Huxley           
has a reason, which will be revealed in a later chapter, for                
scattering bits of technological and ideological information along          
their path- like Henry's telling Lenina that the dead are all cremated      
so the new world can recover the phosphorus from their bodies. They         
have dinner and go to a nightclub in what was Westminster Abbey 600         
years earlier. There they listen to a kind of electronic pop music          
that might describe what rock musicians play on Moog synthesizers 50        
years after the book was written.                                           
  They get high on soma and go up to Henry's room for a night of            
sex. Lenina is so well conditioned that despite her high, she takes         
all the contraceptive precautions she learned in the Malthusian             
drill she performed three times a week, every week for six years of         
her teens. Huxley uses Lenina to underline the point that pregnancy is      
a sin, a crime, and a disgusting ailment in the world of Hatcheries,        
and that it almost never happens.                                           
  Scene two switches to Bernard, who attends a solidarity service, the      
equivalent of a religious service, where he reveals new dimensions          
of his difference from other brave new worldlings, and of his               
unhappiness. The new world version of a church is a Community Singery.      
The one Bernard attends is a skyscraper on the site a Londoner would        
know as St. Paul's Cathedral.                                               
  Every solidarity service takes place in a group of twelve people,         
six men and six women who sit in a circle, sing twelve-stanza hymns,        
and take a communion of solid and liquid soma instead of wafers and         
wine. The participants all go into a religious frenzy- except for           
Bernard, who doesn't really feel the ecstasy, but pretends to.              
  The frenzy takes the members of the group into a dance and the            
song that is one of the most remembered bits of this book, the              
parody of a nursery rhyme:                                                  
                  Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,                                 
                  Kiss the girls and make them One.                         
                  Boys at one with girls at peace;                          
                  Orgy-porgy gives release.                                 
  The group then does indeed fall "in partial disintegration" into a        
real orgy, though it seems to be by couples rather than group sex.          
  Even that doesn't give Bernard the experience of true rapture that        
his partners seem to feel. Huxley underlines that this rapture is           
not the same as excitement, because if you're excited, you're still         
not satisfied. This feeling is satisfying. Bernard is miserable that        
he has not achieved it, and thinks the failure must have been his           
own fault.                                                                  
  In this scene, Huxley satirizes both religion and sex, but still          
shows how both serve one of the goals of the brave new world,               
                             CHAPTER SIX                                    
  Lenina and Bernard get together in this chapter, and travel from          
England to North America to visit a Savage Reservation that is not          
unlike today's Indian reservations. Huxley signals that he is bringing      
you a step closer to a climax by stressing that he is taking you and        
his characters to a place with none of the endless, emotionless             
pleasures of this Utopia, a place with no running perfume, no               
television, "no hot water even."                                            
  Lenina is troubled because she thinks Bernard is odd, and she             
wonders if what she once called "Nonsense" might be true- that he           
was given too much alcohol while he was still an embryo in a bottle.        
He's odd because he hates crowds and wants to be alone with her even        
when they aren't making love. He's odd because he'd rather take a walk      
in England's beautiful Lake District than fly to Amsterdam and see the      
women's heavyweight wrestling championship. He's odd because he             
wants to look at a stormy sea without listening to sugary music on the      
radio. Most of all he's odd because he is capable of wishing he was         
free rather than enslaved by his conditioning.                              
  But Bernard doesn't do many of the things he wants to do. He's odd        
in his desires but not in his behavior. In the end he does just what a      
brave new worldling should do: he leaves the choppy waters of the           
English channel, flies Lenina home in his helicopter, takes four            
tablets of soma at a gulp, and goes to bed with her.                        
  The next day Bernard finds that even he, like Henry Foster, can           
think of Lenina as a piece of meat. He hates that, but he realizes          
that she likes thinking of herself that way. That doesn't stop him          
from returning to his odd desires: he tells her he wants to feel            
something strongly, passionately. He wants to be an adult, to be            
capable of waiting for pleasure, instead of an infant who must have         
his pleasure right now.                                                     
  Lenina is disturbed by this, so disturbed that she thinks,                
"Perhaps he had found her too plump, after all." In this throw-away         
irony about her body weight, Huxley makes her shallowness plainer than      
  But she still wants to go with Bernard to America to see the              
Savage Reservation, something that few people are allowed to do.            
  In the second scene, Bernard goes to get his permit for the trip          
initialed. The Director stops acting like a caricature of a bureaucrat      
and tells Bernard how he had gone to the same Reservation as a young        
man, 25 years before. Bernard, for all his desire to be different,          
is disturbed because the Director is being different: he is talking         
about something that happened a long time ago, which is very bad            
manners in this society.                                                    
  The Director is obviously remembering events that affected him            
very deeply. The girlfriend he had taken to the Reservation wandered        
off and got lost while he was asleep. Search parties never found            
her, and the Director assumed she had died in some kind of accident.        
He still dreams about it, which means that even he has more individual      
feelings than the system thinks is good for you.                            
  The Director suddenly realizes that he has revealed more about            
himself than is good for his reputation. He stops reminiscing and           
attacks Bernard, who has been unlucky enough to be his unintended           
audience. He scolds Bernard for not being infantile in his emotional        
life, and threatens him with transfer to Iceland as a punishment.           
  His status as a rebel makes Bernard feel pleased with himself. But        
when he goes to see Helmholtz, he doesn't get the praise he expects.        
Helmholtz doesn't like the way Bernard switches back and forth from         
boasting to self-pity, the way he knows what to do only after he            
should have done it, when it's too late.                                    
  The third scene takes Bernard and Lenina across the ocean to Santa        
Fe and into the Reservation, which resembles a real-world Navajo or         
Hopi reservation. The Warden of the Reservation is a replica of the         
cartoon-like Director, pumping an endless flow of unwanted                  
information. Bernard remembers that he left the Eau de Cologne tap          
in his bathroom open, pumping an expensive flow of unwanted scent.          
He calls Helmholtz long distance to ask him to go up and turn it            
off, and Helmholtz tells him that the Director has announced that he        
is indeed transferring Bernard to Iceland. Despite Bernard's                
distrust of soma, he takes four tablets to survive the plane trip into      
the Reservation. Huxley is setting the stage for the coming                 
                            CHAPTER SEVEN                                   
  From the moment they set foot on the Reservation, Bernard and Lenina      
are confronted with the differences between it and their familiar           
world. Huxley shows the comfortable mindlessness of his Utopia by,          
contrasting it to the startling, often ugly reality of primitive life.      
  This life clearly lacks the new world's stability, friendliness, and      
cleanliness. The Indian guide is hostile, and he smells. The                
Reservation is dirty, full of rubbish, dust, dogs, and flies. An old        
man shows what aging does to the human body when it isn't protected by      
conditioning and chemicals; he is toothless, wrinkled, thin, bent.          
  Lenina has left her soma in the rest-house, so she is deprived of         
even that form of escape. She discovers that the Indians do have            
some kind of community; at first, a dance reassures her by reminding        
her of a solidarity service and orgy-porgy. The reassurance ends            
when she sees people dancing with snakes, effigies of an eagle and a        
man nailed to a cross, and a man whipping a boy until the blood             
runs. She can't understand the sense of community that runs through         
that kind of religion.                                                      
  They then confront a man who will become the greatest threat to           
their world's stability. He steps into their rest-house and they see        
that, though raised an Indian, he has blond hair and white skin, and        
they hear that he speaks "faultless but peculiar English."                  
  Bernard starts questioning the Savage and soon realizes that he is        
the son of the Director and the woman whom the Director had brought to      
the Reservation from what the stranger calls the "Other Place," the         
Utopia. The woman had not died. She had arrived pregnant with the           
Director's child by an accident, a defect in a Malthusian belt. During      
her visit she had fallen and hurt her head, but she survived to give        
birth, and she had reached middle age. Her son had grown up in the          
pueblo. Huxley tells you that the story excites Bernard.                    
  The young man takes them to the little house where he lives with his      
mother, Linda. Lenina can barely stand to look at her, fat, sick,           
and stinking of alcohol. But the sight of Lenina brings out Linda's         
memories of the Other Place that is Huxley's new world, and of all the      
things she learned from her conditioning. She pours out what she            
remembers in a confused burst of woe.                                       
  NOTE: Linda's speech helps complete the portrait of the society           
Huxley wants you to compare to the brave new world. Linda reveals           
her shame at having given birth. She complains about the                    
shortcomings of mescal, the drink the Indians make (in real life as in      
the novel) from the mescal plant, compared to soma, and about the           
Indians' filth, their compulsion to mend clothes instead of discarding      
them when they get worn, and worst of all, their monogamy. The              
Indian women have attacked her for what she had thought of as the           
virtue of being promiscuous. They were asserting their own values           
and showing that their ideas of community, identity, and stability          
were the opposite of the world controllers'. Huxley doesn't                 
romanticize these values or ideas, though. The Savage Reservation           
may not suffer under the sophisticated oppression of London, but            
neither is it paradise.                                                     
                            CHAPTER EIGHT                                   
  In this chapter John, Linda's son, the young Savage, tells Bernard        
the story of his life. Huxley gives you broad hints that John will          
have a unique perspective on the brave new world because he                 
inherited the genes and some of the culture of Utopia while growing up      
in the primitive culture of the Reservation.                                
  As a boy, John witnessed his mother's painful shift from the happy        
sex life of Utopia to being the victim of both the Indian men who came      
to her bed and the Indian women who punished her for violating their        
laws. As her son, he, too, was an outsider- barred from marrying the        
Indian girl he loved and from being initiated into the tribe. He was        
denied the tribe's community and identity.                                  
  Instead, he went through the Indian initiation rituals of fasting         
and dreaming on his own, and learned something about suffering. He          
discovered time, death, and God- things about which the citizens of         
Utopia have only very limited knowledge. He discovered them not in the      
company of other boys his age, but alone. When Bernard hears this,          
he says he feels the same way because he's different. Huxley wants you      
to compare John's aloneness with Bernard's. Which do you think is more      
complete, more painful? Is it possible to be truly alone in the             
civilization of the Other Place?                                            
  John used Linda's stories of the Other Place as the first building        
blocks of his own mental world. He added the Indian stories he              
heard. And he crowned the mixture with what he found in a copy of           
Shakespeare that somehow made its way onto the Reservation. The book        
educated him in reading and in the English language. Shakespeare means      
no more to Bernard and Lenina than to the Indians, because he is            
part of the dust of history that the Controller whisked away in             
Chapter 3. But John finds a reference in Shakespeare for everything he      
  NOTE: Here we see where Huxley found the title for his book. When         
Bernard comes up with a scheme to take John and Linda back to               
London, John loves the idea. He quotes lines from The Tempest that          
Huxley expects the reader to know even if Bernard doesn't. They are         
spoken by Miranda, the innocent daughter of Prospero, a deposed duke        
and functioning magician. She has grown up on a desert island where         
she has known only two spirits and one human being, her father. She         
falls in love with a handsome young nobleman who has been                   
shipwrecked on their island, and then meets his equally gracious            
father and friends, and she says: "O, wonder! How many goodly               
creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,      
that has such people in it."                                                
  John doesn't intend to be ironic when he uses the lines as he             
contemplates plunging into his new world, but Huxley does. Bernard          
enables you to see the irony, and Huxley's true feelings about his bad      
Utopia, when he says to John, "Hadn't you better wait till you              
actually see the new world?"                                                
                             CHAPTER NINE                                   
  This short chapter sets up the steps from confrontation to climax,        
the decisive point in the development of the story. Lenina goes on          
an 18-hour soma "trip" to escape from the horrors she encountered on        
the Reservation. Bernard helicopters to Sante Fe and puts in a              
long-distance call to Mustapha Mond, the Controller, back in London.        
He tells Mond the story of Linda and John- and presumably of the            
Director. Huxley doesn't spell that out, but you know it's true             
because you know that Bernard wants to protect himself from the             
Director's threat of exile in Iceland, and because Huxley told you          
in Chapter Eight that Bernard had been "secretly elaborating" a             
strategy from the moment he realized who John's father must be. Mond        
issues orders to bring them back to London.                                 
  Indeed Bernard is plotting his own advancement, as you can see            
from the way he shows off to the Warden about the orders to take            
John and Linda back with him. He likes to think he's different from         
his fellows, but he also wants to be accepted or, better, looked up         
to. Yet he is being different; most of the citizens of the brave new        
world wouldn't dare to do what he's now doing. In this world, being         
different may threaten community, identity, and stability. Do you           
think Bernard's actions threaten those goals? Do you think he               
intends to make such threats? He might endanger them without wanting        
  Meanwhile John observes Lenina asleep. He has fallen in love with         
her as quickly as Miranda with Ferdinand, or Romeo with Juliet, and he      
quotes Romeo and Juliet to her as she sleeps. This sublime emotion          
marks him as a Savage, in contrast to the civilized worldlings who          
believe in their commandment to be promiscuous: "Everyone belongs to        
everyone else." John believes instead in an idea he found among the         
Indians but knows better in Shakespearean language, the idea of             
"pure and vestal modesty." ("Vestal" is the name of ancient Roman           
priestesses who had to be virgins.) He does have sexual feelings: he        
thinks of unzipping Lenina and then hates himself for the mere              
thought. Do you think she would understand this if she woke up and          
heard him murmuring to himself?                                             
  John is aroused from his reverie by the return of Bernard's rather        
un-Shakespearean helicopter. Huxley had not yet written any film            
scripts when he wrote this book, but he is using a screenwriting            
technique, making the helicopter prepare you visually for a change          
of scene in the next chapter. Perhaps his poor vision made him more         
conscious of the need to see things happen, and to make the reader see      
things happen.                                                              
                             CHAPTER TEN                                    
  The scene indeed shifts abruptly- back to the London Hatchery and         
Conditioning Centre. The novel's first climax is about to occur:            
John and Linda's plunge into the brave new Utopia, the thrusting of         
unorthodox, emotional humans into the world of orthodox, emotionless        
  The Director, as the chapter opens, is working to maintain                
orthodoxy. He is going to make a public announcement of Bernard's           
transfer to Iceland as punishment for the "scandalous unorthodoxy"          
of his sex life, his refusal to behave like a baby and seek instant         
gratification. As far as the Director is concerned, Bernard's               
emotional sins are all the greater because of his intellectual              
  The Director doesn't know he is about to be confronted with a much        
greater unorthodoxy from his own past. In the presence of all the           
high-caste workers of the Fertilizing Room, he announces the                
transfer and gives Bernard what is meant to be a purely formal              
opportunity to make a plea for himself. Bernard replies by bringing in      
Linda, "a strange and terrifying monster of middle-agedness," who           
recognizes the Director as her lover of a generation earlier and            
greets him with affection.                                                  
  When he responds with disgust, her face twists "grotesquely into the      
grimace of extreme grief," an emotion that of course is completely          
foreign to civilized people in this world. She screams, "You made me        
have a baby," which fills the Director and all the others there with        
real horror.                                                                
  Linda calls in John, who enters, falls on his knees in front of           
the Director, and says, "My father!" That turns the horror into a           
comic obscenity. The Director is humiliated. He puts his hands over         
his ears to protect them from the obscene word- "father"- and rushes        
out of the room. The listeners, almost hysterical, upset tube after         
tube of spermatozoa, another example of Huxley's grimly appropriate         
                            CHAPTER ELEVEN                                  
  All the important characteristics of the brave new world and its          
people are visible in this chapter, though the action does not carry        
the plot much further forward. After you finish reading it, decide          
whether you regard the chapter as a peak or a plateau, an exciting          
vision or a restful summary. Everybody who is important in London           
wants to see John, the true Savage. Nobody wants to see Linda, who had      
been decanted just as they had been, who committed the obscene act          
of becoming a mother, and who is fat and ugly. Linda doesn't care,          
however, because she has come back to civilization- which for her is a      
soma holiday that lasts longer and longer- and that will kill her,          
though she doesn't know it. Is Huxley really saying that everyone in        
this Utopia is in the same fix, but doesn't know it?                        
  As John's guardian, Bernard Marx is suddenly popular and                  
successful with women. Huxley shows you how hollow Bernard's success        
is in two ways: he lets you see that Bernard's friend Helmholtz is not      
impressed but only saddened because Bernard has revealed that he            
really is like everybody else; and he tells you that people still           
don't really like Bernard or the way he criticizes the established          
  Bernard takes the Savage to see all the high points of the World          
State, a literary trick from older, classical Utopias that enables          
Huxley to satirize both the real world and the brave new world. One of      
the simplest examples is the official who brags that a rocket               
travels 1,250 kilometers an hour- not unlike an airline ad in one of        
today's newspapers. John responds by remembering that Ariel, the            
good spirit of Shakespeare's Tempest, could travel around the world in      
40 minutes.                                                                 
  Bernard and John also visit a coeducational Eton, where Bernard           
makes advances toward the Head Mistress. This is another joke that          
Huxley aims at his English readers. He attended Eton, probably the          
most elite school in England- then and now a school for boys only.          
  Huxley really wants you to notice the Eton students laughing at a         
movie showing Savages in pain as they whip themselves for their             
sins, and that with the help of toys and chocolate creams, the              
students are conditioned to lose any fear of death. The Head                
Mistress says death is "like any other physiological process."              
Huxley follows her comment by saying that she and Bernard have a            
date for eight that night at the Savoy. He does not have to actually        
say that they plan to experience a different physiological process.         
This is an example of Huxley's wit and elegance, the ability to say         
much in few words.                                                          
  The satire on both real and Utopian worlds continues when the             
scene switches to Lenina and Fanny. Thanks to her new-found fame,           
Lenina has slept with many very important people, like the Ford             
Chief Justice (in England, the chief justice is a lord) and the             
Arch-Community Songster of Canterbury (the Archbishop of Canterbury is      
the chief clergyman in the Church of England). They all ask her what        
it's like to make love to a Savage, but she still doesn't know; John        
has maintained his purity against Utopia's promiscuity.                     
  The highlight of this scene is the song that says, "Love's as good        
as soma." This is an important variation on a theme; the people of          
Brave New World use their promiscuity to escape dull routine, just the      
way they use the drug.                                                      
  John's purity even survives a trip to the feelies with Lenina.            
Because she knows the celebrity Savage, Lenina has already been on the      
Feelytone news. Huxley mentions television as a feature of the brave        
new world, anticipating something that became available to the              
public over 15 years after he wrote this book. However, he didn't           
anticipate that television news programs would end movie newsreels.         
"Feelytone" is a parody on Movietone News, one of the leading               
newsreels of the 1930s.                                                     
  The feely shows a black making love to a blonde, which reminds            
John of Shakespeare's Othello. Huxley reminds you in this chapter,          
as he does throughout the book, that the Utopian caste system               
resembles real-world racial discrimination, though he takes pains to        
show that Deltas and Epsilons, at the bottom of the pecking order, may      
be white or black.                                                          
  John's feelings about the feelies are not happy. He thinks the            
erotic touch of the show is "ignoble," and he thinks he's noble for         
not making love to Lenina as she expects and wants him to.                  
                            CHAPTER TWELVE                                  
  The characters and their ideas come into conflict again in this           
chapter. First Bernard invites important guests to meet the Savage,         
but John refuses to leave his room. The guests immediately start to         
feel contempt for Bernard, whom they had pretended to like only to          
meet John. Bernard again becomes a victim of the system, and again          
suffers the feeling of being different that plagued him before.             
  John likes Bernard better that way, and so does Helmholtz, who has        
become John's friend. Helmholtz recites verses he wrote about               
solitude, a sin against the Utopian system; John responds with some of      
Shakespeare's verses on the self. Helmholtz is entranced, and is            
annoyed when Bernard equates a Shakespearean metaphor with orgy-porgy.      
But Helmholtz himself is a creature of Utopia. He thinks it absurdly        
comical that Juliet has a mother and that she wants to give herself to      
one man but not to another. He says a poet in the modern world must         
find some other pain, some other madness to write well. Actually, he        
says a "propaganda technician" must find these feelings, seeing no          
difference between that label and "poet." The chapter ends with his         
wondering what madness and violence he can find- a signal that              
Huxley wants you to wonder, too, and to suspect that the answer will        
soon become plain.                                                          
                           CHAPTER THIRTEEN                                 
  In this chapter the conflict between John and Lenina reaches its          
  Lenina, distraught over John's failure to make love to her, goes          
to his apartment determined to make love to him. At first he is             
delighted to see her and tells her she means so much to him that he         
wanted to do something to show he was worthy of her. He wants to marry      
her. She can't understand either the Shakespearean or the ordinary          
words he uses because the idea of a lifelong, exclusive relationship        
is completely foreign to her. If she did understand it, it would be         
either a horror or an obscene joke, like Linda's motherhood.                
  She does finally understand, however, that John loves her. Her            
reaction is immediate: she strips off her clothes and presses up            
against him, ready for the enthusiastic sex that is as close as this        
system comes to love. John becomes furious, calls her a whore, and          
tells her to get out of his sight; when she goes into the bathroom, he      
begins to recite Shakespearean lines that say that sex is vulgar.           
  What do you think about this scene? Huxley has made plain throughout      
the book that he doesn't like the promiscuity of the brave new              
world. But is he taking John's side here? At one moment he seems to,        
but at others he suggests that John's attitude is madness, and he           
certainly brings John close to violence.                                    
                           CHAPTER FOURTEEN                                 
  The book moves from sex and love in Chapter 13 to love and death          
in this chapter. John rushes to the Park Lane Hospital for the              
Dying, where his mother, Linda, has been taken. All the soma she has        
been using has put her into a state of "imbecile happiness." Those          
words seldom appear together; joining them creates a phrase of immense      
strength that tells us Huxleys' real attitude toward his Utopia.            
Seeing her makes John remember the Utopia she described to him when he      
was a child, the brave new world in his head that contrasts so              
painfully with the Utopia he now lives in.                                  
  A group of Delta children comes in for their weekly conditioning          
in seeing death as a natural process, and John is furious at their          
invasion of his grief. He is also furious when, in her delirium, his        
mother fails to recognize him and thinks he is Pope, her chief lover        
from the Reservation. Linda dies, and John collapses in tears. This         
threatens to destroy the conditioning the Deltas are receiving, and         
the nurse in charge has to give them chocolate eclairs to remind            
them that death is a natural and happy event.                               
  NOTE: Huxley wants to show how monstrous it is to deny the                
emotions of grief and loss. He hates a process that conditions              
people not to feel those emotions, that sorrow can be erased with           
gooey pastry. He doesn't mention any way of learning to experience          
mourning without being destroyed by it, though. Perhaps he is               
reflecting here his grief over the death of his own mother when he was      
only 14.                                                                    
                           CHAPTER FIFTEEN                                  
  John leaves Linda's deathbed and plunges into the midst of the daily      
distribution of soma to the Deltas who work in the hospital. He thinks      
again of Miranda's words- but mockingly this time- as he looks at           
the Deltas, and says, over and over again, "O brave new world." He          
feels a challenge in the words, a challenge to turn the nightmare into      
something noble, so he tries to stop the distribution of the soma,          
telling the Deltas that their precious drug is poison and imagining         
that he can urge them to freedom. John is still the Savage, and he has      
the savage idea that any person can be free; apparently he still can't      
imagine the real nature of conditioning.                                    
  Bernard and Helmholtz learn that John is going mad at the Hospital        
for the Dying. They rush to meet him and find they have to save him         
from the mob of Deltas, maddened and frustrated because he has              
thrown away their soma. The police restore order; although this new         
world is one in which everyone is happy and hardly anyone breaks the        
law, the police still come when they're needed. Like Bernard's              
suspicion of spies at the door in Chapter 4, this scene anticipates         
Orwell's 1984, though with a much gentler police state. Helmholtz,          
Bernard, and John are arrested. In every stage of this scene,               
Bernard seems to be trying to escape the consequences of the                
difference between himself and other Utopians that in other moments he      
is proud of.                                                                
                           CHAPTER SIXTEEN                                  
  This chapter begins the final climax of Brave New World, which            
continues into Chapter 17. The friends who can't accept the system          
confront the man who speaks for the system- the Controller, Mustapha        
Mond. As usual, John and Helmholtz speak their minds, and so does           
the Controller, as usual, only Bernard worries about the "unpleasant        
realities of the situation."                                                
  The Controller knows Shakespeare, it turns out- knowledge                 
forbidden to the ordinary elite. He who makes the laws is free to           
break the laws, he says. Huxley wants to remind you that many               
real-life rulers have taken the same attitude.                              
  The Controller explains that Shakespeare is forbidden both because        
it's old and beautiful, qualities that might make people turn               
against the synthetic beauty of the brave new world, and because the        
people wouldn't understand it. In the new world, there can be no great      
art because it's impossible to have both happiness and high art at the      
same time; "you can't make tragedies without social instability." This      
returns the scene (and you) to the basic theme of the book, the need        
for stability.                                                              
  The Controller acknowledges that stability has none of the glamour        
or picturesque quality of a fight against misfortune or a struggle          
against temptation. He says happiness and contentment are worth the         
loss. Do you think Huxley agrees? Or is he saying that that fight,          
that struggle, is necessary for a truly good life? The chapter doesn't      
tell you what he thinks; you have to decide the issue for yourself.         
  The Controller also explains why society cannot function with             
nothing but Alphas-they won't do the dirty work, the work Epsilons          
like doing. The Controllers once tried to create an experimental            
society composed only of Alphas, and it led to a civil war that killed      
19,000 of the 22,000 discontented Alphas. The lower castes, he says,        
find happiness in their work, happiness that guarantees stability.          
  NOTE: Here you see that the brave new world has stifled not only art      
and religion but also the science that first gave it the tools of           
control and that it still pretends to worship. Keeping the populace         
stable prevents this society from using most of its scientific              
knowledge. If it did use this knowledge, science would produce              
inventions that would reduce the need for Delta and Epsilon labor; the      
lower castes would then become unhappy and threaten stability.              
Mustapha Mond knows the tragedy of this better than anyone else,            
because he was a first-class scientist who gave up science to be a          
ruler- a ruler of a society that constantly invokes the name of             
science. Huxley was making fun of English and American society; in          
1931, he couldn't have known how well he was describing the future          
development of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, which pretended to           
worship science but actually crippled it.                                   
  The Controller has to deal with the three friends, who in his             
terms are dissidents, like the people in the Soviet Union whom the          
newspapers call dissidents- people who can't accept the wrongs they         
see in their society. He sends Bernard to Iceland and Helmholtz to the      
Falkland Islands. Bernard objects, pathetically; Helmholtz doesn't,         
because he accepts the Controller's notion that a small island,             
distant from the metropolis, is the right place for people who are too      
individual to fit into community life in this Utopia. England is an         
island, of course, but it's clearly too large, too central, and too         
highly populated to be a good place for unorthodox individuals.             
Huxley's love of and fantasy about islands, signaled here, later            
inspired his novel of a good Utopia, Island.                                
                          CHAPTER SEVENTEEN                                 
  After determining the fate of Bernard and Helmholtz, the                  
Controller still has to deal with John, the Savage, in the climactic        
confrontation of the book. John insists the world has paid a high           
price for happiness by giving up art and science. The Controller            
adds religion to this list and quotes at length from two                    
19th-century religious figures in order to conclude that "God isn't         
compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal             
  NOTE: This is one of the fundamental principles of the brave new          
world, though only the controller knows that. Do you think it's             
true? Does Huxley think it's true? You should be able to figure out         
that he doesn't-by listening carefully for the tones of voice in which      
John and Mond speak, especially in their exchange of ideas about God.       
  John sees it as natural for people to believe in God when they are        
most alone. Mond says they have made it almost impossible to be alone.      
John knows he suffered equally from being shut out of the Indian            
community and from being unable to escape the civilized community.          
Do you feel that just by mentioning those two opposites, Huxley             
suggests a third, a compromise, is possible?                                
  John also sees God as one who manages, punishes, and rewards. Huxley      
never says he agrees with John, and often he doesn't, but he keeps          
using the Savage to point up the hollow quality of the Controller's         
ideas, again using classic Utopian devices.                                 
  This is clear when Mond says that Edmund, one of the villains in          
Shakespeare's King Lear, would not be punished in the new world,            
only thrust into its "pleasant vices," and John says that that              
itself would be a punishment for Edmund. It becomes even clearer            
when the Controller tells John that passion means instability and           
instability means the end of civilization, that a properly organized        
society has no need of the noble or heroic. Huxley is telling you here      
as plainly as he can that this is a bad Utopia.                             
  But the Controller knows that passion is part of the definition of        
humanity; even in the brave new world people take monthly treatments        
of Violent Passion Surrogate, which floods their bodies with the            
same hormone that would flow through them if they felt real fear and        
rage. The Savage rejects this idea and claims the right to be unhappy,      
the right to suffer illness, pain, and fear. The Controller tells John      
he can have them. In one sense, Mond understands why John wants             
them; in another, he can't really understand that anyone would make         
that choice. You can read both reactions in the shrug of the shoulders      
that ends the chapter.                                                      
                           CHAPTER EIGHTEEN                                 
  John opens this chapter by making himself throw up- a crude but           
brilliant metaphor for his claim to the right to be unhappy, and for        
his need to purify himself after "eating" civilization and what he          
sees as his own wickedness.                                                 
  He tells Bernard and Helmholtz that he, too, asked to be sent to          
an island, and that the Controller refused because he wanted "to go on      
with the experiment." The Controller apparently didn't realize that         
John was capable of refusing to go on with it.                              
  Instead, the Savage sets himself up as a hermit in an abandoned           
air-lighthouse once used to show helicopters their proper air route.        
He is discovered by accident while whipping himself in a penitential        
rite. Reporters soon descend on him and make a news story out of            
everything, even the kick he delivers to one reporter's coccyx.             
(Huxley wrote in a world and time when a civilized writer didn't put        
certain phrases in print.)                                                  
  One of the things John punishes himself for is his sexual desire for      
Lenina. Huxley shows you that even an idealist can feel lust; John          
is learning the truth that the Controller recognized in the previous        
chapter, that passion is part of the definition of humanity.                
  A mob of tourists descends, much worse than the reporters. Worst          
of all, one of them is Lenina. Like fans at a boxing match or hockey        
game, they become crazed with fear and fascination when John starts to      
whip Lenina as well as himself. He chants "Kill it, kill it"                
(meaning "kill fleshy desire"), as Lenina writhes at his feet. An orgy      
of beating possesses the mob and becomes an orgy-porgy. When John           
wakes up the next morning, he hates himself with new intensity. Huxley      
never says that he actually has sex with Lenina or that he kills            
her, but it's not important; the thought that he might have done            
either one is enough to make John want to kill himself. When a new          
crowd arrives that evening, they find he has.                               
  Why do you think John chooses death? Did he have to choose between        
death and the stable, mindless happiness of the brave new world? In         
the Foreword, Huxley says he gave John only two alternatives: what          
he saw as an insane life for the Savage in Utopia, and what he              
called the lunacy of a primitive life in an Indian village, "more           
human in some respects, but in others hardly less queer or                  
abnormal." At the end of the novel, John could not tolerate either          
alternative and found a third choice: suicide.                              
  In the 1946 Foreword, Huxley said he could see a third choice that        
would have made suicide unnecessary, a choice he hadn't seen when he        
first wrote the book- a compromise in which science would serve man,        
economics would be decentralized, and politics cooperative rather than      
coercive. Much later he wrote Island, a novel about a good Utopia,          
in which he developed some of those ideas.                                  
                            A STEP BEYOND                                   
                          TESTS AND ANSWERS                 (HBRATEST)      
  TEST 1                                                                    
  _____  1. The exposition of this novel is accomplished through the        
            use of                                                          
            A. a separate introductory essay                                
            B. a tour for new students through the Central London           
            C. a question-and-answer dialogue between the Director and      
               his new assistant                                            
  _____  2. Children are taught morals in their sleep through a             
            process called                                                  
            A. hypnopaedia                                                  
            B. decanting                                                    
            C. consumerism                                                  
  _____  3. For their holiday, Bernard and Lenina go to                     
            A. the moon                                                     
            B. London                                                       
            C. New Mexico                                                   
  _____  4. Bernard's idiosyncrasies are generally explained by             
            A. a poor family life                                           
            B. alcohol in his blood surrogate                               
            C. his infatuation with Lenina                                  
  _____  5. The Solidarity Service which everyone must attend usually       
            A. in an orgy                                                   
            B. with a deep religious revelation                             
            C. when the clocks strike thirteen                              
  _____  6. People are taught to hate nature because                        
            A. there are not enough trees left                              
            B. they would be allergic to natural substances                 
            C. it doesn't cost anything to enjoy nature                     
  _____  7. Each person's social rank is predetermined in order to          
            A. insure an adequate number of workers for each function       
            B. create a stable society                                      
            C. both A and B                                                 
  _____  8. Ford occupies a position of reverence because                   
            A. he invented the assembly line                                
            B. everyone has a car                                           
            C. both A and B                                                 
  _____  9. Soma is                                                         
            A. the day of rest                                              
            B. a drug                                                       
            C. the major religion of this future world                      
  _____ 10. A motto of this new world is                                    
            A. sex and soma                                                 
            B. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon                           
            C. Community, Identity, Stability                               
  11. Brave New World is a novel of ideas. Discuss what this does to        
the characters and the plot, giving three examples of different ways        
that Huxley presents ideas.                                                 
  12. Brave New World is a Utopia. Describe the goals of its ideal          
state and the state's general principles for achieving them, and            
give three examples of particular techniques that illustrate those          
  13. How does Brave New World satirize the present day? Describe           
three particular vices and follies that are its targets.                    
  14. Brave New World keeps asking how much it would cost to achieve        
the benefits of the new society. What are the benefits? Does Huxley         
think the price is high or low? Do you agree? Discuss in terms of           
three specific costs.                                                       
  15. Discuss Huxley's attitude toward science. Does he think the           
brave new world uses it well? Does he think it's possible to use it         
  TEST 2                                                                    
  _____  1. The Indians made Linda an outcast woman because                 
            A. they considered her an immoral woman                         
            B. she was white                                                
            C. she considered herself better than the Indians               
  _____  2. Bernard brings Linda and John back to London because            
            A. he thinks this will be an interesting experiment in          
               cross-cultural studies                                       
            B. he wants to embarrass the Director                           
            C. he is falling in love with Linda                             
  _____  3. John learned to read by reading the work of                     
            A. Ford                                                         
            B. Freud                                                        
            C. Shakespeare                                                  
  _____  4. "If one's different one's bound to be lonely. They're           
            beastly to one. Do you know, they shut me out of                
            absolutely everything?" This was said by                        
            A. Bernard                                                      
            B. Helmholtz                                                    
            C. John                                                         
  _____  5. As John's guardian, Bernard finds that he is suddenly           
            A. jealous                                                      
            B. too busy to do his job                                       
            C. popular                                                      
  _____  6. John falls in love with                                         
            A. Lenina                                                       
            B. a Delta minus                                                
            C. the Director's wife                                          
  _____  7. When Linda dies, John                                           
            A. is glad she's gone to a final rest                           
            B. decides to return to the Reservation                         
            C. starts a riot at the Hospital for the Dying                  
  _____  8. In his discussion with Mustapha Mond, John claims               
            A. he is willing to adapt to the customs of the new world       
            B. the right to be unhappy                                      
            C. he never really belonged on the reservation                  
  _____  9. Bernard and Helmholtz are to be                                 
            A. executed                                                     
            B. reprogrammed                                                 
            C. sent to an island                                            
  _____ 10. John's final answer to the "brave new world" is to              
            A. start an underground anarchist group                         
            B. go back to the Reservation                                   
            C. commit suicide                                               
  11. Analyze the personality of Bernard Marx, giving three examples        
of his thoughts, feelings, and actions at critical moments.                 
  12. Discuss Lenina as a person, as a citizen, as a woman. What are        
her functions in this novel?                                                
  13. Discuss three ways that John the Savage differs from the              
citizens of the Other Place. What do his thoughts and feelings              
enable you to see about the Utopia?                                         
  14. Discuss Brave New World as a look at the future, analyzing the        
difference between prophecy and prediction.                                 
  15. Discuss sex, sports, and soma. What do they have in common and        
how do they differ from the point of view of the individual citizen         
and of the state?                                                           
  TEST 1                                                                    
  1. B     2. A     3. C     4. B     5. A     6. C     7. C                
  8. A     9. B    10. C                                                    
  11. Every section of this guide can help you answer this question.        
Some characters exist only to express or embody a particular idea, and      
some have something close to three-dimensional, live personalities.         
Huxley expresses some ideas by putting them in the mouths of cartoon        
characters like the Director; some by making them part of serious           
dialogue, like the conversations between Bernard and Helmholtz and          
between the Controller and John; and some by actual behavior, like          
Lenina's sex life with Henry Foster and Bernard, and her attempt            
with John.                                                                  
  Compare the different kinds of characters and say what you like           
and don't like about them. How do their ideas affect their actions and      
their personalities, and vice versa?                                        
  Look for specific chapters where the plot stands still while ideas        
are expressed, and compare the "action" to a chapter in which the           
characters really do things and relate to each other. Which category        
does Chapter 17, in which the Controller and the Savage argue,              
belong in?                                                                  
  12. The goals of the world state are mentioned in the first               
paragraph of the book and frequently thereafter, and they are               
mentioned also in this guide. They are community, identity, and             
stability. The general principle for achieving them is to use new           
scientific techniques to make people like to do what they have to           
do, as the Director says in Chapter I, and to eliminate every               
painful emotion, as the Controller says in Chapter 3 and Chapter 17.        
Among the many specific techniques embodying those principles are           
the different kinds of conditioning, the use of soma, sex, and sports;      
the training about death; the elimination of history and literature.        
You should focus on three in detail.                                        
  13. This kind of satire is a matter of exaggerating behavior that         
Huxley saw around him and projecting it into the future. Look for           
vices and follies in the use of science, religion, the economic             
structure, and the attitude toward sex, in every theme and every            
chapter. Almost everything that the book satirizes existed either in        
the 1920s or today, but you may have to think about some or do              
research on others, like particular church practices. It would also be      
interesting to decide which is a vice and which a folly.                    
  14. The benefits are the achievement of community, identity, and          
stability, if you prize them as the Controllers do, and the absence of      
war, poverty, disease, and social unrest. What do you think about them      
as benefits? What price would you be willing to pay for them?               
  Huxley thinks the cost in Brave New World is far too high. You can        
find some costs mentioned in the first three chapters and others in         
Chapters 16 and 17; they are summarized under Theme 11 in this              
guide. You can write an A (or alpha) paper if you think carefully           
about the value that you put on the benefits and the costs.                 
  15. Huxley says in his 1946 Foreword that the theme of Brave New          
World is "the advancement of science as it affects human individuals."      
He had some scientific training before he lost his vision, and              
believed that scientific advances could and would be made, but he           
didn't trust scientists or rulers to use them properly. He foresaw          
danger in most scientific and technological discoveries- the danger         
that their use would turn into abuse and produce evil. The whole point      
of Brave New World is that it does not use science well. But as the         
guide tells you, Huxley never gave up on the possibility of using           
science well, and made that possibility a reality in his last novel,        
  TEST 2                                                                    
  1. A     2. B     3. C     4. C     5. C     6. A     7. C                
  8. B     9. C    10. C                                                    
  11. Bernard feels different because of his small size' and that           
sense of difference enables him to see what is wrong in the brave           
new world and to imagine alternatives. But he lacks courage and             
secretly wants to succeed on the society's own terms. You should            
have no trouble finding examples of either criticisms or failures in        
his first appearance, his trip to the Reservation, his relations            
with John and Helmholtz, his involvement with Lenina, or his                
distress at being exiled. You can write a better answer if you compare      
him to Helmholtz, who is different in another way.                          
  12. Lenina is an exemplary citizen except for one peculiarity that        
makes her more of an individual than most citizens: she will sometimes      
date or sleep with only one man at a time for as long as four               
months, violating the commandment to be promiscuous. As a female,           
she is particularly "pneumatic"- usually taken to mean that she has         
attractive breasts, but perhaps also meaning that she is especially         
exciting during intercourse. As a woman, her main function is to            
excite feelings in Bernard and John that show their respective              
differences from brave new worldlings. A feminist might say it is           
ironic that although she has little personality of her own, she             
takes the sexual initiative with John, something that many people           
think only a strong woman can do. Huxley implies that this is not           
uncommon in the brave new world, though it seldom happened in real          
life in his own day.                                                        
  13. John is different in many ways, starting with his birth: he           
was born from a woman, not decanted from a bottle. He grew up an            
outsider among the Savages instead of a member of a defined group.          
He grew up without conditioning, but with a knowledge of Shakespeare        
and of the Savages' religion. He grew up loving and hating his mother.      
He knows the value of suffering and pain.                                   
  Many Utopias contrast civilized and "savage" behavior. John has           
the full range of emotions that citizens of the new world lack, and         
this enables him and you to see how hollow some of the virtues of           
the Utopia are. If you look at several feelings in particular, you          
will find that each one provides a new perspective on a different           
aspect of Utopia. John's feelings about his mother's death, for             
instance, give you a dramatic insight into the new world's                  
conditioning about death.                                                   
  14. Look up the dictionary definitions of "prophecy" and                  
"prediction"; then look at what Huxley says in his Foreword. The novel      
is an inaccurate prediction of specific facts; it never mentions            
atomic energy, for instance. But 15 years after he wrote it, Huxley         
thought it was a good warning of the dangers of certain developments        
in biology and psychology, a good prophecy of changes in sexual             
  15. They all offer escape from the routine of everyday life, and          
their use is encouraged by the state to keep citizens happy.                
Individuals play or watch sports more compulsively than we do               
because they've been conditioned to like them, but they don't get as        
much pleasure from sports as they do from sex, and not quite as             
complete an escape in sex as they do in soma. Sex still requires two        
people, while soma is a solitary experience in a world that offers few      
of these. The state seems to regard all three as necessary but to give      
soma the highest priority, with sex second and sports third. Look           
for quotations about each experience. At one point, Lenina sings,           
"Love's as good as soma." Do you think this is literally true from the      
worldlings' point of view?                                                  
                           TERM PAPER IDEAS                 (HBRATERM)      
  1. Compare Brave New World, Huxley's bad Utopia, with Island, his         
good one.                                                                   
  2. How does the society prophesied by Brave New World compare with        
today's reality?                                                            
  3. Why do the creators of Utopias introduce savages into their new        
worlds? (Hint: looking at ideal states through the eyes of a primitive      
stranger provides deeper and more colorful visions.)                        
  COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY                                            
  1-3.  How is each one achieved in the brave new world? (Hint: see         
the section of this guide on themes.)                                       
  1. What scientific developments did Brave New World foresee? How          
much of its scientific prophecy has come true?                              
  2. Why did Huxley emphasize chemical and psychological                    
conditioning rather than make super weapons or nuclear energy elements      
of his new world? (Hint: he was interested in science that could            
affect man without killing him, and his Utopia took other advances for      
  3. How does the controlled breeding of Brave New World compare to         
the recent changes in genetic engineering in the real world?                
  1. Why does the Utopia use chemical and physical conditioning on          
embryos in bottles? (Look at the specific conditioning achieved.)           
  2. Why does the Utopia use hypnopaedia to condition babies?               
(Distinguish between teaching facts and teaching moral attitudes while      
you sleep.)                                                                 
  3. In what ways are we "conditioned" today? By what? Whom? From what      
motivations? For what purposes?                                             
  SEXUAL PLEASURE                                                           
  1. Why does the Utopia encourage people to be promiscuous?                
  2. Would I like to live in a world where everyone belongs to              
everyone else? (Analyze why and why not.)                                   
  3. Would Malthusian drill be something we could borrow from Brave         
New World to deal with teenage pregnancy? (Again, why and why not?)         
  1. Why is this drug a supreme necessity in the brave new world?           
(Hint: keep people happy by enabling them to escape.) Why is this a         
perversion of Huxley's hopes for a perfect drug? (Hint: it doesn't          
help you achieve knowledge of God; see section on Themes in this            
  2. How does the Utopia's use of soma compare with real-world use          
of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine?                                
  3. In what ways can and are drugs used in a positive way today? In a      
negative way? What dangers does Huxley want us to avoid?                    
  OTHER PLEASURES                                                           
  1. How would I feel about the Feelies?                                    
  2. How would I feel about Brave New World sports? (Include your           
thoughts about Huxley's failure to give details and on his using the        
names as a joke.)                                                           
  1. In what way is "Ford" in Brave New World like "Christ" in our          
world? In what ways are the two different?                                  
  2. Why do you think Huxley chose to mythologize Ford (and briefly         
Freud) in Brave New World?                                                  
  1. Why does the Utopia make family an obscene joke or a crime?            
(Hint: Huxley says it's because families produce neuroses. Could it         
also be that the family is a focus of loyalty that might compete            
with the state?)                                                            
  2. Compare the idea of family in Brave New World with a Utopia you        
create that redesigns a family to make people happy. (What changes          
would you make in your own family?)                                         
  1. Death as a natural process- how the Utopia sees it, and how I see      
  2. Why the brave new world tries to eliminate the sense of loss           
and grief.                                                                  
  THE COSTS OF UTOPIA                                                       
  1. What are the costs of achieving the good aspects of the brave new      
world? (Describe the benefits of the world and their costs-                 
including costs like the loss of family and the loss of art.                
Estimate whether the costs are high or low, and compare your                
estimate to Huxley's.)                                                      
                               GLOSSARY                     (HBRAGLOS)      
  ANTHRAX  An infectious, often fatal disease of sheep and cattle that      
can also kill humans. The Utopian state was established after a war in      
which anthrax bombs were used as a weapon of germ warfare.                  
  BOKANOVSKIFY; BOKANOVSKY'S PROCESS  Method to make a human egg bud        
by arresting its growth, producing up to 96 identical people.               
  CASTE  One of the five groups into which all citizens of the brave        
new world are divided by heredity and conditioning, each with its           
own rank and intelligence range. They are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta,        
and Epsilon, from the Greek letters that English schools use as             
  COMMUNITY SING  An observance of the Fordian religion for the             
lower castes. The Arch Community Songster is the equivalent of an           
  CONDITION  To put into a desired state by chemical, physical, or          
psychological action.                                                       
  DECANTING  Process by which embryos are removed from the bottles          
in which they grow; equivalent of birth.                                    
  ECTOGENESIS  Reproduction outside the human body, for example in          
  EMOTIONAL ENGINEERING  Designing propaganda for use on citizens. The      
Utopia's closest equivalent to writing poetry.                              
  FITCHEW  A Shakespearean word that John uses to curse Lenina.             
Literally a polecat, but in Shakespeare's day it also meant a               
  FLIVVER  An old, small, or cheap automobile. Henry Ford's original        
Model T was often called a flivver, so the word takes on religious          
meaning in the Utopia.                                                      
  FREEMARTIN  A sterile person; the Utopia makes 70 percent of its          
females freemartins by dosing the embryos with male sex hormones. They      
still have female sex organs, but they also have beards that need           
  GAMETES  General term for reproductive cells of either sex.               
  HYPNOPAEDIA  Teaching people while they sleep. In the book, suitable      
only for moral suggestion, not facts or analysis.                           
  OVA  Female reproductive cells.                                           
  PODSNAP'S TECHNIQUE  Method to speed the ripening of human eggs,          
making it possible to multiply the number a single ovary can produce.       
  PREDESTINATION  The process of determining which embryos will grow        
up to do particular jobs in particular places. The word has                 
religious overtones; it once meant God's decision as to who would be        
saved and who would be damned.                                              
  PREGNANCY SUBSTITUTE  A medical technique that floods a woman's body      
with all the hormonal and other physical changes it would undergo           
during pregnancy, which she will never experience.                          
  SAVAGE  A person who is born and raised outside the Utopia and            
does not know how to behave according to its rules. Savages live on         
Reservations surrounded by electrified fences. The Savages who              
appear in the book resemble Indians of the Southwest United States.         
  SCENT ORGAN  An instrument that plays smells the way a piano or a         
pipe organ plays music.                                                     
  SOLIDARITY SERVICE  A Fordian religious observance for the upper          
castes, usually 12 people who eventually unite in a sexual orgy.            
  SOMA  A drug that both tranquilizes and intoxicates without               
hangovers or side effects. It provides citizens of the Utopia with          
escape from self and surroundings. The word comes from the Sanskrit         
language of ancient India. It means both an intoxicating drink used in      
the old Vedic religious rituals there and the plant from whose juice        
the drink was made- a plant whose true identity we don't know.              
  SPERMATOZOA  Male reproductive cells.                                     
  SURROGATE  Something selected as a substitute. Embryos grow in blood      
surrogate instead of real blood because they grow outside a mother's        
body. Morocco-surrogate is imitation leather. Violent Passion               
Surrogate floods the body with the same hormones that fear and rage         
  VIVIPAROUS  Bearing live young rather than eggs, as mammals,              
including humans, do.                                                       
  ZIPPICAMIKNICKS  Women's underwear, one-piece but sexy.                   
                             THE CRITICS                    (HBRACRIT)      
  THE PRICE OF UTOPIA                                                       
  A life-span without war, violence and the dread of cruel disease- is      
it not worth the silly slogans, the scent organ, the Feelies and the        
lack of an unknown freedom? But the price- in our terms- is also the        
freedom to reject servitude, the freedom to choose, to grow, to             
change. The price is deep and graduated human relationships, is             
virtue, is courage, endurance, faith exchanged for uniformity and           
spiritual squalor. There is no doubt on which side Aldous comes down.       
                   -Sybille Bedford, Aldous Huxley: A Biography, 1974       
  THE WORSHIP AND ENSLAVEMENT OF SCIENCE                                    
  In the World-State man has been enslaved by science, or as the            
hypnopaedic platitude puts it, "science is everything." But, while          
everything owes its origin to science, science itself has been              
paradoxically relegated to the limbo of the past along with culture,        
religion, and every other worthwhile object of human endeavor. It is        
ironic that science, which has given the stablest equilibrium in            
history, should itself be regarded as a potential menace, and that all      
scientific progress should have been frozen since the establishment of      
the World-State.                                                            
          -Peter Bowering, Aldous Huxley: A Study of the Major Novels       
  The core of the book is the argument on happiness between the             
Controller and the Savage. They argue like a couple of Oxford dons          
on the name and nature of happiness in society. The Savage reveals a        
power in dialectic for which his past life, one would have thought,         
had hardly prepared him. Huxley is right. It would have been better if      
the Savage had had another background, something worth preferring.          
As it is, he has to choose between the squalor of the Reservation           
and the spiritless shallow happiness of the world according to Ford.        
             -Laurence Brander, Aldous Huxley: A Critical Study, 1970       
  AMERICA- THE BRAVE NEW WORLD?                                             
  ...For Huxley, it is plain, there is no need to travel into the           
future to find the brave new world; it already exists, only, too            
palpably, in the American Joy City, where the declaration of                
dependence begins and ends with the single-minded pursuit of                
           -Peter Firchow, Aldous Huxley: Satirist and Novelist, 1972       
                            ADVISORY BOARD                  (HBRAADVB)      
  We wish to thank the following educators who helped us focus our          
Book Notes series to meet student needs and critiqued our                   
manuscripts to provide quality materials.                                   
  Murray Bromberg, Principal                                                
  Wang High School of Queens, Holliswood, New York                          
  Sandra Dunn, English Teacher                                              
  Hempstead High School, Hempstead, New York                                
  Lawrence J. Epstein, Associate Professor of English                       
  Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York                        
  Leonard Gardner, Lecturer, English Department                             
  State University of New York at Stony Brook                               
  Beverly A. Haley, Member, Advisory Committee                              
  National Council of Teachers of English Student Guide Series              
  Fort Morgan, Colorado                                                     
  Elaine C. Johnson, English Teacher                                        
  Tamalpais Union High School District                                      
  Mill Valley, California                                                   
  Marvin J. LaHood, Professor of English                                    
  State University of New York College at Buffalo                           
  Robert Lecker, Associate Professor of English                             
  McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada                               
  David E. Manly, Professor of Educational Studies                          
  State University of New York College at Geneseo                           
  Bruce Miller, Associate Professor of Education                            
  State University of New York at Buffalo                                   
  Frank O'Hare, Professor of English                                        
  Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio                                     
  Faith Z. Schullstrom, Member of Executive Committee                       
  National Council of Teachers of English                                   
  Director of Curriculum and Instruction                                    
  Guilderland Central School District, New York                             
  Mattie C. Williams, Director, Bureau of Language Arts                     
  Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois                                 
                               BIBLIOGRAPHY                 (HBRABIBL)      
                           FURTHER READING                                  
                         AUTHOR'S OTHER WORKS                               
  Many of Huxley's other books are worth reading. Listed here are           
those that provide particular additional insights into Brave New            
  Crome Yellow, 1921.                                                       
  Point Counter-Point, 1928. Like Crome Yellow, this book gives you an      
earlier view of some of the ideas developed in Brave New World and          
provides characters to compare with those of the Utopian novel.             
  The Perennial Philosophy, 1945.                                           
  The Doors of Perception, 1954. In this book and in The Perennial          
Philosophy, Huxley explores the ideas of mystic communion and drugs.        
  Brave New World Revisited, 1958. Huxley treats in essay form many of      
the same topics he explored 25 years earlier in his novel:                  
overpopulation, overorganization, propaganda, and chemical                  
conditioning, among other subjects. "The nightmare of total                 
organization... has emerged from the safe, remote future and is now         
awaiting us, just around the next corner." The book ends with two           
chapters on what people can do to prevent the nightmare from                
becoming reality. Huxley wanted to lower the world birth rate,              
increase food production, renew the environment, and decentralize           
political and economic power. He also wanted to create a system of          
education that would make propaganda and conditioning more difficult        
to abuse.                                                                   
  Island, 1962. This novel about a good Utopia shows that Huxley never      
gave up his belief in the benefits of science or of a drug that             
would enable man to transcend the limits of the self and know God,          
despite the warnings he gave against the misuse of science and drugs        
in Brave New World. The people of Pala, a fictional island in the           
Indian Ocean, enjoy a stable population, healthy agriculture,               
marvelous preventive medicine, no heavy industry, and an economy            
that is neither capitalist nor socialist. They also use                     
moksha-medicine, a perfected version of LSD, to have religious visions      
that enable them to achieve a union with God. And, as in Brave New          
World, they use chemicals to condition babies- but with a major             
difference: on Pala such techniques are employed only to eliminate          
aggression or to raise the intelligence of retarded children to within      
normal range.                                                               
                       OTHER WORKS ABOUT UTOPIA                             
  Three novels by other writers can be compared to Brave New World.         
  Orwell, George. 1984 (1948). A novel of an even grimmer future            
than that portrayed by Huxley.                                              
  Wells, H. G. Men Like Gods (1923). The novel Huxley intended to           
satirize in his own Utopia.                                                 
  Zamyatin, Yevgeny. We (1959). A portrayal of the future inspired          
by the repression within the Soviet Union, the book bears some              
resemblances to Braze New World and influenced George Orwell.               
                            CRITICAL WORKS                                  
  Bedford, Sybille. Aldous Huxley: A Biography. New York: Alfred A.         
Knopf, 1974. Essential to understand how Huxley's life related to           
his writings.                                                               
  Bowering, Peter. Aldous Huxley: A Study of the Major Novels. New          
York: Oxford University Press, 1969. One of the more useful critical        
  Brander, Laurence. Aldous Huxley: A Critical Study. Lewisburg,            
Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1970. Another useful study.                 
  Firchow, Peter. Aldous Huxley: Satirist and Novelist. Minneapolis,        
Mn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1972. One of the more useful            
critical studies.                                                           
  Kuehn, Robert E., editor. Aldous Huxley: A Collection of Critical         
Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.                        
  Meckier, Jerome. Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure. London: Chatto      
and Windus, 1969.                                                           
  Watts, Harold H. Aldous Huxley. New York: Twayne, 1969.                   
         THE END               

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