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Gender Roles in Brave New World
Transcript of Gender Roles in Brave New World
2540 A.D London
Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, and John (The Savage)
The use of technology to control society, the incompatibility of happiness and truth, the dangers of an all-powerful state
"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."
"In fact," said Mustapha Mond, "you're claiming the right to be unhappy."
"All right then," said the Savage defiantly, "I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."
"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind." There was a long silence.
"I claim them all," said the Savage at last. (17.62-6)
Setting the Stage
I believe he was so blinded by his misogyny that, as he wrote Brave New World, he created a character at odds with the text who resisted fitting comfortably into the fable of the text and being shaped by the ideas of the text, so much so that an attentive reader realizes that the urgencies of satire ask us to brush by the paradoxes through which Lenina so threatens the text. Lenina's bottle-green jacket may not shake the World State, but it certainly does threaten Huxley's text.
- David Leon Higdon
The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha Changing Rooms, and Lenina's entry was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them. (4.1.1)
“No, there hasn’t been anyone else… And I jolly well don’t see why there should have been” (Huxley 43)
"Strumpet!" The Savage had rushed at her like a madman. "Fitchew!" Like a madman, he was slashing at her with his whip of small cords. (18.92)
Why Should I Care?
- “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (New International Bible, 1Co. 11.3).
Gender Roles in Brave New World
A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY. (1.1)
- Huxley, Brave New World
- Lenina shook her head. "Somehow," she mused, "I hadn't been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn't. Haven't you found that too, Fanny?"
Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. "But one's got to make the effort," she said, sententiously, "one's got to play the game. After all, every one belongs to every one else." (3.12-13)
- "Lenina Crowne?" said Henry Foster, echoing the Assistant Predestinator's question as he zipped up his trousers. "Oh, she's a splendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I'm surprised you haven't had her." "I can't think how it is I haven't," said the Assistant Predestinator. "I certainly will. At the first opportunity."