Brave new world summary



Brave new world summary


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Brave new world summary


‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley




‘Brave New World’ is set in the future dystopian society of the World State.  This new society at first seems very different to our own: children are no longer born, instead they are grown in laboratories, processed in factory style conveyer belts, where they are conditioned as foetuses to live a certain way. The idea of family and loving relationships has been obliterated and pleasure and instant gratification, particularly in the form of casual sex is encouraged.


In the first chapter we are told of the Social Predestination Room, where the embryos are categorised into one of the five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or Epsilon. We find out that the lower castes have alcohol injected into them to stunt their growth, and that foetuses are also conditioned to do certain jobs and work in certain climates – e.g. miners are conditioned to dislike light, etc. It therefore becomes apparent to the reader that the government has complete control over its citizens – deciding the course their life will take before they are even born (or decanted).


With science used to produce children in this factory like manner, the idea of parents and family in general has been eradicated. Once children are decanted they are brought up in large state orphanages where their conditioning continues through both conscious and sub-conscious methods –e.g. the hypnopaedic phrases that are played to them as they sleep.


The idea of parents is now seen as shocking and the idea of giving birth or using the term mother or father is seen as vulgar and disgusting. There are no real close bonds between human beings anymore – no parents, no brothers, sisters, etc. Furthermore, there is no such thing as monogamy – staying with one partner and the idea of marriage is again either seen as abhorrent or ridiculous. Indeed, one of the mottos of the World State is, “Everyone belongs to everyone else”. Promiscuity is encouraged as a means of satisfaction and immediate gratification/pleasure. However, love is unheard of and has been eradicated as all forms of real emotion, which could make citizens act erratically or unpredictably, which could make them individuals, are seen as dangerous.


To maintain power and stability the government encourages superficial pleasure through promiscuity and constant social activity – there are various sporting games and community activities all citizens take part in to keep them occupied when not at work. Citizens are also encouraged to take soma (a drug which induces happiness) and to consume as much as possible. They are encouraged to buy new clothes, to take part in lots of leisure activities and ever more complex and complicated machinery is always being developed. We are told: “Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games."  



Similarities with our world


1. Consumerism/continuous economic growth


Although the society described in the novel may at first seem very different to our own we can see that there are many similarities. The state strives to achieve stability through continued economic growth – this is exactly what any capitalist society (like the UK) has to do – as soon as the economy stops growing we get a recession and lots of unhappiness – just like we are experiencing now. Consumerism (buying lots of things) is encouraged as a way of ensuring economic growth and in our society is seen as a way of increasing happiness.


2. Attitudes to sex - Promiscuity is now much more acceptable in our society, among both men and women and developments in contraception have made it possible. However, it can be argued that this has led to the demise of loving relationships and an increase in superficial/shallow attitudes to sex. Many people would argue that the fact that casual sex is now often acceptable is an indicator of a massive decline in our morality – which is essentially what Huxley is saying. The society of ‘Brave New World’ is one of lose morals and superficial pleasure, there is no real depth of feeling or emotion and therefore a loss of humanity.


3. Drug use - The use of soma in the novel can also be clearly linked to our society’s use of alcohol and other drugs as a way of achieving short-term happiness and escapism from the realities of life.


In many ways, the society presented in the novel can be seen as an extreme version of our own. Huxley takes the values of our society, and uses the novel to criticize them and show this way of life as ultimately false, superficial and valueless.




Loss of individuality


Huxley also highlights, through the novel, the danger of a society where everyone is the same and people have lost the power of individual thought. In this society both science (conditioning and soma) and pleasure are used to control people.  Some castes are too unintelligent to be able to think for themselves. However, even the Alphas are so busy taking part in community activities, having sex and/or taking soma that they have no time to think about the reality of their situations. They will therefore never attempt to overthrow the government.



The power of the state


Through the World State Huxley highlights the danger of a government or state with too much power. The result is brainwashed individuals, who cannot think for themselves.  Furthermore, we see that even those who do think about challenging the norm are often scared of the consequences – Lenina decides to date other men because she has been dating Henry Foster too much after Fanny warns her that the Director would disapprove, while Bernard is scared of exile.  


The citizens of ‘Brave New World’ have no personal freedom, however they do not care as they are superficially fulfilled. Yet, even if they wanted to speak out, like Bernard, they would soon be exiled or reconditioned – we see that Mustapha Mond once criticised the society because like Bernard he understood how it worked. However he is then forced to choose between exile or becoming a World Controller and using his knowledge to control others.


The novel is therefore very critical of governments with too much power and control over their citizens and of countries where there is no freedom of thought/speech.


The incompatibility of happiness and reality


Another key theme explored is the incompatibility of happiness and truth. Most of the citizens of the World State are happy, but their happiness is superficial, drug induced and brought about by conditioning. Those who can think for themselves: Bernard, Helmholtz and John are all unhappy as they realise the deep flaws of this society.


Bernard and John both long for monogamous relationships which involve something more meaningful than just sex. Helmholtz and John both dislike the fact that everything is given to them so easily: women, money, etc. They both dislike the fact that nothing is a challenge. They never have to work hard for anything, thus they never feel the satisfaction of achieving something – all emotions are superficial. There is no real love, pride, happiness or true fulfilment.


Again, Huxley through this theme is warning us of the dangers of a society where superficial pleasures – like sex, consumerism, drinking, etc., are encouraged as oppose to higher ideals like love,  friendship and human endeavour (hardwork and discovery).


The dangers of science


Lastly, the novel highlights how science can be used as both a positive and negative force. Disease has been eradicated in the World State, however science is also used as a means of complete government control. Citizens are conditioned from embryos and soma is used to eradicate negative emotions and prevent civil unrest, meaning the government always maintains power and no-one will ever challenge them. The robotic clones produced in the novel highlight how the power of science can be used irresponsibly and have devastating consequences.





Opening of novel


The light was frozen, dead, a ghost - 1


We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers….or future Directors of Hatcheries. - 10


Society/Social Stability


Everyone belongs to everyone else.


They’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age…they’ve got no wives or children or lovers to feel strongly about – 194


When the individual feels, the community reels -81


People are happy; they get what they want and they never want what they can’t get – 193




They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle – thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood surrogate - 39


Lower castes always reminded him painfully of his physical inadequacy – 66


“I’d rather be myself, myself and nasty. Not someone else, however jolly” – pg.77

Bernard refusing to take soma while on a date with Lenina.


I want to know what passion is…I want to feel something strongly – 81


Success went fizzily to Bernard’s head, and in the process completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) to a world which, up until then, he had found very unsatisfactory. - 136


I had six girls last week - 136– Bernard after he returns from the Savage Reservation with John.




I hadn’t been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn’t. – 36


“Lenina Crowne…Wonderfully pneumatic. I’m surprised you haven’t had her” – 37


‘Talking about her as if she were a bit of meat’. Bernard ground his teeth. ‘Have her here, have here there. Like mutton’. - 39


She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent the night with almost all of them - 49




A gramme is better than a damn.




Lots of men came to see Linda. The boys began to point their fingers at him – 111


The strange words rolled through his mind; rumbled, like talking thunder – 114 – John first reads Shakespeare and is moved by it.


Alone, always alone – 118


If one’s different one’s bound to be lonely – talking to Bernard – 119


O brave new world that has such people in it. Let’s start at once – 121


The savage was reading Romeo and Juliet aloud (for all the time he was seeing himself as Romeo and Lenina as Juliet) with an intense and quivering passion. – 160


I love you more than anything in the world – 168


“Whore, impudent strumpet” – 170 – Uses Othello’s words – used on his wife when he falsely think she has been unfaithful – shows how unjust and false John’s view of Lenina is.


Nothing costs enough here – 211


But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want goodness. I want sin. - 211


The Savage Reservation         


The dirt, to start with, the piles of rubbish, the dust, the dogs, the flies. – 94


Nobody’s supposed to belong to more than one person. And if you have people in the ordinary way, the others think you’re wicked - 105


The Ending


At the sight of the young woman, the Savage started, recoiled, tuned pale - 227


Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east….229



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Brave new world summary

Introduction to Brave New World

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Read the article and locate the appropriate missing words on your paper.


Aldous Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, at Godalming, county of Surrey, England. His father was Leonard Huxley, a prominent literary man, and his grandfather was T. H. Huxley, a biologist who led the battle on behalf of the Darwinian evolutionary hypothesis. His mother was a niece of Matthew Arnold, the English poet, essayist, and critic. His family background seems to have prepared him for a variety of interests - everything from anthropology to zoology and from versification to mysticism. His brother Julian is a leading biologist, and Aldous at one time intended to follow a scientific career.


Huxley published several volumes of poetry between 1916 and 1920, when he published Limbo, a collection of stories. In 1921 appeared his first novel, Crome Yellow, which established his reputation. At the same time he was writing articles, reviews, and essays for many periodicals. From the beginning of his literary career we can see his interest in fact and fiction - in poetry and prose. This compulsion to communicate - this desire to express his ideas and convictions on a variety of subjects and in a variety of ways - manifested itself until his death in 1963.


Brave New World is Huxley's most popular novel, though not necessarily his most important novel. The reader is "swept along" by Huxley's vision of a Utopian future based on science and technology: he is dumbstruck by Huxley's clever juxtaposition of fact (scientific data) and fiction (future life on earth). The novel is logically developed - Huxley "begins at the beginning" with a detailed account of life in the new World State. But before long we realize that Huxley is not content simply to present a satire of present a future life and let the reader draw his own moral from the story. Instead Huxley allows his preaching to obtrude upon the fantasy he has created, and his characters soon become important only as spokesmen for particular ideas and beliefs.


When he wrote Brave New World Huxley showed the extent to which his disillusionment with society and its values had influenced him. As noted in his preface to the New Harper edition, at the time the book was written he "toyed" with the idea that "human beings are given free will in order to choose between insanity on the one hand and lunacy on the other." And we might well consider that John the Savage's rejection of civilization in the World State paralleled D. H. Lawrence's rejection of the civilization he knew. Also, many of the ideas presented during the discussion in the last chapter of this novel echo many of Huxley's own views and concerns about the effect scientific advancement and technology would have on the individual.


Since its publication in 1932, Brave New World and its author have been the subject of much commentary and much criticism. Many people consider this Huxley's most important work: many others think it is his only work. This novel has been praised and condemned, vilified and glorified, a source of controversy, a subject for sermons, and required reading for many high school students and college undergraduates. This novel has had twenty-seven printings in the United States alone and will probably have twenty-seven more. A third generation is presently reading and discussing Brave New World. We might well ask, "What accounts for the continuing popularity of this novel?" Why does this work continue to attract attention and comment?" The answer lies in Huxley's skill as a writer - a writer of science fiction, a writer of social commentary, a writer with prophetic vision, a writer with a tremendous breadth and depth of interests and ideas, a writer of satire.

Brave New World is a masterpiece of science fiction. Huxley has imaginatively employed scientific facts and theories to produce a classic of its kind. This novel is in the tradition of Jules Verne, the French novelist who wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth, and H. G. Wells, the English novelist who wrote War of the Worlds. Few writers of science fiction have equaled Huxley's ability to make the unbelievable seem believable and to make the improbable seem probable. His own interest in science, its use and misuse, its peril and its promise, contributed to the accuracy of his presentation and to the horror of his envisioned Utopia.


The prophetic elements in Brave New World contribute much to its continuing popularity because year by year we see more and more of Huxley's fantasy becoming reality. Huxley himself later commented that we are moving in the direction of this Utopia much more rapidly than anyone could have imagined. At the time the novel was written only a comparatively few research scientists were concerned with conditioning, the importance of heredity and environment, and the effect of chemical imbalance on physical and mental development. Today, governments, educational institutions, and industries are exploiting the results of research in these areas.

Huxley's satire expresses his profound pessimism. In Brave New World the only choice is between insanity on the one hand and lunacy on the other. “Quite how pointless and intolerable the great masses of materially - civilized humanity have not yet consciously realized." In Brave New World Huxley helps humanity to this realization.


Some of the ideas and aspects of life in the World State of Brave New World are contained in several of Huxley's earlier works. By the time Huxley started to write Brave New World, the tremendous political, economic, and philosophical changes taking place in Europe and America contributed to his disillusionment.

On the international political scene we have the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the dictatorship of Mussolini in Italy, and the Nazi Party movement in Germany. Huxley had always been concerned about threats to man's freedom and independence. He realized that communism and fascism place the state above the individual and demand total allegiance to a cause. Recognizing the danger, he demonstrated the end result of this tendency in his fantasy.

At the same time there were tremendous economic changes in and between individual countries - more and bigger factories, more manufactured goods, the advent of mass-produced automobiles. Big business used and misused the individual - man became important as a producer and a consumer. Industry exploited the individual by molding him according to its image and likeness. Huxley goes one step further in his novel - man's chief importance is his ability to produce and consume manufactured goods.

With more and more people moving to the cities we see a change in attitude and point of view. As "one of the crowd" the individual is not responsible for himself or for anybody else - having lost his individuality he has also lost his respect for individuality. Huxley carries this loss of individuality one step further in his projection of scores of identical twins performing identical tasks.

Huxley was concerned when he saw these things happening because he saw them as very real threats to man's freedom and independence. His bitter satire results from his conviction that although man is able to do something about these threats to his freedom and individuality, he is unwilling to make the effort "to turn the tide." In the latter part of Brave New World Huxley discusses this shift in emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness.

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Brave new world summary


Brave New World

Summary: Chapter 1

The novel opens in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. The year is a.f. 632 (632 years “after Ford”). The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is giving a group of students a tour of a factory that produces human beings and conditions them for their predestined roles in the World State. He explains to the boys that human beings no longer produce living offspring. Instead, surgically removed ovaries produce ova that are fertilized in artificial receptacles and incubated in specially designed bottles.

        The Hatchery destines each fetus for a particular caste in the World State. The five castes are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon undergo the Bokanovsky Process which involves shocking an egg so that it divides to form up to ninety-six identical embryos, which then develop into ninety-six identical human beings. The Alpha and Beta embryos never undergo this dividing process, which can weaken the embryos. The Director explains that the Bokanovsky Process facilitates social stability because the clones it produces are predestined to perform identical tasks at identical machines. The cloning process is one of the tools the World State uses to implement its guiding motto: “Community, Identity, Stability.”

The Director goes on to describe Podsnap’s Technique which speeds up the ripening process of eggs within a single ovary. With this method, hundreds of related individuals can be produced from the ova and sperm of the same man and woman within two years. The average production rate using Podsnap’s Technique is 11,000 brothers and sisters in 150 batches of identical twins. Called over by the director, Mr. Henry Foster, an employee at the plant, tells the attentive students that the record for this particular factory is over 16,000 siblings.

The Director and Henry Foster continue to explain the processes of the plant to the boys. After fertilization, the embryos travel on a conveyor belt in their bottles for 267 days, the gestation time period for a human fetus. On the last day, they are “decanted,” or born. The entire process is designed to mimic the conditions within a human womb, including shaking every few meters to familiarize the fetuses with movement. Seventy percent of the female fetuses are sterilized; they are known as “freemartins.” The fetuses undergo different treatments depending on their castes. Oxygen deprivation and alcohol treatment ensure the lower intelligence and smaller size of members of the three lower castes. Fetuses destined for work in the tropical climate are heat conditioned as embryos; during childhood, they undergo further conditioning to produce adults that are emotionally and physically suited to hot climates. The artificial process, says the Director, aims to make individuals accept and even like “their inescapable social destiny.”

The Director and Henry Foster then introduce Lenina Crowne to the students. She explains that her job is to immunize the fetuses destined for the tropics with vaccinations for typhoid and sleeping sickness. In front of the boys, Henry reminds Lenina of their date for that afternoon, which the Director finds “charming.” Henry goes on to explain that future rocket-plane engineers are conditioned to live in constant motion, and future chemical workers are conditioned to tolerate toxic chemicals. Henry wants to show the students the conditioning of Alpha Plus Intellectual fetuses, but the Director, looking at his watch, announces that the time is ten to three. He decides there is not enough time to see the Alpha Plus conditioning; he wants to make sure the students get to the Nurseries before the children there have awakened from their naps.

Summary: Chapter 2

The Director leads the group of students to the Nurseries. Posted on a notice board are the phrases, “Infant Nurseries. Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms.” The students observe a Bokanovsky group of eight-month-old babies wearing the Delta caste’s khaki-colored clothes. Some nurses present the babies with books and flowers. As the babies crawl toward the books and the flowers, cooing with pleasure, alarms ring shrilly. Then, the babies suffer a mild electric shock. Afterward, when the nurses offer the flowers and books to the babies, they shrink away and wail with terror.

The Director explains that after 200 repetitions of the same process, the children will have an instinctive hatred of books and flowers. A hatred for books is ingrained in the lower castes to prevent them from wasting the community’s time reading books that might “decondition” them. The motivation for instilling a hatred for flowers is more complicated. The Director explains that Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons were once conditioned to like flowers and nature in general. The idea was to compel them to visit the country often and “consume transport” in the process. But since nature is free, they consumed nothing other than transportation.

In order to increase the consumption of goods, The World State decided to abolish the love of nature while preserving the desire to use transportation. The lower castes are now conditioned to hate the countryside but to love country sports. All country sports in the World State require the use of elaborate apparatus. As a result, the lower castes now pay for both transportation and manufactured goods when they travel to the country for sporting events.

The Director begins to tell a story about a child named Reuben who has Polish-speaking parents. The students blush at the mere mention of the word “parent.” References to sexual reproduction, including words like “mother” and “father,” are now considered pornographic. In the World State, people only use such words in clinical discussions.

The Director continues with his story. One night, Reuben’s parents left the radio on while he slept. The child woke up reciting a broadcast of a George Bernard Shaw speech verbatim. The parents did not understand English, so they thought something was wrong. Their doctor understood English and notified the medical press of the event. Reuben’s overnight learning led to the discovery of sleep teaching, or hypnopaedia. The Director informs the students that the discovery of hypnopaedia came only twenty-three years after the first Ford Model T was sold. He makes the sign of the T on his stomach (as an observant Catholic might make the sign of the cross) and the students follow suit. He explains that researchers of hypnopaedia soon discovered that it was useless for intellectual training. Reuben could repeat the speech word for word, but had no idea what it meant. The place where hypnopaedia can be used, however, is moral training.

The Director leads the tour to a dormitory where some Beta children are sleeping. The Nurse informs them that the Elementary Sex lesson is over and the Elementary Class Consciousness lesson has just begun. A recorded voice whispers to each sleeping child. It states that Alpha children have to work harder than the other classes and it disparages the lower intelligence and inferiority of the lower castes. The voice teaches pride and happiness in the Beta caste: Betas do not have to work as hard as the cleverer Alphas, it explains, but they are still smarter than the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The Director explains that the lesson will be repeated one hundred and twenty times, three times a week, for thirty months. Hypnopaedia instills the fine distinctions and prejudices for which electric shocks and alarms are too crude. Hypnopaedia, the Director concludes, is “the greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.”

Summary: Chapter 3

The Director leads the students to the garden, where several hundred naked children are playing. The Director remarks that “in Our Ford’s day,” games involved no more than a ball or two, a few sticks, and maybe a net. Such simple apparatus did nothing to increase consumption. In the current World State, all games, like “Centrifugal Bumble-puppy,” involve complicated machines.

The Director is interrupted by the cries of a little boy sitting in the bushes. It soon becomes clear that the little boy, for some reason, is uncomfortable with the erotic play in which the children are encouraged to participate. After the boy is whisked off to see the psychologist, the Director astounds the students by explaining that sexual play during childhood and adolescence used to be considered abnormal and immoral. When he begins to explain the deleterious effects of sexual repression, a man interrupts him. The Director reverently introduces the man as “his fordship” Mustapha Mond. At the complex, four thousand electric clocks simultaneously strike four, marking the shift change. Henry Foster and Lenina each head up to the changing rooms in preparation for their date. While heading to the rooms, Henry snubs Bernard Marx who is said to have an unsavory reputation.

The narrative suddenly begins to shift back and forth between three different scenes, splicing in Mustapha Mond’s speech to the boys with scenes of Henry’s conversation in the male changing room and Lenina’s conversation in the female training room. This SparkNote will describe Mond’s speech first, and then the two changing room conversations.

The students are overwhelmed by meeting Mond, the Resident Controller for Western Europe, and one of only ten World Controllers. Mond quotes Ford, saying, “History is bunk” (an actual quote from the real-life Henry Ford) in order to explain why the students have not learned any of the history that the Director explains to them. The Director glances at him nervously. He has heard rumors that Mond keeps forbidden books, such as Bibles and poetry collections, locked in a safe. Mond, aware of the Director’s unease, condescendingly reassures him that he does not plan to corrupt the students.

Mond begins to describe life in the time before the World State began its policy of tight control over reproduction, child-rearing, and social relations. He likens the narrow channeling of emotion and desire to water under pressure in a pipe. One hole produces a strong jet. However, many small holes produce calm streams of water. Strong emotion, inspired by family relationships, sexual repression, and delayed satisfaction of desire, goes directly against stability. Without stability, civilization cannot exist. Before the existence of the World State, the instability caused by strong emotions led to disease, war, and social unrest that resulted in millions of deaths and untold suffering and misery.

Mond describes the initial resistance to the World State’s use of hypnopaedia, the caste system, and artificial gestation. But after the Nine Years’ War, which involved horrible chemical and biological warfare, an intense propaganda campaign, including the suppression of all books published before a.f. 150, began to weaken the resistance. Religion, Shakespeare, museums, and families all passed into obscurity. The date of the introduction of the Model T was chosen as the start of the new era, and all crosses had their tops cut off to make them into Ts. Six years of pharmaceutical research yielded soma, the perfect drug. The problem of old age was solved, and people could now retain the mental and physical character of youth throughout life. No one was allowed to sit alone and think. No one was allowed “leisure from pleasure.”

In the changing room at the end of the workday, Bernard overhears Henry talking with the Assistant Predestinator about Lenina. The Predestinator suggests a “feely” (a movie involving senses of touch and smell) that Henry might want to attend. While discussing Lenina admiringly, Henry tells the Assistant that he should “have her” some time. The conversation disgusts Bernard. The Assistant notices his glum expression and he and Henry decide to bait him. Henry offers Bernard some soma, infuriating him. They laugh as Bernard curses them.

The scene shifts to a public bathroom and showering room, where Lenina is chatting with Fanny Crowne. At age nineteen, Fanny is starting to take a temporary Pregnancy Substitute because she feels “out of sorts.” The Pregnancy Substitute mimics the hormonal effects of pregnancy. Fanny expresses surprise that Lenina is still dating Henry exclusively after four months. She advises Lenina to be more promiscuous, as a virtuous member of World State should. Lenina mentions that Bernard Marx, an Alpha Plus hypnopaedia specialist, invited her to the Savage Reservation. Fanny warns that Bernard has a bad reputation for spending time alone and is smaller and less confident than other Alphas. Fanny mentions the rumors that someone might have accidentally injected alcohol into his blood surrogate when he was in the bottle. Lenina decides to accept Bernard’s invitation because she thinks Bernard is sweet and wants to see the Reservation. Fanny admires Lenina’s Malthusian belt, a contraceptive holder that was a gift from Henry.


Summary: Chapter 4

When Lenina tells Bernard in front of a big group of coworkers that she accepts his invitation to see the Savage Reservation, Bernard reacts with embarrassment. His suggestion that they discuss it privately confuses Lenina. She saunters off to meet Henry. Bernard feels terrible because Lenina behaved like a “healthy and virtuous English girl”—that is, someone unafraid of discussing her sexual life in public. When the genial Benito Hoover strikes up a conversation, Bernard rushes away. Lenina and Henry fly off on their date in Henry’s helicopter, and look down upon their world in perfect contentment.

Ordering a pair of Delta-Minus attendants to get his helicopter ready for flight, Bernard betrays his insecurity about his size. The lower castes associate larger size with higher status, so he has trouble getting them to follow his orders. Bernard contemplates his feelings of alienation and becomes irritable. He visits his friend, Helmholtz Watson, a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. Helmholtz is an extremely intelligent, attractive, and properly sized Alpha Plus who works in propaganda. Some of Helmholtz’s superiors think he is a little too smart for his own good. The narrator agrees with them, noting that “a mental excess had produced in Helmholtz Watson effects very similar to those which, in Bernard Marx, were the result of a physical defect.” The friendship between Bernard and Helmholtz springs from their mutual dissatisfaction with the status quo and their shared inclination to view themselves as individuals. Once together, Bernard boasts that Lenina has accepted his invitation, but Helmholtz shows little interest. Helmholtz is preoccupied with the thought that his writing talent could be better used than simply for writing hypnopaedic phrases. His work leaves him feeling empty and unfulfilled. Bernard becomes nervous, jumping up at one point because he thinks, wrongly, that someone is listening at the door.


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Brave new world summary

Brave New World Plot Summary


Chapter 1:

Brave New World starts in a Hatching and Conditioning Centre located in London.  The Director of the Hatchery is giving some boys a tour of the building.  The director teaches the boys about the Podsnap and Bokanovsky processes, and he also teaches them that without those processes they would not be able to make thousands of almost identical human embryos.  The director then has Henry Foster, an employee, explain that once the embryos are created they travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through the factory. These embryos are conditioned to suit one of the society’s five castes, which are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.  The Alphas are the world leaders and are physically and intellectually superior to the other castes.  Each caste after Alpha in successive order is slightly worse than the one before it.  This makes Epsilons the worst, caused by the society purposefully depriving oxygen and chemically treating the embryos, making them properly suited for menial labor.  The director then asks Lenina Crowne, another employee, to explain to the group of boys what her job entails.  She explains that she immunizes the fetuses that will be sent to the tropics from deadly diseases.  Henry then reminds Lenina about their date the evening, and the director finds it cute. The director then realizes he needs to get the group of boys to the nurseries so they can see the children before they wake up.       


Chapter 2:

The director then took the group of boys to the nurseries, where they observed eight month old Delta babies wearing clothes of their caste color khaki.  The babies are offered book and flowers by the nurses, but as they joyfully approach the items an alarm goes off, and the babies receive a mild shock.  The second time the items are offered the babies shy away, and scream in fear.  The director states that this process is repeated 200 times to give all Deltas the instinctive fear of books and flowers.  The reason for this is the society doesn’t want the lower castes such as Grammas, Deltas, and Epsilons wasting their time on reading, and before when they were conditioned to like nature that’s all the lower castes would want to do because nature was free except for transportation.  The World State then decided to make them hate the country, but to love expensive country sports so that the lower castes would then spend money on transportation and equipment.  The director then tells a story about the discovery of sleep teaching, and how it was uncovered only 23 years after the first Ford Model T was sold. He then draws a T on his chest with his finger, and the group of boys follow suit.  The director also talks about the importance of sleep teaching for moral training.  The director then leads the group of boys to a room where a group of Beta children are sleeping, and the nurse in the room tells the group of boys that the children are listening to an Elementary Class Consciousness lesson.  A recorded voice talks softly to the children saying things like how great it is to be a Beta, and reasons why being a Beta is great.  The director then tells the group of boys that the lesson will be repeated one hundred and twenty times, three times a week, for thirty months.  The director also states that this method is one of the most important in their society. 


Chapter 3:

The group of boys are then taken outside the factory to a garden where dozens of naked children are playing games, such as Centrifugal Bumble-puppy which involves complicated machines.  There is then a cry from a little boy in some bushes who didn’t want to play some erotic game with a little girl.  The boy is sent to go see a psychologist, and the director tells the group of boys that in Ford’s day children playing erotic games was discouraged and considered immoral.  As the director tries explaining this a man named Mustapha Mond, a world controller, interrupts him and the director introduces him to the group of boys.  The narrator then switches and starts talking about the shift change which happens at exactly four everyday.  The narrator also talks about Lenina, and Henry Foster heading to the change rooms and getting ready for their date.  The narrator then switches continually between three different scenes in the book for the rest of the chapter.  In one of the scenes Lenina is talking to her friend Fanny Crowne about her date, and Fanny criticizes Lenina for dating only one man for so long.  Fanny tells Lenina that she should be more promiscuous, and points out that Henry has more then just Lenina.  Lenina then tells Fanny that Bernard Marx has asked her to go to the savage reservation with him, but Fanny disapproves and tells Lenina that every one thinks badly of Bernard.  Fanny also tells Lenina that she heard Bernard might have had someone accidentally inject alcohol into his blood surrogate when he was in the bottle, which might explain his oddness.  Lenina doesn’t listen to Fanny though and decides to accept Bernard’s invitation.  Another of the three scenes is in the perspective of Bernard Marx who is in the men’s changing room listening to Henry Foster’s conversation with the Assistant Predestinator about “having” Lenina.  Henry says that she is very pneumatic, and suggests the Assistant Predestinator should have her some time.  Bernard becomes furious at their disrespectful talk about Lenina, and when Henry notices the angry look on Bernard’s face he offers Bernard some soma which makes Bernard even more furious.  Henry and the Assistant Predestinator then leave the change room.  The third scenario is Mustapha Mond begins talking to the group of boys about what society was like in Ford’s day.  The director gives Mond a nervous look but Mond tells the director not to worry, he will not corrupt the group of boys.  Mond then continues saying that with all the emotions that people had society could never be stable, which led to destruction.  Mond also talked about how some people tried to resist against the new society that exists in their present time but after The Nine Years War which was full propaganda, and biological/chemical warfare the resistance was gone.  With no resistance things like books, families, and religion were destroyed.  Mond also tells the group of boys about the Model T being the date picked to start the new era, and how all crosses had the tops cut off to make it into a T.  Mond goes on to say that after six years of trying scientists were able to make the perfect drug which was named soma.  This made it possible for people to keep physically and mentally youthful their whole life, and also gave everyone who took it a feeling of euphoria.


Chapter 4:

Bernard is walking with a group of co-workers when Lenina comes up to Bernard and tells him that she accepts his invitation to go to the savage reservation.  This embarrasses Bernard, and when he suggests they speak in private Lenina just laughs and heads off to meet Henry for their date.  After the conversation Benito Hoover, one of the co-workers who was walking with Bernard, tries talking to Bernard about it but Bernard leaves quickly.  Bernard decides to go see his friend Helmholtz Watson in his helicopter, and orders two Delta-Minuses to prepare his helicopter.  Bernard feels the                    Delta-Minuses are going slowly because of Bernard’s small size (the higher the class the taller the person), and angered by their disrespect Bernard begins yelling at them to hurry up.  When Bernard gets to Helmholtz’s apartment he brags about Lenina saying that she will go to the savage reservation, but Helmholtz shows little interest.


Chapter 5:

After obstacle golf Lenina and Henry go for coffee with soma in it, and then head to the Westminster Abbey Cabaret.  Meanwhile Bernard goes to a Solidarity Service where he shares a table with twelve other people, and eats some ice cream with soma in it while music plays.  The service then ends with a giant sex orgy making Bernard feel like more of an outsider.


Chapter 6:

Lenina and Barnard go to a wrestling match, and afterwards Bernard stops the helicopter and hovers over the city because it makes him feel more like an individual.  However Lenina begs him to get going, and after much complaining and prompting that Bernard should take some soma he finally takes a dose and sleeps with Lenina.  The next day though he tells her he did not want to really sleep with her.  At work Bernard goes to get permission to go to the savage reservation, and when discussing the savage reservation the director tells Bernard a story about how he once went their and lost his girlfriend.  He then realizes he gave away to much information and gets mad about Bernard’s behavior outside work.  Bernard and Lenina go to the reservation and when they get there Bernard calls home only to here that he is going to be sent to Iceland.  With this bad news Bernard takes some soma.


Chapter 7:

A village ceremony starts and Lenina is horrified by the boy in the ceremony being whipped over and over.  Bernard and Lenina then meet John who turns out to be the son of the director, and the woman who was lost when travelling with the director.  It turned out that his mother, Linda, fell and was injured but was rescued by some savages, and then gave birth to John.  John introduces Bernard and Lenina to Linda who disgusts Lenina with her horrid appearance.  Linda tells them about how she was to embarrassed to go back to London with a child, and how she would sleep with the men on the reservation, and then their woman would get mad and eventually beat her. 


Chapter 8:

John tells Bernard about his childhood and how he tried desperately to fit in with the savages.  He also talked about how he found refuge in Shakespeare’s books, and how he stabbed a savage by the name of Pope who would come over often to sleep with Linda.  Bernard asks John to come with him to London, and John agrees as long as Linda can come too.  John is overly excited but Bernard tells him he may be disappointed.


Chapter 9:

Bernard goes back to get permission to bring John and Linda, and after telling the story he gets the confirmation he needs.  Meanwhile Lenina is doped out on soma back at the reservation and John goes into her room thinking he might have been left behind, and when he sees Lenina lying there he wants to touch her but doesn’t then leaves.


Chapter 10:

Back in London Bernard embarrasses the director by showing him his son, John, in front of an entire room of people and the director rushes out.


Chapter 11:

The director ends up resigning so Bernard is no longer being sent to Iceland.  John becomes an icon that makes Bernard very popular, and Bernard brags about his new fame to Helmholtz.  When Helmholtz doesn’t say anything Bernard becomes angry, and doesn’t speak to him for a while.  John begins not liking things about this “brave new world” such as the thousands of identical twins, and when Lenina takes John to a movie he also hates the movie.  Lenina then wants to have sex with John and even though John also wanted to have sex with Lenina, he instead locked himself in a washroom and started quoting Shakespeare.


Chapter 12:

Bernard throws an enormous party promising that John will come, but John refuses to go.  Bernard is extremely embarrassed, and becomes more like him old self.  He then starts talking to Helmholtz again, and introduces him to John.  John and Helmholtz like each other instantly and have long discussions about writing, and Shakespeare.


Chapter 13:

Lenina begins to notice how upset she is that John will not have sex with her, and then tries seducing John in his apartment.  John begins talking about marriage, and love.  Lenina then says he should have told her that he liked her, and then she proceeds to take her clothes off.  John who is disgusted with her behavior slaps her and calls her a whore.  Lenina locks herself in the washroom till John leaves after he receives a phone call.


Chapter 14:

John rushes to his mother’s side as she is on her death bed.  He tries to get her attention but she is too doped on soma.  Then when a group of children learning about death ask why Linda is so ugly John becomes enraged and slaps one of the children.  Linda dies, and when another child asks if she is dead John pushes him to the floor, and leaves.


Chapter 15:

John notices soma being handed out to Delta workers and decides that he must free them by telling them that soma enslaves them all.  He then raves, and Bernard is called by the man who was distributing the soma.  Bernard and Helmholtz rush to John but by the time they get there John has thrown some soma out the window.  The police then show up and arrest John, Bernard and Helmholtz. 


Chapter 16:

Bernard, John, and Helmholtz are taken to Mustapha Mond’s office.  Helmholtz and John then begin a heated discussion with Mustapha about how old books like Shakespeare should be aloud, and why they aren’t.  Mustapha then tells Helmholtz and Bernard they will be exiled.  At this Bernard begins begging for forgiveness, and is taken out of the room.  After Bernard is gone Mustapha says that leaving is actually a good thing, and that the best people get sent to islands.  Mustapha asks if Helmholtz would like a tropical climate, and Helmholtz decides that he would want a bad climate for his writing.

Chapter 17:

When Helmholtz leaves the room to tell Bernard the news John and Mustapha discuss religion.  John argues that people need religion, but Mustapha says all people need is soma- It’s like Christianity without tears. 

Chapter 18:

John says goodbye to Helmholtz and Bernard saying that Mustapha won’t let him go due to him wanting the experiment to continue.  To escape society John goes to live in an abandoned light house, were he constantly whips himself in order to purge.  One day he is spotted by Delta Minus workers, and is then bombarded by reporters.  One reporter gets a video of John whipping himself and after the video is realized hundreds of people come egging John on to whip himself.  John then sees Lenina and starts whipping her while calling her a strumpet.  John collapses, and in the morning being disgusted that he gave into society hangs himself.


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