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Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
Transcript of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
“Hug me till you drug me, honey; Kiss me till I'm in a coma: Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny; Love's as good as soma.”
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.”
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
“I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then," he added in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness.”
26 July 1894 –- 22 November 1963
English writer & philosopher
Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist. He became deeply concerned that humans might become subjugated through the sophisticated use of the mass media or mood-altering drugs, or tragically affected by misunderstanding or the misapplication of increasingly sophisticated technology.
Huxley later became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism,in particular, Universalism.
He is also well known for his use of psychedelic drugs. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time
In the time of brave new world
Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932.
Rise of Fascism
Mechanization & Mass Production
People in Revolt
& Aryan Race
Published in 1924
We is set in the future. D-503 lives in the One State, an urban nation constructed almost entirely of glass, which allows the secret police/spies to inform on and supervise the public more easily.
The structure of the state is analogous to the prison design concept developed by Jeremy Bentham commonly referred to as the Panopticon.
People march in step with each other and wear identical clothing. There is no way of referring to people save by their given numbers. Males have odd numbers prefixed by consonants; females have even numbers prefixed by vowels
How many godly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest,
Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206
Miranda was raised for most of her life on an isolated island, and the only people she ever knew were her father and his servants, an enslaved savage, and spirits.
7 KEY STRUCTURES FOR
Education of Youth
How do you see these at play in Chapter 1?
How do you see these playing a role in the rest of the novel?
Role of Technology:
Huxley also saw that technology could eventually give workers enormous amounts of leisure time. The result could be more time spent creating art and solving social problems.
But Huxley, perceiving those activities as threatening to the order they’ve created, decides to provide foolish distractions to preoccupy their workers. These future workers do their duty and buy more and more material goods to keep the economy rolling, even to the point of throwing away clothes rather than mending them.
Role of Modesty
In Huxley’s day, people’s values and ideas were changing rapidly.
The 1920s generation of youth rejected the more puritanical Victorian values of their parents’ generation.
Men and women flirted openly. Some embraced the idea of free love (sex outside of marriage or commitment), as advocated by people like author Gertrude Stein (1874–1946).
Role of Modesty
Women began to smoke in public, cut their hair into short, boyish bobs, and wear much shorter, looser skirts.
These new sexual attitudes are taken to an extreme in
Brave New World.
Others were talking publicly about sex, or using contraceptives, which were being popularized by Margaret Sanger (1883–1966), the American leader of the birth-control movement.
This whole movement was about FREEDOM. Does Huxley trivialize it by embellishing it or is he applauding it by demonstrating extreme sexual freedom?
Scientists were also beginning to explore the possibilities of human engineering. Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) showed that one can create a conditioned response in animals.
For example, he rang a bell whenever he fed a group of dogs, and over time Pavlov’s dogs began to salivate at the sound of a bell, even when no food was presented to them.
Pavlov’s fellow scientist, John B. Watson (1878–1958), founded the Behaviorist School of psychology: he believed that human beings could be reduced to a network of stimuli and responses, which could then be controlled by whoever experimented on them.
In the 1930s, German Nobel Prize winner Hans Spemann (1869–1941) developed the controversial science of experimental embryology, manipulating the experience of a human fetus in the womb in order to influence it.
The eugenics movement—which was an attempt to limit the childbearing of lower-class, ethnic citizens—was popular in the 1920s as well.
Meanwhile, the fad of hypnopaedia, or sleep teaching, was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
People hoped to teach themselves passively by listening to instructional tapes while they were sleeping. Although the electroencephalograph, a device invented in 1929 that measures brain waves, would prove that people have a limited ability to learn information while asleep, it also proved that hypnopaedia can influence emotions and beliefs.
WE SEE THIS DURING THE EUGENICS PHASE
Meanwhile, the ideas of Viennese physician Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), the father of modern psychoanalysis, were also becoming popular. He believed, among other things, that most psychological problems stem from early childhood experiences.
Huxley incorporated all of these technological and psychological discoveries into his novel, having the Controllers misuse this information about controlling human behavior to oppress their citizens.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
The French Revolution is about the rights of man, however screwed up it became, the ideals were about everyone (well not really women, sorry) being equal in the eyes of the law.
"A squat grey buidling of only thirty-four storeys. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATVERY and CONDITIONING CENTRE, and in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY" (Huxley 1).
cummunity, identity, stability
World State = CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT
What does it mean to place community over the individual?
Intense sense of nationalism is fostered if we get our identity from our community. It becomes an intense US vs. THEM
And if there is only ONE country - a WORLD STATE - where does the US vs. THEM develop?
This seems like a very good thing. But in order for something to be stable it often has to remain the status quo. Is this a good thing?
Huxley is making a big departure from the accepted norm, but he is also taking us away from the chaos of the French Revolution to a supposed society that has found a way to be peaceful.
The Ford Factory System
"And anyhow the question didn't arise; in this year of stability, A.F. 632, it did occur to you to ask it" (2).
In 1908 Henry Ford released the Ford Model T, the "Tin Lizzie." This was the first real factory mass produced vehicle. So add 632 to 1908 and you get 2540, the year this novel takes place.
Lets talk about our Calendar....
anno Domini (year of our Lord)
before common era
Brave New World
The Ford Factory System is essentially the Rejection of Christianity and other religions. And, when you remove God from the table, what are you left with to believe in?
Right or Wrong, we've replaced God with essentially nothing. We are a very human-centric society. Each person is the center of their own universe. (see duck-face selfies and Ed Hardy for proof).
"I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me" John Lennon
Huxley will argue that there needs to be something bigger than humanity...
Huxley replaces GOD with FORD because humanity needs something to believe in.
A New Religion
When Huxley replaces Christianity and creationism with Ford and the Factory System he is creating a NEW theory of evolution.
"...Alphas and Betas remained until definitely bottled; while the Gammas, Deltas and Episilons were brought out again, after only thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky's Process" (Huxley 3).
Humans are man made.
Clear Class Divide
"One egg, one embryo, one adult - normality" (3)
This is for all intents and purpose the "normal" means of reproduction as described by Christianity.
"But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress (4).
Humanity has improved upon God's creation and thus no longer requires him. And as FORD is responsible for the factory system, let HIM be held on high.
Make no mistake about what HUXLEY is saying here...
God does not exist in his Utopia.
He has been replaced with HUMAN PROGRESS.
Social stability does not arise from God's Law but rather from humanity's ability to CONTROL.
"Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!" (5)
The French Revolution
The Philosophes of the Revolution rejected the church and God. It was as much a revolution against absolute monarchy as it was against God.
Huxley's World State is building upon the Revolution.
He is denying GOD.
It is thought that the process's name is a reference to Maurice Bokanovsky, a French Bureaucrat who believed strongly in the idea of governmental and social efficiency.
By Page 5 of the novel... God does not exist.
Who plays God when he does not exist?
If we take God out of the equation, who then decides the order of life & society?
Well naturally... the people at the top! The rich and powerful or the intelligent etc.
In Brave New World it is the ALPHAS - those at the top of the Bokanovsky Process.
"'We predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epislons, as future sewage workers or future...' He was going to say future World Controllers..." (11).
Predestine... there is that word again...
Does this system leave any wiggle room to become better?
Predestination & Conditioning
God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass.
This isn't tangible. It is a belief or a matter of faith.
Huxley's SOCIAL PREDESTINATION ROOM is very tangible and very real.
"But why do you want to keep the embryo below par?"(11)
This is clear and distinct proof that Huxley's Utopia is not EQUAL.
"Hasn't it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment and heredity? (11)
Clear tangible division and segregation between types of people.
and this is very simply achieved.
"The lower the caste,' said Mr. Foster, 'the shorter the oxygen.' The first organ affected is the brain. After that the skeleton. At seventy percent of normal oxygen you get dwarfs. At less than seventy, eyeless monsters" (11).
ISN'T THIS WHAT REFER TO AS PLAYING GOD?
TO WHAT END ARE THEY PLAYING GOD...?
It is for the betterment of society... or so we are led to believe by the director. That ALL of this is for the greater good.
'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 destiny" (13).
Replace God with FORD FACTORY SYSTEM
Replace Genesis/Natural Birth with BOKANOVSKY PROCESS
Genetically modify people into CASTE SYSTEM
Create "artificial" happiness so everyone is content with their STATION IN LIFE.
If EVERYONE is happy in their STATION isn't that
Perfecting Humanity - NeoPavlovian Conditioning
Intelligent Design does not happen by MISTAKE in the Brave New World.
People are created with predestined lives - ie Caste System. Moreover, within that CASTE SYSTEM they are further programmed to perpetuate the reality in which they live.
STABILITY through Community and Identity
And the only way that they know to achieve this is through manipulation....
"Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks - already in the infant mind these couples were compromisingly linked; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson wd be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder" (18).
"They'll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an "instinctive" hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. They'll be safe from books, and botany all their lives (18).
BOOKS ARE DANGEROUS.
Discuss the purpose and impacts of SOCIAL CONDITIONING during "birth" by analyzing passages from Chapter 2 of Brave New World.
Social Conditioning Sexuality
SEX & SEXUALITY, no matter what the context, is often a very uncomfortable conversation for people to have. Brave New World is a highly sexualized environment; from children to adults SEX and SEXUALITY are hyper-present. And the question remains, why? What does Huxley hope to achieve by removing the TABOO around sex?
In the Ones That Walk Away from Omelas, children dance and play while being naked. The same is true in BNW. In Genesis - the Garden of Eden (a Utopia) it demonstrates that people are without shame/SIN. Is the same true for BNW?
"Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm June sunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running with shrill yells over the lawns, or playing ball games, or squatting silently in twos and threes among the flowering shrubs (26)
SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDREN
"In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, two children, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focussed attention of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentary sexual game" (27).
"It's just that this little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play (27)
When a little boy and girl are brought to the Director:
The director sends the boy away and tells the little girl to find a new boy to play with.
They proceed to have a conversation whereby we learn that they find it appalling that people used to wait until their 20s to have sex. Moreover they cannot believe that children would be deprived of such pleasures (28)
What impact does the SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDREN have upon you, the reader?
What do you think of this UTOPIA now?
What does removing this TABOO at such a young age do?
BRAVE NEW WORLD
brave new world
What do you think about the ethics behind EUGENICS?
When you sensationalize SEXUAL FREEDOM are you condemning it or applauding it?
But what else has Huxley Destroyed?
The Nuclear Family
The nuclear family or elementary family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children. This is in contrast to a single-parent family, to the larger extended family, and to a family with more than two parents.
What does denying God do to society?
What does destroying the family unit do to society?
What commentary is he making about both of these in OUR society?
Is society a UTOPIA without them?
a DYSTOPIA with their absence?
The Smutty word...
"Try to realize what is was like to have a viviparous mother. - That smutt word again" (31).
"Try to imagine what 'living with one's family meant. - They tried; but obviously without the smallest success" (31).
Vladimir Lenin was a Russian revolutionary communist who appropriated Marxism and ended up a leader of the Soviet Union in the 1920s.
John Crowne was a late 17th century dramatist whose plays often revolved around some sort of heroic, romantic love.
She is NONE of this.
Her name is STRONG, but in the novel she is not... she is the sexualization of woman.
What is HUXLEY saying about women or women in society with the character of Lenina Crowne?
"She walked briskly towards the door" (29)
Turn to page 31 - "From her dim crimson cellar Lenina Crowne..."
This is a description of women that are completely unabashed by their bodies. They are indeed unencumbered by the anxieties that plague people.
And for all intents and purposes this is a description of how FLAPPERS would have been thought of during the 1920s.
This isn't an indictment of feeling sexual freedom. I think that this is a demonstration that "locker room" behaviour is not different than what Huxley would have presumed it to be for men. Is he demonstrating
SEX IN THE CITY
“Who are you going out with to-night?” Lenina asked, returning from the vibro-vac like a pearl illuminated from within, pinkly glowing.
Lenina raised her eyebrows in astonishment.
“I’ve been feeling rather out of sorts lately,” Fanny explained. “Dr. Wells advised me to have a Pregnancy Substitute.”
“But, my dear, you’re only nineteen. The first Pregnancy Substitute isn’t compulsory till twenty-one.” (33)
Fanny's comment that she is feeling "out of sorts" is interpreted here to suggest she is not feeling sexual, probably related to her menstruation cycle. The "Pregnancy Substitute," we can infer, is intended by the state to manipulate a woman's hormonal status for the purpose of reinvigorating her libido.
"But, Fanny, do you really mean to say that for the next three months you're not supposed to..."
"Oh no, dear. Only for a week or two, that's all" (34).
In Huxley's new world state, SEX seems to be an everyday occurrence and the absence of it seems to be incredibly shocking to these women.
SEX IN THE CITY
"I suppose you're going out?"
"Again?" Fanny's kind, rather moon-like face took on an incongruous expression of pained and disapproving astonishment. "Do you mean to tell me you're still going out with Henry Foster?" (35).
Why is having SEX with only ONE person such a shocking disgust to fanny?
"Only four months! I like that. And what's more," Fanny went on, pointing an accusing finger, "there's been nobody else except Henry all that time. Has there?" (35)
"It's such horribly bad form to go on and on like this with one man... Four months of Henry Foster, without having another man - why, he'd be furious if he knew..." (36)
"Everyone belongs to everyone else" (38).
Fanny "convinces" Lenina Crowne of a simple Brave New World Truth...
Again this appears as though HUXLEY is saying that promiscuity is acceptable on both sides of the equation and THUS women and men can be considered
One might even be able to say that Lenina is STRONG and BRAVE for only 'dating' Foster BUT, she allows herself to be convinced otherwise (does this make her weak minded?) and...
Huxley's MALE PROTAGONIST doesn't believe in this sexual promiscuity...
"And then he spends most of his time by himself - alone. There was horror in Fanny's voice (40).
Mustapha Mond: Deny history nbd
"This is the Controller, this is his fordship, Mustapha Mond" (29) -
Make no mistake, he is the man in charge.
"History is bunk. History,' he repeated slowly is bunk" (30) -
what happens when you deny history?
Where are all the wonders of the world? Where is Jesus? Where is Athens, Rome, Babylon? Where are all of these things? When something is tangibly held is it real? Does it matter? What are the implications of denying to the past and focusing solely and what IS?
And isn't Huxley on to something here?
Does history really impact people's live?
If you never learned about them would it have any bearing on you today?
Does history matter?
Ever heard of the Congo Free State?
22 million Africans killed be Leopold II
We've all heard of this...
Does history matter and does it really have an impact on your life?
"Home, home - a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by a man, by a periodically teeming woman, by a rabble of boys and girls of all ages" (32).
"No air, no space; an understerilized prison, darkness, disease, and smells" (32).
Impacts of Dismantling the Family System, Denying History and Social Conditioning...
"No wonder thoise poor premoderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didnt' allow them take things easily, didn't allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy" (36)
SANE VIRTUOUS HAPPY
ARE THESE THREE WORDS ACCURATE?
"What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lovely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty - they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? (36).
no jealousy, no rejection, only mutual enjoyment...
Is this a rejection of human emotion? of humanity? or is HUXLEY on to something?
Think about it... a PAIN FREE WORLD!
Parts 1 & 2
Here's the deal, I'm going to take a nap and you are going to teach me...
In groups of no more than FOUR, you are going to select ONE of the topics below and teach us all about it - as it appears in chapter 4.
I would like to you pull out quotes about these subjects and analyze them for mean... ultimately coming up with a thesis statement about the individual or the idea and how it impacts or plays a role in the novel and its society.
Chapters 5 & 6
SOMA & SEX
bERNARD & lENINA
These star-crossed lovers are one of the central "relationships" of the novel. And, while it appears to be a matter of conquest for Lenina, it is a confusing one for Bernard who is trapped between the world of what he should do and the world of what he wants to do... if only there were a drug that would help him relax...
But before we look at their relationship, we have to look at what Bernard does on Thursdays...
solidarity service days
This is a kind of odd religious ceremony where they give thanks and "pray" to ford:
"Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
Like drops within the Social River;
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shinning Flivver" (72)
They sing hymns, take SOMA, chant Ford's name, and experience "HIS" coming before entering into an orgy.
"Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release" (75).
What on Ford's green earth is this about?
Huxley was a humanist and thus clearly opposed to religious doctrine.
In his eyes, he would be pointing out and sensationalizing aspects of religion and Christianity that he would not agree with.
Speaking in tongues
Shared divine sightings
I think we have to view this as a clear indictment of The Brave New World.
If he is against RELIGION then he must be against it in any form and consequently he must be against any society that relies upon it.
Bernard Marx & Religion
Plain and simple... he DOES NOT BUY IT ONE LITTLE BIT!
"Feeling that it was time for him to do something, Bernard also jumped up and shouted: 'I hear him; he's coming.' But it wasn't true. He heard nothing and, for him, nobody was coming" (75).
This is almost a comical situation - picture it... 12 essentially naked people, on drugs, slapping one another on the butt, chanting about his coming, and one man stuck in the middle pretending to be a part of it.
"He was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began--more isolated by reason of his unreplenished emptiness, his dead satiety. Separate and unatoned, while the others were being fused into the Greater Being; alone even in Morgan's embrace--much more alone, indeed, more hopelessly himself than he had ever been in his life before." (76).
The genetic failure?
In a society that is genetically engineered to be similar in almost every way, Bernard is an anomaly.
"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. That's why he's so stunted" (41).
Physically Bernard is smaller than your average Alpha and this does create a sense of other within him.
"Too little bone and brawn had isolate Bernard from his fellow men..." (60).
Bernard is out window into EVERYTHING that doesn't work in this Brave New World... or he is a window into what happens when the genetic engineering is not done to perfection.
Can the world withstand ONE or TWO (Helmholtz) being different?
Marx & Crowne
a love story...
A First Date to Remember...
Lenina suggests a few different 'popular' options. Bernard says no.
Bernard wants to go for a walk to talk... how odd.
They settle on women's heavyweight wrestling... he's grumpy the whole time. (80)
She suggests they take some drugs (SOMA), he gets angry at her. She takes some anyway. (80)
On the way home Bernard wants to look at the ocean in silence, Lenina freaks out at the lack of sensory stimulation. (81)
"as though I were more me"
"it's horrible, it's horrible"
They make it home... the both take drugs and have sex. (83)
She asks if he thinks she's fat, he says she's perfect, she thinks to herself that she doesn't mind being a piece of meat. (83)
He says that he wishes they hadn't had sex, it was impulsive and would have meant more if they had waited & she thinks that he probably thought she was fat. (84)
The Bigger Conversation
Bernie & Leni
And then she tells Fanny that...
"I do like him. He has such awfully nice hands. And the way he moves his shoulders -- that's very attractive" (85).
"And how can you talk like that about no wanting to be a part of the social body? After all everyone works for everyone else" (81).
"Even Epsilons are useful! So am I. And I damned well wish I weren't... what would it be like if I could, if I were free -- not enslaved by my conditioning... Don't you wish you were free?" (81).
"I don't know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody's happy nowadays" (81).
"Wouldn't you like to be free in your own way, for example, no in everybody else's way" (82).
"Why don't you take some soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You'd forget all about them" (82)
Soma is what they would take when hard times opened their eyes
Saw pain in a new way, high stakes for a few names
Racing against sun beams, losing against their dreams
In your eyes
And I am stop and go
In your eyes
See I am stop and go
In your eyes
When I saw her for the first time, lips moved as her eyes closed
Heard something in his voice
"And I'll be there", he says, then he walks out
Somehow he was trying too hard to be like them
Well I am stop and go
In your eyes
And I am stop
Oh, darling, let me go
Tried it once and they like it, then tried to hide it
Says, "I've been doing this 25 years"
But I'm not listening no more
And these friends, they keep asking for more
Oh, but that's it
Bernard and Lenina
loves eternal flame
Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'
It's time to write love letters
You may choose to be Bernard writing to Lenina
Lenina writing to Bernard.
chapter 6 pt.3 & 7
The Old World
What Bernard expects:
"There won't be any in the Reservation... no scent, no television, no hot water..." (90)
It's surrounded by electric fence that will kill you if you touch it.
Children are born of natural births.
"about sixty thousand Indians and half breeds... no communication with the civilized world... families... no conditioning... monstrous superstitions... priests... infectious diseases...extinct languages... animals..." (92)
What Bernard wants from the reserve:
What does a man who doesn't fit in the Brave New World possibly want from this OTHER world, this savage place?
And as he is looking for this...
He talks with Helmholtz about being transferred to Iceland...
That means that he could possibly loose everything that he knows... and everything that he wants to escape...
Bernard doses himself with SOMA.
What does this tell us about our protagonist?
He's taken us as far as he can....
Yes... Leo will be playing him in an upcoming film version...
Enter John Savage, the better Bernard.
The Other World
Lenina and Bernard are left at Malpais. Lenina is being whiny – she doesn't like it here, and she doesn't like their Indian guide (mostly because he doesn't smell good)
The guide leads them, amidst the sound of beating drums, to the bottom of a three-hundred-foot precipice.
Lenina doesn't like this, either, because it makes her feel small...
Following behind the guide, she and Bernard proceed to climb upwards, finally emerging on a flat deck of stone at the top. Two little Indians come running along, naked and painted, which totally freaks out Lenina.
IT IS A WORLD OF DISCOMFORT TO HER. IT MAKES HER QUESTIONS HERSELF.
"cleanliness is next to fordliness" (98). BUT THEY DON'T KNOW FORD!
She sees an OLD MAN and completely freaks out.
She reaches for her SOMA but doesn't have any.
When the going gets tough, the weak take SOMA!
OR THINK ABOUT SEX
Religion in the Other World
mEET jOHN sAVAGE
A crucifix is brought out along with a boy of eighteen, naked except for a white cloth. He makes the sign of the cross and begins to circle around a pile of snakes. As he walks, a man with a coyote mask whips him. He just keeps walking.
A mix of Christianity, pagan worship, and Aboriginal relgion.
Finally, the boy collapses. An old man touches a white feather to the boy's bloody body, which not surprisingly turns red. He shakes it over the pile of snakes, dropping the blood onto the writhing creatures.
The dancers all pick up the snakes and run away, leaving behind the collapsed, bloody boy on the floor. Three women pick him up and carry him away, hopefully for some sort of medical treatment and not more lashings.
What is Huxley telling us about Religion in this other world, Ford's religion, and religion in general?
Bernard and Lenina are left alone until a young man, white but wearing Indian dress, joins them. He asks them if they're civilized -- do they come from outside the Reservation?
He is attracted to fair Lenina...
The savage reveals that his father's name is Tomakin. The text tells you parenthetically that the Director's name is Tomas, in case you had trouble putting two and two together. That is, the Director is this guy's father; Linda is the woman who "got lost" in the savage Reservation.
The Story telling is simplistic but effective enough.
John is going to play a bigger role in the novel... from the beginning we have seen Bernard be the ANTI - BRAVE NEW WORLD. But, we've seen him fail at that role. If John is the son of the director the he naturally or potentially has the ability to tear down the foundations of society.
jOURNAL ENTRY #4
How can John be the better Bernard?
How can you account for Bernard's failure to be a foil for the Brave New World?
Linda is old and "very stout" and wearing tattered clothes, which disgusts Lenina (106).
Linda is obsessed with Lenina's appearance. The years of hypnopaedia have not worn off and she still longs for a world where ending is better than mending.
The depths of social conditioning is clearly at work within the character of Linda. Who appears to have learned very little from her time in the reserve. Or at least, she has rejected their ways.
106-110 of chapter 7 & chapter 8,
answer the following questions.
How did Linda arrive on the reserve?
Why was Linda left behind on the reserve?
Describe Linda's behaviour on the reserve.
Explain John's reactions to her behaviour.
chapters 9 & 10
Explain John's fascination with the 'new world'
Discuss Bernard's warning to John about the 'new world'
Chapter 9 can be broken down into two main ideas/events: Bernard's conversation with Mond and John's B & E.
Chapter 10 can be viewed as the beginning of the end for our dear Bernard...& director.
Bernard & John, John & Bernard
This chapter is an interesting look into both of these characters Bernard has been our 'confident' outsider in the Brave New World and now we really get a glimpse into a character that is not too unlike him...
Compare John & Bernard
Bernard convinces Mond that this is a matter of "scientific interest," so Mustapha agrees to let him bring John and Linda back to London
What is Bernard (in his mind) really gaining from this conversation?
Breaking and Entering
John breaks into Bernard and Lenina's abode because they are not there to greet him and he feels almost betrayed... let down.
He rummages through Lenina's luggage, gets all crazy at the smell of her perfume, is endlessly fascinated by the zippers on her clothing, and finally sees the woman herself, asleep on the bed in a pink onesey.
He briefly contemplates unzipping her onesey but then chides himself for such an immodest thought.
Then, before he knows it, he hears the sound of a helicopter outside, which means Bernard is back. John hightails it out of there.
What does this teach us about John?
The Director, looking quite grumpy, meets with Henry Foster. They are discussing Bernard Marx.
Foster ventures that Bernard does his job well, but the Director says that, because of his intelligence, Bernard has a greater social responsibility. It is better for one individual – in this case, Bernard – to suffer than for many men to be corrupted by his ideas. All in the name of Society.
Where have we seen this idea before?
Is this really want Brave New World boils down to? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one?
In a society that breeds equality via contented caste systems, how do we reconcile the idea that is presented here... ?
The Director stops everyone within shouting distance from their work. They all listen to a public announcement proclaiming, essentially, that Bernard is for all intents and purposes, a person who thinks he is different and somehow more important than everyone else.... that, he, Bernard, has betrayed his social responsibilities.
He concludes by asking Bernard if there's any good reason that he NOT be banished to Iceland, immediately.
Bernard can play this game too...
What is worse than being different?
Bernard says, "Actually, yes," and he brings Linda in from the hallway. Of course, she's old and overweight, so everyone is disgusted, but none so much as the Director, whom she immediately embraces as her old flame.
Linda... or having had sex with her....
which in a way is counter to BNW thinking except that Linda is not "desirable"
And what's ever worse than Linda?
Having a baby...
The Director tries to deny everything when Linda tells him that she had a child.
As if that were not bad enough, John comes in from the hallway and is all, "Daddy!" The workers are in uproars because they think this is all some hilarious joke.
The Director, not quite the calm, tactful gentlemen, runs away...
So a simple question for you...
How does Huxley's portrayal of social condemnation and social pressures have relevancy today?
Are we bred for anything in particular?
Are we conditioned for anything in particular?
Are we controlled by societal pressures?
Journal Response #5
"Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice;
Handlest in thy discourse, O! that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink
Writing their own reproach; to whose seizure
The cygnet's down is harsh" (130).
"On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand, may seize
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin" (130)
The romance is palpable... but what is the matter with John thinking these romantic thoughts?
Bigger picture... what does Shakespeare write about?
Contrast that with what exists in the Brave New World...
Or is this just the Director putting his needs above Bernard's?
The Director resigns immediately. Linda is ostracized, because no one wants to see an overweight older woman. She is popping so much Soma that she will be dead in a month or so... no one cares but John who quotes more Shakespeare... this is living!
But the real story of Chapter 11 is Bernard.
John is young and really good looking, and everyone is interested in him. This makes Bernard all happy, since now everyone goes out of their way to be nice to him, too.
Even Fanny admits that Bernard is a good guy.
With his new found popularity, Bernard's been sleeping with a lot of women lately. Like, one or two girls a day, as he joyfully tells Helmholtz Watson.
Helmholtz is gloomy. Bernard thinks he's jealous, but Helmholtz responds that he's "rather sad." Bernard leaves in a huff and tells himself he'll never speak to his friend again.
So Bernard, who finally has respect and all the sex he can handle, starts to really love this world he once despised. But he still likes to criticize it all the time, because 1) he can, and 2) it makes him feel even more important.
Why the sudden change in Bernard's character?
What is Huxley saying about HIS society and OUR society?
For the most part, John is unimpressed by the Brave New World. His mother is ostracized and left to die in a soma coma and the modern wonders bare no comparison to the world of books that he seems buried in.
Then John visits the assembly line...
He sees dozens of identical (bokanovskified) workers laboring in endless repetition. Because they are of the lower castes (Deltas, Gammas, and Epsilons), many of them are deformed (noseless, dwarfish, etc.). Unable to stand the sight, John runs off to be violently sick... and he utters the lines from Shakespeare's Tempest:
"O brave new world, that has such people in it" (144).
Isn't this what John has been longing for? Why the repulsion?
What is it about the Brave New World that distresses John?
Read page 145.
What does it reveal about Bernard?
What does it reveal about John?
What does it reveal about UTOPIA?
Eton, for us and certainly in Huxley's day, is and would have been one of the most prestigious schools the world.
What does John discover from the best and brightest of the Brave New World?
The Brave New World is?
Lenina and John are set for a delightful evening out. Lenina confesses her desires for him to Fanny, while lamenting that he doesn't seem to be that into her... But, she is excited because tonight could be the night!
They go to the feelies... let's read together: page 152.
The Party is where you meet people...
Bernard holds a party, really it is a petting zoo, for John. He refuses to attend.
Because of this John looses his social status and goes crying back to Helmholtz and
decides that John is to blame for everything!
We discover that Helmholtz has gotten himself into trouble for reading some unorthodox rhymes to his students at the college. But he is excited to have finally found a voice of his own.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
jOHN VS. bERNARD
Bernard is not a voice in the dark... he is after all a true product of the Brave New World. He loves the fame and women and he even relies upon Soma.
John is a product of poetry... he and Helmholtz share more in common than Bernard with either of them...
Conditioning, Romeo & Juliet, John & Lenina
Lenina turns down a date because she is only interested in the savage... or at least finding out what it is like sleeping with one. Because she allows her 'emotions' to get the best of her at work, she fails to administer a vacciantion - which will lead to a death in the future.
Fanny suggests that getting caught up with one man is bad and that if she really needs to experience John, than just TAKE HIM.
She marches over to his place - with the intent of seducing him - but the plan utterly fails and he starts talking about love and marriage.
They get in a fight... she runs to the bathroom... he gets a phone call and leaves.
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD...
What's Really Going on?
Let's make a cool chart on the board...
read page 171 onwards...
S & M
What is HUXLEY saying about it all?
It is trivial to everyone in the BNW
John is enraged by this.
JOHN CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE DEHUMANIZATION OF THE BNW
bye bye Linda
JOHN VS. SOMA
In the hospital vestibule, John encounters two Bokanovsky groups of Delta twins picking up their soma rations after their shift. With bitter irony he recalls the lines, “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world.” With “O brave new world” echoing in his head, John cries out for them to stop taking the soma rations.
He tells them that it is a poison meant to enslave them and asks them to choose freedom.
He starts to throw it out, this causes a riot, which the police fix by spraying SOMA vapour on the crowd.... hmmm irony much?
John starts a riot.
Helmholtz helps John.
FEELINGS, PASSIONS, COMMITMENTS, AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Book in TWO CHAPTERS part 1
The Book in TWO CHAPTERS part 2
This is the End
After John says goodbye to Bernard and Helmholtz, he chooses to seclude himself in an abandoned lighthouse in the wilderness. He plants his own garden and performs rituals of self-punishment to purge himself of the contamination of civilization.
When he awakes the next day, he remembers everything with horror. Having read about the “orgy of atonement” in the papers, a swarm of visitors descends on John’s lighthouse, discovering that he has hanged himself.
One day, some Delta-Minus workers see John whipping himself. The next day, reporters come to interview him. John kicks one reporter and angrily demands they respect his solitude.
This doesn't happen
Instead a frenzy ensues and he is hounded by feelies, Lenina, and "adoring fans" demanding that he whip himself for all to see...
Leaving John to exclaim...
"Oh, my God, my God!" (236)
"Oh, my God, my God!" (236)
Feeling forsaken he commits suicide.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
He then dies on the cross...
What is Huxley's ultimate conclusion about religion?
Jesus dies for humanity's sin.
John commits suicide because he cannot cope with a world of sin...
Is Huxley's Brave New World a Utopia or a Dystopia?
What does it provide vs. What does it take away?
"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask."
James Douglas Morrison
"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."