Friday, April 30, 2010
Bernard found it hard to fall asleep and was drawing up a plan for the days to come.
On the following morning, Bernard left to go to Santa Fé to do business and would return to Malphis long before Lenina would awake again. He asked the men to keep her safe and ended up at the World Controller's office. He discussed his plan of bringing the two 'savages' to London with him with Mustapha Mond who immeditately agreed that it would be sufficient scientific interest. He allowed Bernard the necessary permits and Bernard hurried off to the Warden of the Reservation's office to get all the necessary papers.
Bernard began to relax for his plane ride back to Malphis.
John was standing outside of the rest-house calling for Bernard. He tried to enter but found it locked and began to cry, thinking that Bernard had left him behind. John realized later that he should look through the window and he found out that he had not left at all, as Lenina's luggage was still there. He threw a rock through the window and climbed inside.
John opened Lenina's suitcase and was instantly hit with the scent of Lenina. His heart beat wildly as he examined her clothes with all the zippers and kissed a perfumed handkerchief. He opened a box and scented powder blew a cloud in his face. He rubbed it all over his self and felt as though it was her presence there with him.
He heard a noise and became guilty and startled. He quickly threw the things back into the suitcase and went to find out what the noise was. He found Lenina on the bed in a one-piece zippered undergarment fast asleep. He saw her as an angel and found himself recalling quotes from Shakespeare's plays about women's beauty such as the one about Juliet from Romeo and Juliet.
John wanted to touch Lenina's hand but felt entirely unworthy. He dropped his hand before it touched hers and kept thinking how beautiful she was. He thought about unzipping her undergarments but quickly removed the 'detestable thought' from his head. He was ashamed that he had such a thought.
Suddenly he heard a humming the air and realized that it was plane returning from wherever Bernard had sauntered off to. He quickly ran out through the open window and was in time to meet Bernard as he walked out of the plane.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Bernard discusses with John that he finds this situation hard to understand. He asks John to recall his life to as far as he can remember.
Linda is lying next to John in their bed singing 'Bye, Baby banting, soon you'll need decanting' after a large supper and he falls asleep.
He wakes up to a loud noise. There is a large and terrifying man talking beside the bed, and Linda is laughing at what he is saying. Suddenly Linda says, "Not with John here," and John becomes more terrified. The man rips John away from Linda and throws him outside of the door. John tries to open the door and calls out to Linda but no one comes.
John is in a huge room with other children as Linda is helping the women make blankets. A long time later, a crying Linda is being pushed out of the room and Linda storms off. John follows her as she makes comments of how they are 'beastly savages' for kicking her out because she broke something during weaving.
They go back to their house and a man named Popé is there with a large gourd full of mescal - a drink that smelt bad and burnt the mouth. After Popé and Linda drank some of the gourd, they went into the other room. Popé left sometime later and John found that he could not wake Linda from her deep slumber.
John hated Popé. He hated every one of the men that came to visit Linda. He recalls one cold afternoon when he came back to the house after playing with children. Linda was screaming and there were people screaming and loud crashing happening in the bedroom. John ran inside and found women holding Linda down and whipping her. John cried for them to stop and bit the woman's hand with the whip and the woman pushed John down and whipped him three times.
That night John and Linda cried together. John did not understand why they hurt not only him, but why they had hurt Linda. He found those people so unfair.
Linda cried and said she did not understand why either and she muttered something about how they had said 'those men are their men'. John did not understand and Linda began crying and muttering to herself even more. John tried to comfort her by putting his arm around her neck, but Linda twinged at the pain in her shoulder and pushed him away. She yelled at John and began slapping him, saying how she would not be his mother and how she has turned into a savage and that she can never go back to the society now.
Linda raised her hand to strike him again but suddenly she put his arms around him and kissed him over and over again.
Linda was depressed and did not get up at all for several days. She would sometimes drink the mescal and fall asleep. She often forgot to bathe and feed him and he remembered when she found 'little animals' in his hair and how she had screamed.
John remembers that one of the happiest times were when Linda told him about the 'Other Place'. Linda told him about how you could fly, and there were delicious things to eat, beautiful music, there were houses and everybody was always happy. Everyone belonged to everyone else and there were babies in clean bottles - everything was clean and no one was ever alone.
Everyday John listened to Linda's talk of the Other Place.
John also loved that when he and the other children were tired of playing, one of the old men would tell them great stories of the Transformer of the World, the twins of War and Chance, and other wild stories. John loved all of these strange stories and would lie in bed thinking about Heaven, London, the Lady of Acoma, rows of babies in bottles, and Jesus and Linda flying up in the sky.
John recalls a time that children made fun of Linda and how they called her bad names due to the number of men that would come to see her. John grew mad and threw rocks at them, but they threw them back and cut his cheek. He ended up being covered in blood.
Linda taught John to read as well. She would draw pictures on the wall and write letters and John was able to learn them quickly. She told John that when he was bigger he would be able to read some of the books she had but when John took a long time just to read the title, "The Chemical and Bacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo. Practical Instructions for Beta Embryo-Store Workers", John threw the book on the floor and called it 'beastly'.
The children are still singing horrible taunting songs about Linda, but they also tease John about his tattered clothes, since Linda does not know how to mend he wears rags. John pretends not to be bothered by the teasing by reminding himself that he is smarter because he can read and they can't.
John questions Linda often about things in the books he reads but Linda cannot answer majority of them, and when she does he does not understand, because she was an embryo worker and only knows about that. John decides to ask the old men of the village and they always give him a definite, but highly spiritual and mythical answer.
One day, when John was about twelve, Popé brought them a thick old book filled with all of Shakespeares' collections. Linda said it was definitely old because the contents were 'uncivilized'. John began to read it and was completely emersed in the Shakespearean language. He found it magical and beautiful and described as being like old Mitsima (the old mystical man in the village) saying magic but it was a lot more amazing, 'because it talked to him' even if he did not understand the words entirely.
John describes that he is hating Popé more and more. He calls him 'lecherous' and a 'kindless villain' even though he only has an idea what the words mean. John describes the words he has as magical and sing to him like drums. They gave him a reason for hating Popé which eventually went a little too far.
John recalls coming in from playing outside one day and finds Linda and Popé sleeping in the bed together completely naked. John was devestated, 'his heart seemed to have disappeared and left a hole'. He felt an extreme rush of emotion and recalled Shakespeare,
"When he is drink asleep, or in his rage
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed..."
He felt as though the 'magic' was telling him what to do - John grabbed a knife and stabbed Popé twice in the shoulder. Popé awoke and caught John's wrist before he could strike again. Popé made John look into his eyes while Linda awoke and began wailing about the blood. Popé laughs and calls John brave and allows him to run away so John may hide his tears.
Mitsima is teaching John the ways of the Indian. They go by the river and begin to mold clay. John's clay pot is laughable beside Mitsima but they continue to create clay pots all day. John is glowing and starts singing a song from the Other Place about Vitamin D and cods in the sea while Mitsima sings about killing a bear. Mitsima tells John that next winter he will teach him how to create a bow.
John and Linda are at an Indian wedding. A man, Kothlu, came out of the house with his right hand stretched out to his side and closed, as if holding something. Kiakimé, a young girl, does the same and they walk in silence as their brothers, sisters, cousins, and crowd follow. They stand at the edge of the cliff together and Mitsima marries them. John runs away after the wedding to be alone. He reveals he had been hopelessly and completely in love with the girl who had just gotten married and he felt that he was 'finished'.
John was waiting in the moonlight with the rest of the young boys. They were to go down to the 'Antelope Kiva' where secrets would be told and they would come out as men. John was beginning his climb down to the depths when a man pulled him out of the line. John desperately tried to return but the men called him the 'son of a she-dog' and that he was not welcome to join. They threw stones at him and he began to bleed. He ran away and found himself on the edge of the cliff. He debated whether or not he should jump and end it all. He held out his wrist where he had been cut and watched the blood drip slowly in the darkness.
He had discovered Time, Death, and God.
Bernard and John are still walking around the village.
John says that he is 'alone, always alone', and Bernard confesses he feels terribly alone as well. John is surprised as he knows that in the 'Other Place' nobody is every alone. Bernard blushes and says that he is rather different from the others but John understands completely. He says that, "If one's different, one's bound to be lonely".
He confesses that when he was not allowed to join the rest of the boys in the ritual, he went to do it by himself. He starved himself for five days and spent the night alone in the mountains and said he had his own spiritual dream. He also states that he used to stand like Jesus does on the crucifix, just to see what it felt like. He said it felt like it was something he just had to do and that he ended up fainting.
Bernard begins to think that there is something better to cure unhappiness than just soma...
Bernard then asks John if he would like to come back to London with him and Lenina, mostly to use him as blackmail against the Director as he realizes that he is the father to the 'savage'.
John is ecstatic and asks if Linda can come too. Bernard is hesitant as Linda would be seen as much too revolting in the society but decides that she might be an enormous asset.
John is euphoric. He cannot wait to see all the women there, as he sees Lenina as an angel. He suddenly asks Bernard if he is married to Lenina by which he responds by immediate laughter at such a ridiculous question. John began laughing as well but from pure joy and exclaims, "O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once".
Bernard finds John's way of talking peculiar and does not understand why he is so excited. He feels that John should wait until he actually sees the new world before getting so hyped up.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Lenina made references from the Savage Reservation constantly to their society, such as the natives' bodies painted with white lines were like 'asphalt tennis courts'. The Indians were dressed in furs, feathers, and rattling beads.
Lenina is scared when she sees them dancing with snakes and the fact that they seemed to ignore her existence in their home. She does not understand how they could live in all the mud, dogs, and garbage.
Bernard explains to her that they do not know any differently and that this is how life should be lived, even if their society calls for cleanliness and sterilization.
Lenina, and Bernard (who kept it hidden), were both shocked to see a very old man with long grey hair and almost no muscles on his body. Bernard explains that due to their society's uses of transfusions of young blood, they can artificially keep a balanced youthful equilibrium inside their bodies and be preserved from diseases that allows them not to look like that.
Lenina is horrified and tries to reach for her soma bottle, but realizes she left it at the rest-house and that Bernard also had none with him.
They then see two young women breastfeeding their babies. Lenina blushes and turns away thinking that that it is the most indecent thing she has ever seen in her life. Bernard however was making comments about it and how intimate it is. He is excited and begins pondering what it is like to have a mother and what if Lenina were a mother. Lenina is horrified and begs to be taken away from the scene.
The guide takes them down by where they live and they witness how the Indians live - there are dead dogs lying on the street, mothers looking for lice in children's hair, there were fur blankets baking in the sun, and the Indians were dancing in the main area.
Lenina actually liked the drums only because they were similar to the beats in the society's 'Orgy-porgy' song. The Indians began singing and Lenina thought it was 'queer' that there was disease and old people with weird clothing, but their performance overall was 'nothing specially queer' in her eyes as it reminded her of a lower rank's Community Sing.
Suddenly, the Indians begin a ritual. They began dancing around the circle getting faster and shrieking as they went round. They began to toss out snakes and dance with them. The old man silenced the crowd with his hand and beckoned forth an eagle image and the Christianity symbol of Jesus on the cross. The old man then clapped his hands and a young boy of about eighteen came forth, wearing almost nothing.
The old man made the cross sign over him and turned away. The young boy began to walk around the heap of snakes. The men around the crowd began to whip the boy, but the boy would not make a sound.
Lenina began to sob. She cried for it to stop and wished she had her soma. The boy fell and the old man placed a white feather over the boy's bloodied back and sprinkled it onto the snake pit. The dancers broke out again and the drums began to beat. The crowd left and only the boy remained, bloody on the ground.
A man came forth, only he was white with bronzed skin, with straw-coloured hair and pale blue eyes. He asked them if they were civilized and from outside of the Reservation in English. Bernard was astonished at the man and was about to ask who he was until the man interrupted him.
The man explained that he wished he had been the sacrifice but the Indians disliked him for the colour of his skin and denied him from joining. He explains that this sacrifice is to pray for rain and growth of corn.
Lenina looks up at the man for the first time and the man is shocked by her beauty. He is embarrassed and she is thinking that he is a nice-looking boy with a beautiful body.
Bernard interrupts by asking questions about the man. The man tries his best to avoid looking at Lenina and explains that him and his mother, Linda lived in the Reservation. His mother used to come from the 'Other Place' (or Bernard and Lenina's society) long ago with a man who was his father. She had fallen down a steep place and hurt her head. Some of the hunters from Malpais (the Reservation) had found her and brought her to village. She never saw the man who is his father (as we find out is the Director) again.
Bernard and Lenina follow the man to his home on the outskirts of the village. Linda came out and Lenina shuddered at the sight of her. She had wrinkles, her front teeth were missing, with bloodshot eyes, and ragged skin. She had a stomach bulge and smelt of alcohol. Lenina found the sight of her much more worse than the old man with the bones showing through his skin.
Linda burst into tears and began hugging Lenina. Linda began to talk about how she has not seen civilized clothing and faces in years. She says she suffered for so long without a gramme of soma. She had mescal and peyotl (which are drugs from plants), but they made people feel sick and hungover afterwards. We also learn that her son's name is John.
Linda was so ashamed that a Beta like herself had a child. She swears she used her contraceptives and there was no Abortion Centre, unlike the one by Chelsea in London.
Linda recalls the society she used to come from and starts to cry again. She apologizes for her rudeness after she blows her nose on her tunic, but she tries to make them realize that there is nothing else to use and that there is so much filth everywhere.
Linda used to work in the fertilizing room and how she had to try to adjust her life to the 'dirty' world. She said that at the Reservation, everybody does not belong to everybody else. She had to undergo a great ordeal involving the rest of the women in the tribe that did not understand nor enjoy her 'society' ways.
The chapter ends with her talking about John (John and Bernard left the room after a while) and how he was a comfort to her even though she did not want him. She feels that he is mad, like the rest of the Indians and that he must have gotten it from it. She did not know how to answer to his many questions as a child as she was just a Beta who has always worked in a Fertilizing Room.
She asked Henry Foster about Bernard and he compared him to a rhinoceros, saying that he does not respond well to conditioning but that he is harmless.
Lenina then recalls the first time she ever went out with Bernard. He wanted to be alone with her, not just during the night, but during the day as well. Lenina did not understand why they had to be alone for talking, and persuaded him to go to the Semi-Demi-Finals of the Women's Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.
Bernard was very grumpy for the rest of the afternoon. She tried to get him to share a half-gramme soma raspberry sundae with her, but he refused and said, "I'd rather be myself. Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly." Lenina responded with the sleep-teaching's principles and he snapped and yelled at her. She just brushed it off and continued to eat her soma sundae.
Lenina and Bernard then went flying, and the weather was taking a turn for the worst. Bernard flew over the choppy waters, and Lenina tried her best to get him to turn around and leave, as the sight was making her cry. Bernard tries to get her to understand how he feels - he wishes that he was not useful and that he was free. Free from conditioning so that he knows he is truly free.
Lenina does not understand and says that he should take soma for such depressing thoughts. Bernard stares at her gravely, and as Lenina flinches away, he starts turning the helicopter around. He starts laughing and acts as if everything is fine, making Lenina feel more comfortable again.
They return to Bernard's room, and Bernard takes four tablets of soma. Lenina is saying how she is 'awfully pneumatic' and starts heading to Bernard's bed thinking she has won over him. Bernard then says that he has decided he does not want to go to bed with her, at least not on the very first day. He wants to know what passion and love feel like. Lenina does not understand, and figures that he thinks she is too 'plump'.
Lenina confides to Fanny, who reminds her again of the rumour of the alcohol in his blood-surrogate, but still believes he is attractive but wishes he was not so odd.
Bernard is outside of the Director's room and is bracing himself for whatever disapproval and dislike he is about to be met with.
Bernard hands the Director a permit that allows Bernard and another to go to the Savage Reservation and asks him to initial it. The Director initialed it and was about to hand it back when he is shocked when he realizes it is for the New Mexican Reservation.
Bernard is surprised by the Director's surprised reaction to the destination. He feels discomfort in the fact that the Director seems to disapprove but listens to the Director as he begins to tell a story of a time he went to the Reservation.
The Director also had gotten a permit for the New Mexican Reservation about twenty years ago and he went with a Beta-Minus girl who was 'particularly pneumatic'. Him and the girl were on the last day there when she got lost by herself. There was a thunderstorm and the horse he had ran away, causing him to hurt his knee bad enough that he could barely walk. He tried to find the girl but there was no sign of her. He believed that perhaps she had gone to the rest-house by herself, and he crawled down the valley. It would not have been as brutal if he had not lost his soma and it took him hours to crawl down to the rest-house, only to find that she was not there.
The next day, there was a search for her but she could not be found. They decided that she must have fallen in a gully or eaten by a mountain lion.
The Director recalls how upset he had been over the whole ordeal, and how he sometimes has nightmares about it.
Bernard comments enviously that he must have had a 'terrible shock'. The Director realizes what he has given away a secret and blushes. He angrily tells him that he had no emotional affair with the woman and that he is sorry that he bored him with such trivial things.
The Director, furious that he gave away a secret, then turns his angry onto Bernard and that he is not pleased with Bernard's behaviour outside of work. He wants him to behave more conditioned and that if he hears of such disapproving behaviour again he will transfer Bernard to a Sub-Centre in Iceland.
Bernard leaves the room and is not frightened, but elated by the fact his actions were so important and created a ruckus. For the first time in a long time, Bernard had complete confidence and was excited by the life-giving threat.
Bernard is now chatting to Watson about the situation with the Director that morning. He is boasting to Watson that he told him to 'go to the Bottomless Past and marched out of the room', but Watson did not respond. Watson begins to think that although he likes Bernard for the fact he can talk to him about what he feels is important, he does not like that Bernard always feels the need to boast and has outbursts of self-pity. Watson continues to say nothing and Bernard blushes and turns away.
Bernard and Lenina are now on their way to the New Mexican Reservation. Lenina comments on how it is 'not bad' that their flight was only forty seconds behind schedule.
Lenina is pleased that they slept in such a wonderful hotel that was incomparably better than the one in the North Pole. She is impressed by all the things to do like sixty Escalator-Squash-Racquet Courts and that there was Obstacle and Electro-magnetic Golf.
Bernard says that if Lenina cannot stand being in the Reservation, where there is no scent, television, or hot water, then she could stay at the hotel. Lenina is offended and says that she could definitely stand it but is just so pleased with the hotel and how 'progress is lovely' (another one of the hypnopaedic wisdom's). Bernard stresses again that if she cannot handle the Reservation, then she should not go but Lenina is determined to go. Bernard retaliates with, "Very well, then" in almost a threatening way.
In the morning, they met with the Warden of the Reservation that was going to be their tour of the reservation. Bernard is not listening and realizes that he left some Cologne running in the bathroom and is thinking of a way to quickly phone Watson to have him turn it off. Lenina is not listening either, as she took some soma before the Warden started to talk.
Bernard then quickly states that perhaps they should go, as the Warden discusses that there is no escape from the Reservation and that the children are born (oh yes, born, how obscene!) there. The Warden stares at Lenina in hopes she will blush at the obscenity but in her somatic state just says, "You don't say so!", disappointing the Warden.
Bernard, worried about losing so much money with the Cologne running, tries to state again that they should be on their way but the Warden continued on as if he heard nothing. After the Warden is done going on about how the Reservation has families, no conditioning, superstitions, ancestor worships, extinct languages, and diseases among many dangerous animals, Bernard and Lenina rush to the telephone.
Bernard finally gets a hold of Watson and asks him to turn off the tap. Watson then mentions that the Director is seriously looking for someone to take Bernard's place and that he is being sent to Iceland.
Bernard is dumb-founded. He thought it was an idle threat. Lenina tells him that he should take soma and eventually persuades him to take four tablets. Soon they were taken into a plane to head over to the reservation.
Monday, April 26, 2010
We learn more about where the ranks live. The lower ranked people go on monorails, while the higher ranks get helicopters and planes. We learn that there are thousands of cows that are used for hormones and milk to help a factory called the Farnham Royal.
Henry and Lenina are flying when Lenina asks about some smoke-stacks. Apparently they have balconies that help make plants grow even after people are dead. Lenina comments that Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons would not be able to make plants grow. Henry makes a comment that everyone in society performs indispensable services.
Lenina is about to say something probably harsh about an Epsilon not being useful when she suddenly remembers waking up in the middle of the night as a child and hearing the whispering that 'haunted all her dreams' about how 'everyone works for everyone' and that 'even Epsilons are useful'.
She then supposes that even Epsilons do not mind being Epsilons.
Henry agrees by saying that they don't because they're conditioned to be like that, just as an Epsilon is thankful they are not a Beta or Alpha.
They landed on Henry's apartment and go down to the dining area to enjoy soma and coffee. Soon they head to a club where there is the 'Sixteen Sexophonists' and 'London's Finest Scent and Colour Organ'. The organ creates a scene of sunrise and thunder/darkness for climatic explosion for the song.
Lenina and Henry are both in a world of soma-holiday and do not even care where they are.
They return to Henry's apartment afterwards to enjoy their night together but not before Lenina uses her contraceptive precautions and takes more soma.
Bernard heads to the Solidarity Service after having dinner with Hemholtz at what seems to be a fancy restaurant. He hails a taxi and is almost late to the meeting. He quickly takes a seat and finds himself beside a woman with an uni brow, Morgana, and instantly wishes he had sat between two plump women instead, as he has a better chance with them and they are slightly pneumatic.
The Solidarity Service is when twelve people come together and chant solidarity hymns while taking drink of soma. They have music going on in the background as they chant and start dancing when they hear 'the Greater Being'. They begin to come together in 'orgy-porgy' and sexual acts together.
Bernard was not able to hear the 'Greater Being' and feels dissatisfied and even more alone that he was not able to fuse with the Greater Being and not even in Morgana's embrace.
She then spots Bernard in the crowd and rushes up to him and decides to show her unfaithfulness to Henry Foster by speaking loudly about their plans to go to a Savage Reservation. Bernard is embarrassed as he believes such things should be spoken about in private, but Lenina thinks it is funny and powering that she can make him so embarrassed.
She asks him to set a date and to let her know ahead of time, and then rushes off to her date with Henry.
Lenina meets up with Henry who says she is, 'four minutes late'. They begin flying at various bug speeds, such as bumble-bee to hornet, over to the Stoke Poges for Obstacle Golf.
Among the way, we read about the world the society is in.
Separating Central London is a parkland that has greenery that is 'maggoty' due to shortened life. There are trees but there are huge towers slammed in between them. It appears there are more buildings and centers where the people never have to be alone, such as mixed tennis and gymnastics display.
Lenina comments on the khaki colour of the people changing shifts below and how hideous it is, as she has been conditioned to think so, and how glad she is not to be a Gamma.
Bernard is left standing there and begins to think about how he wants Lenina to be different, like him but it is obvious that she is a 'poster girl' for the way the society has conditioned the people to think.
We then learn more about Bernard and how, since he is treated differently due to his shortened statue, he thinks and acts differently. He goes to get into his plane, after having to order some Delta-Minus attendants to get his plane.
Bernard talks about how he is highly self-conscious as women and his peers laugh at him and that he is unhappy with his life.
He soon heads off to the Bureaux of Propaganda and Emotional Engineering. We learn that each rank has their own newspaper, each that has its own colour, just as the ranks do.
Bernard rings down to a Helmholtz Watson. Watson is a stupendous man. He is everything an Alpha-Plus should be and executes perfection in everything he does. He is an Emotional Engineer and a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering for the Writing department. Watson thinks differently like Bernard, but he has everything seemingly going perfect in his life, while Bernard feels like his life is worthless.
Watson and Bernard take off in Bernard's plane after Watson tries to shake off some women who try to get him to go with them. Watson tells Bernard that he has been cutting all his committees and girls and that the effect are odd.
Watson then confesses that he feels like he is not living to his entire worth and would like to write something but how can he say something about nothing. The feeling is there but the words are not. Bernard then interrupts him by saying there might be someone at the door, as they are now in Bernard's room.
Watson flings open the door and there is no one. Bernard says he is suspicious lately and that he has been putting up with hard things lately. Watson listens as Bernard starts crying in self-pity and he feels sorry for Bernard but also believes he should have a little more pride in himself.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
About three quarters into the chapter, another voice comes in. The Elementary Class Consciousness lesson finished and the voices whispered thoughts about future demand to the industrial supply. They voices talk about clothes and that buying new ones is better than mending them, and it makes you appear more rich. Also, that they love flying, which refers to the helicopters that fly in various bug speeds over London.
The voices are slowly brain-washing the children to buy more and therefore extend more in society so that the economy is better. This also creates the children to become consumers in the society’s industrial supply, such as clothing.
This part of the chapter is interesting because it forces the ideas of the society in with the past as the Controller is talking. It creates the liaison between past, future, and as well the present with Lenina, Fanny, Bernard, and Foster.
The chapter ends with the decanted babies moving slowly on the conveyor belts in the red light, glistening as ‘innumerable rubies’.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In this second part of chapter three, Lenina Crowne and her friend Fanny Crowne come into the story, as well does Bernard Marx, the notorious black sheep, and Henry Foster from chapter one.
This part of the chapter begins with Lenina, among the other thousands of workers, are leaving the four thousand rooms in the Centre at four, as the four thousand clocks rang simultaneously. A voice called over the thousands of workers stating that the Main Day shift is off duty and the Second Day shift must take over now.
Henry Foster and the Assistant Director of Predestination (who apparently has no name) are taking the lift up to the changing rooms with Bernard Marx from the Psychology Bureau, who has a most 'unsavoury reputation'.
The Predestinator asks Foster about the 'feelies' which is basically a sexual movie cinema in which you can feel everything that's happening. In this case, it's a love scene on a bearskin rug in which you can see and feel every hair of the bear.
Marx, obviously not a happy fellow as the rest of the society, smiles scornfully at this remark.
Lenina goes into the elevator that shoots up from the crimson cellar up to the Girl's Dressing Room that has a hundred baths, eighty vibro-vacuum machines and a long nozzle that sprays fine talcum powder over the body.
She says hello to her friend Fanny Crowne, and we learn that the two thousand million in habitants of the world had only ten thousand names between them so it is not unusual for some people to have the same last name or first name. Lenina zips off her clothes and undergarments, as everything seems to have a zipper for easier access, and heads towards to the bathrooms.
Lenina and Fanny then partake in a conversation about who they are going out with tonight after Lenina has come back from the vibro-vac looking like an illuminated pearl with a pinkly glow.
When Fanny responds with, "Nobody", Lenina is astonished. Fanny confides to her that she needs to have a Pregnancy Substitution even though she is only nineteen (it is compulsory when you are twenty-one).
Lenina comments on how horrid intravenals are when she sees Fanny's mammary gland extracts and the placentin that she must inject intravenally every third day.
Fanny continues to say that she won't be off the market for long, only a week or two where she will be playing Musical Bridge until she can go out with boys again. She asks Lenina who she is going out with and when Lenina replies, "Henry Foster", Fanny takes on a disapproving tone as Lenina has gone out with him for four months without seeing anyone else, "…without having another man - why, he'd [Foster] be furious if he knew...".
Fanny continues to chastise Lenina for her unconventionally and comments that Director has the 'strictest conventionality' for having patted Lenina on the behind.
Lenina decides that even though she would rather not, she will make the effort to be more promiscuous.
Lenina then tells Fanny that she has decided she is bored with Foster and would now like to go with Bernard. Fanny is shocked as Bernard is seen as unusual, and even has a rumour going around that he had alcohol accidentally put into his blood surrogate by one of the workers that thought he was a Gamma. Lenina gets mad at the accusation and does not care about the rumour, and would like to go with him to the Savage Reservation anyways.
Fanny and Lenina, being mad at each other, change in silence until Lenina asks to stop fighting. Fanny agrees and they chat about Lenina’s morocco contraceptive belt that she received from Foster.
The chapter returns back to Henry Foster and the Predesinator in the changing room as they chat about Lenina Crowne and how pneumatic she is and how he is surprised that the Predestinator has not 'had' her yet. Marx turns pale at the thought of them talking about Lenina in such a way.
Bernard thinks of Lenina in a more lovingly way, and is rather odd to the others as he prefers to be alone. Bernard thinks in a more brutal style than the rest of the society as he talks and thinks in an angry fashion.
He is discouraged that Lenina thinks of herself as a piece of meat that the men can share around, and wishes she would answer him on his proposal of going out together. He wishes he could punch Foster and the Predestinator in the face over and over again.
When Foster uses the hypnopaedic, "Everyone belongs to everyone else" Marx's thoughts are bitter and harsh as he thinks that Foster is an idiot. 'Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth'.
Bernard continues to think about how much he hates them when Henry and the Predestinator come up to Bernard and ask if he would like a gramme of soma, as he looks depressed. Bernard attempts to fend off the tablets politely while thinking about killing them in his mind. Foster insists for Bernard to take them while the Predestinator states with hypnopaedic wisdom, "One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.", making Bernard to go over the limit and yell, "Damn you!" at them.
They just laugh it off and state, 'Remember that a gramme is better than a damn.'
Marx saunters off to the lift angry.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Chapter III is broken up to several parts.
First, is the Controller talking to the Director and his tour of students of the past and how obscene and dreadful it was.
Second, Lenina Crowne and her friend Fanny Crowne are talking about work and what men they are seeing, and Bernard Marx jumps into the scene with his thoughts on the world and how he is the black sleep.
Another random event that occurs in this chapter is the hypnopaedia sleep-teachings in the background.
This chapter is pretty confusing so I will summarize it in parts.
PART I: PAST
The Director brings his tour of students outside into the garden on a nice sunny day. There are about six hundred children running around, playing naked in the garden. The Director talks about how 'charming' it is that the children are playing a primitive sexual game. As the Director continues about how all the games the children are allowed to play must be mind-stimulating challenging games, when one of the ten World Controllers, Mustapha Mond, enters.
Mond begins to talk about history and about the Ford, which is basically the heart and mind of the society. Mond talks about the obscenities of 'mother', 'father', and 'homes' and how mothers used to be obsessed with their children and feed them by the breast thus making Mund state, "Yes, you may well shudder." to the students looking ill at the very obscene thought.
He continues on to say that there are some places in the world where there are savages and yet they have never heard of such a thing as 'father', and says that 'extremes meet for the good reason they were made to meet'.
The Controller's part of the chapter mostly deals with brutality of the past and how old age, poverty, war, disease, mothers, family, and death all used to occur. He describes it in a most morbid way. He says things like this to make the students see the strength of the 'stability' that the society contains, and how lucky they were to never had to have feel such emotions.
The Controller then continues with description of the Nine Year War that took place in the past, or A.F. 141. There were massive killings, corpses everywhere...
Then there was the British Museum Massacre that had two thousand cultural fans gasses with dichlorethyl sulphide, a toxic war gas that blisters the face and attacks eyes and lungs.
He states that government realized that using force was only making things worse.
The government then began using methods of hypnopaedia and conditioning. The government even began suppressing books in A.F. 150, along with anything such as ethics and philosophy that created under-consumption in the society; such as Christianity, God, and Shakespeare.
In A.F. 178, biochemists and pharmacologists worked to create the 'perfect drug' known as soma that has the effects of cocaine and alcohol but without the defects, thus ensuring the stability in the society.
This society has even been able to remove the aging so that youth and beauty can remain constant through a lifetime. Old men were criticized when they retired and would spend time thinking (thinking emphasized as if it were a completely ludicrous idea). Now old men have no time, no leisure, they work all the time and if they should feel the need for a break for even a split second, they can take soma.
"Half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for the weekend, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon.."
He tells them that society is stable. They have a solid grounded job, soma, can partake in any pneumatic girl to girl, and can play Electromagnetic Golf after work.
At the end of the chapter, the Director yells at a couple of children who are erotically playing near the Controller.
The last sentence in the chapter flashes back to the decanted babies glistening as 'rubies' in the red darkness as they move slowly on the conveyors.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Chapter II is about the society and further insight into conditioning and how the society functions as a whole.
An important quote is when the students and Director look into a conditioning class and there are rose blossoms described, "...pale as death, pale with post humous whiteness of marble" (II, pg. 15).
I found this to be important because not only does it paint an emotionless and dark imagery and stark contrast simile on something beautiful, it also provides us with an idea of how the society looks upon such things that we believe are mind-stimulating, inspiring, and beautiful.
The blossoms are being described to the reader in a morbid almost disturbing sense; almost as if it's an oxymoron between beauty and death/pain. I believe this shows that the society itself is emotionless and dark in the ways it expresses itself which reflects an imperfection on this self-proclaimed 'perfect' society.
This kind of twisted imagery occurs again when the babies are being electrocuted for conditioning purposes against nature and they have "distorted faces" and "desperate, almost insane, spasmodic yelps". It is so disturbing the way the society thinks. Such instances in our society would be seen as abuse and called for the most brutal punishment available, and yet such torture is seen as a necessity and even normal in their society.
The second important quote that I found was during the conditioning situation between the babies, shocking, and the blossoms and books. It was said that, "What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder" (II, pg. 17), which is incredibly interesting.
This quote says that since man has become conditioned and accepted it, nature cannot break this new society. However, I believe that nature can fix anything that is not natural. The true nature of society should be emotions, humanity, identity, and coming together as one. However, the society in this book is described as no war, no disease, no dirt... and that is not the least bit natural.
This quote could also be foreshadowing that since this society is so unnatural, that perhaps nature will break it apart and make it natural once more.
Another important quote that I found described the society's views on the hypnopaedia and conditioning was one about words without reason. The Director explains to the tour of students that the conditioning a child undergoes lasts a lifetime, "The mind that judges and decides - made up of these [the moral suggestions about rank] suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions!" (II, pg. 23), thus stating that the conditioned mind of a child will always have another person's suggestions in it.
This is very interesting because it shows how ironic their motto of "identity" is when compared to the fact that everything that a person of this society thinks has been conditioned for them to think. Hypocritical, no? They are conditioning children for the sake of making them think what they want them to think, behave as they want them to behave.... but who are 'they'?
'They' are the World Controllers. 'They' are those who want perfection in society and will strive by any means to get what they want, because nothing will stand in their way. Not even nature.
One of the paragraphs that stuck out to me most from this chapter was one that talked about the conditioning process on the mind. Thus stated,
"Not so much like drops of water, though water, it is true, can wear holes in the hardest granite; rather, drops of liquid sealing-wax, drops that adhere, incrust, incorporate themselves with that they fall on, till finally the rock is all one scarlet blob" (II, pg. 23), this quote reveals a certain evilness in the conditioning process. The repetition of the conditioning into the children's minds drills holes into their minds until they are one in the minds and are not just conditioned, but are all the children know.
There is wisp of malice in this paragraph however. The conditioning process is described as molding and that hardens into a blob. This just seems so emotionless to me. There is no infliction to the words and they are hard as the rock they describe.
The scarlet blob creates a horrific sense in my head. This could mean that the minds of the children have been violated and hardened by conditioning process and that the scarlet colour creates a scary colour in the head. At least that it how scarlet seems to be in my mind.
All of these quotes and literary devices work together to create a mood or atmosphere of how this society is, works, and acts like. These all help to further create a sense of how the society works and helps to understand the book further on into the plot. In my opinion, understanding the situation and world the characters live in allows a better understanding of the plot and how that affects the characters and the actions they take.
The fact that the babies are conditioned to not like nature is one thing, but their methods are also inhumane and horrid. Shocking the babies so they have "desperate, almost insane, spasmodic yelps" is boderline torture. And yet, this is how conditioning occurs and they will do this for about two hundred repetitions.
Imagine, two hundred repetitions of this - probably not in a day but over months or weeks. Imagine feeling such shock everytime you try to go close to something beautiful such as petals or whimsical such as a picture of a yellow duckling. To us, it would be complete torture. But to babies? Would it be more torturing or less?
However, conditioning babies at such a young age is when conditioning should begin. Babies are constantly learning and if you are constantly conditioning them, then they will learn to be conditioned and learn nothing else but what they are conditioned. In a sense it is genius. It is the perfect way to associate work against nonessentialities such as nature and books in this example and in that world.
The torture part of it? Not so much.
Perhaps Huxley assumed torture is the quickest way to condition such things into the mind of children, or perhaps he just associated torture with conditioning. Personally, I believe that conditioning could be given without the need for pain to be associated with it.
Rewards could have been given just as easily instead of pain but negativity is influenced and recognized more than positivity.
This chapter also reveals some background information about the morality of the society. The words 'family', 'mother', and 'father' are extremely obscene. The students even blush and start snickering at these words as the children today would snicker and blush at words such as 'sex'.
What's interesting is that their society's morals are almost completely backwards to ours.
Everyone belongs to everyone in their society. We believe in one love at a time, and polygamy is seen as obscene and against the law. They do not believe in marriage, while most of us strive for marriage. We look forward to having children while they would be devastated and run directly to an abortion clinic to get rid of such a horrid thing inside their bodies. They never question anything, while we are always questioning everything.
It's almost crazy the way their word's morals are compared to ours. It is like Huxley flipped the world's morals like a pancake on the frying pan.
However, not all the characters in this book believe the morals in that world are correct.
Hypnopaedia was a strong aspect in this chapter. Majority of the childrens' conditioning is during hypnopaedia (or known as sleep-teaching). What was surprising is that the conditioning was about how much better their rank is than anyone else's.
It is obvious that rank is important in this society. Without rank there is no order. But even the Alphas and the Betas are all conditioned even though they are the more highly ranked of the society. It is believed that only the World Controllers are the ones who are not conditioned, or at least not to such an extreme. Which makes sense, who else could create these hypnopaedia teachings?
Basically, this chapter is about the whole conditioning aspect of the future and how the different ranks are conditioned according to their status. They are taught not knowledge, but morality that is almost completely opposite to our own. Mother, father, family... all obscenities are create discomfort among many. Everyone and everything is conditioned. Why? Simply to create order and prevent chaos - or so they believe what was the case when everyone was not conditioned years ago.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
One of the important quotes from this book is the society's motto itself, "Community, Identity, Stability". I believe this is an important quote because it creates the mood of how dull and boring this society truly is. They want stability instead of creativity, they crave for compliance and human interaction at all times instead of being alone, and they need to be ranked in order to be as a community and stable at the same time. They are a dirt-free, disease-free, and always good-feeling society. They refuse to be alone. They refuse to be dirty or look unkept. They even refuse to feel a bad emotion.
Actually, they do not 'choose'. They are conditioned to be like this.
This quote is also ironic at the same time because how can one have an identity when you are conditioned to feel, to think, and to be as what you are told to be, think, and feel? The word 'identity' is almost laughable in their motto. When one is ranked, they are not an identity. They are a machine. A machine built and created to serve mainly one purpose in life. Is that truly what is an identity? Not in our society, but perhaps that is what the word 'identity' means to theirs.
Another important quote I found was when the Director is discussing conditioning the decanted babies to thrive on heat, "..that is the secret of happiness and virtue - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destinty" (I, page 12), which provides the reader into just how dark and fake this society is.
This quote basically states that the secret to happiness is conditioning people to like what they're being conditioned to do. After all, it makes sense. If you're conditioned to love something, and you love what you do, then you'll be happy.
However, this is a false sense of happiness. In my eyes it is like getting a beautiful wrapped box, with no present inside. Sure the wrapping and outside may be pretty and wonderful, but inside it is empty. Happiness should radiate from the inside to the outside in a natural way. Not in this conditioned way.
Then again, perhaps what they feel is 'true' happiness, as they do not know anything else.
This future society is a hard concept to understand for me. I always think, "how is that happiness", or, "how can one live like that?" but I always remind myself that it is how they live. How they've always lived. They do not know that it could be so very different - as basically the whole world lives like this, disregarding the Savage Reservations of course.
I found these quotes to be very important as I believe they will have a larger impact further on into the book and also bring a sense of what this book is about, even if they are only in the first chapter.
I found this chapter to be highly interesting as it explains the world in general. Babies are procreated in tubes and are ranked while in the tubes - Alpha, Beta, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. I did not understand how they knew what rank the babies would be however and I am very interested in finding how they were or if Huxley just did not bother to create a rank system for the readers to explore.
I believe that "Bokanovsky's Process" is very important. It tells us that everyone needs to be the same - perfectly identical. In this futuristic world, there is no say in identity. You are chosen a rank and you must live by it. There is hardly any way to resist it, as you do not realize your rank is a bad thing nor do you realize that you have been conditioned to act a certain way or like certain things.
I just found it mind-blowing and almost impossible to even imagine being conditioned to be a certain way - however, are we all not conditioned to be a certain way in today's society? We learn through observation and other techniques what is okay and not okay in public.. is this being conditioned? Or just "life-lessons"? This book has really made me think about a large number of "what if"s regarding how this society is compared to Huxley's society.
Also, another interesting point I found was that the society thrives on the belief of social stability - people would go crazy and chaos would break out if our world factors of war, dirt, disease, etc. were put into their society. Their society's motto is, "Community, Identity, Stability".
I found this motto to be highly ironic. How is it that you can have an identity when you have been conditioned to be a certain someone, to work a certain job, and to like and not like certain things. It is not a true being in my eyes to be so conditioned - it is like they are almost robotic. I believe this 'identity' factor will be a very important part to the plot in regards to the rest of the book.
All in all, this chapter explains a lot of how their society functions and is run which provides insight to the reader's imagination and creates their version of the world in their eyes. It is truly amazing that Huxley was able to create such a fictional world - which scarily enough, can someday be true.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning brought the tour of students to a large bare room with lots of sunlight coming through the windows. There were bowls full of rose blossoms on the floor that were "pale as death, pale with post humous whiteness of marble". There were also books with fun shapes and colours set out among the bowls of flower blossoms.
The Director told the nurses setting up the place to let the children out, and a Bokanovsky Group of 8 month old Deltas were released into the room. The Deltas were instantly drawn to the colourful and inspiring books and flowers and began to crawl towards them, but suddenly an alarm went off and the children had faces distorted with terror. A shock then ran through the floor and the babies started to yelp with desperation.
The Director explained to the students that they were conditioning the children at a young age to not be influenced by flowers and books - as they were not known to be efficient for work. He continued to explain that they would do about 200 repetitions in order to condition the children thorougly. Only Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, the lower-caste people, are conditioned not to love nature due to the fact it did not keep factories busy, even if it did allow them to want to consume transport. They found a new way to keep these ranks wanting to consume transport without loving nature - they would hate the country but love country sports.
The Director goes on to talk about how the world used to be - with mothers, fathers, and family. Now they are obscene words and make people blush and look away. He talks about such a world because he goes on to explain hypnopaedia which is a sleep-teaching tool that uses words while children are sleeping to teach them about certrain things. Scientists found out about this technique when there used to be children brought up by mothers and fathers. It was only useful to a certain extent though. For example, you cannot teach a science to a sleeping child unless they know what it is already. The children undergo Elementary Class Consciousness three times a week for 30 months.
As the Director becomes more excited with the idea of hypnopaedia, he accidentally wakes the children from their sleep-teaching.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The students learn about the long metres (over 900) from a very enthusiastic and statistic loving Henry Foster who continues with the tour. These slow moving tracks are on which the fetuses grow and are injected with different strategic doses of random items for medical stability, such as hog's stomach extract and foetal foal's liver to fight against anaemia.
Around metre 200, the fetuses are tested for sex/gender. There are 'freemartins' which are normal but sterile beings that have a slight tendency to grow beards.
At the end of the chapter, we are left with the Director regaining the tour of the facility.
It is the 'ideal' society.
Babies are born in bottle, there are no books about history or irrelevant knowledge, there is soma that provides everyone with an instant euphoria without any side effects, and everyone belongs to everyone.
Children are conditioned at a young age to take part in erotic play and taught through "sleep-teaching" or hypnopaedia about rank in society.
The society has Alpha (one of the highest forms of society), Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon (the lowest form of society). You can be a "plus" or a "minus". What you wear and what work you take part in depends all on rank.
When a 'savage' enters their society, he is appalled. The Savage was brought up in a tribe and was brought up in a split between the ideas of the 'ideal' society and the ideas of the tribe. The Savage, or John, learned to read books, such as Shakespeare, that are forbidden by the society as they are 'old' and 'unnecessary' for efficient work.
This book reveals the lives of Lenina, the poster girl of this ideal society, John the Savage who believes in letting the world be dirty and imperfect, and Bernard who has a feeling of discontent with his life.
As all their lives connect, the story unfolds...
"Oh brave new world, that has such people in't!"
- Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” - Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was born at Godalming, Surrey on July 26th, 1894. He was born into an upper-middle class family with many relatives in the literature business, such as Mrs. Humphrey, a favourite aunt and popular Victorian novelist, and Matthew Arnold, a great-uncle who was a poet. Huxley’s father was a biographer, editor, and a poet. Huxley’s mother tragically died when he was only fourteen.
Huxley attended at the Eton College in Berkshire but had to leave with he suffered an eye infection that nearly blinded him. After his vision improved, despite only having one eye to truly read with and now able to read Braille, Huxley continued his education at Balliol College in Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1916. Unable to pursue his dreams as a scientist, nor as a fighter in the World War, Huxley turned to writing.
Huxley published his first volume of poems, The Burning Wheel, in 1916. He created a satirical novel, Chrome Yellow, in 1921, followed by Antic Hay and Point Counter Point in 1923 and 1928.
Huxley published his most famous novel, Brave New World, in 1932 after visiting America and being startled by their vicarious and startling culture.
In 1937, Huxley and his wife Maria moved to Southern California where he began working on screenplays for movies, such as Pride and Prejudice while continuing to publish novels and essays. During the 1950’s, Huxley experimented with mescaline and wrote essays about the experiences called The Doors of Perception and, the sequel, Heaven and Hell. In 1958, Huxley published Brave New World Revisited to re-evaluate some of his ideas, mostly about the fact there were only two types of living to choose from – utopia or savage – as he believed his dystopian future was approaching faster than he ever imagined.
After his last novel in 1962, Island an undeclared ‘sequel’ utopia to Brave New World, Huxley died of cancer in California on November 22, 1963 – coincidentally the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Author Unknown. Aldous Huxley. 2000-2010. Jalic Inc.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
You've probably come across this blog and wondered, "Hmm, brave new world!? What is this?"
Well, I'll tell you!
First off, the reason I am doing this blog is for my grade twelve Language Arts class for an independent novel study. Which brings us to the whole wondering about 'brave new world'...
The novel I am independently studying is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This book is about a futuristic society that appears to be better in every single way, but not to all.
On this blog, I will analyze and summarize the different chapters, point out some literary devices, help analyze some important quotations that will help you understand and think of different ideas, and provide you with hopefully some decent humour - however I am quite lame so I apologize if any humour I provide makes you groan...
Anyways, please enjoy my blog and I hope my opinions and analyzing provides you with some information and creative/mind-stimulating ideas!