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Brave New World Chapter 12
Transcript of Brave New World Chapter 12
Chapter 12 begins with Bernard knocking on John's door and asking him to come to the party he had been planning. John refuses to come out to the party and this confuses Bernard. Bernard does not understand why John won't come to the party because he has always come before when Bernard had asked. John explains that Bernard should have talked to him first about being the savage appearance at his party before he signed him up for the job. When Bernard announces that the savage (John) will not be coming to the party, the guests at his party get extremely upset. This seemingly horrific news causes Lenina to set into a panic. Just before Bernard had announced the unfortunate news about John, Lenina was going over the ways in which she would tell John about her true feelings for him in her mind.
Brave New World Chapter 12
Chapter Summary cont...
When Lenina hears that John will not be attending the party, she immediately assumes that it is her fault. Lenina believes that John's nonattendance to the party was simply because he does not like her. As the angry guests are leaving, the Arch-Community-Songster tells Bernard that he better mend his ways, and then draws the sign of the T above his head. This causes Bernard to feel completely deflated, and because of this he takes soma. The Arch-Community-Songster then takes off with Lenina. Later on, John exposes Bernard and Helmholtz to the poetry he has been reading, Bernard cuts him off and says it sounds just like the conditioning. Bernard's lack of appreciation though, does not stop Helmholtz from reading the poetry. One day, while listening to John read 'Romeo and Juliet,' Helmholtz begins to laugh uncontrollably at the seriousness of love that Shakespeare portrays in his poetry. Although Helmholtz is conditioned to think otherwise, this is a new, enjoyable form of entertainment.
The T that the Arch-Community-Songster draws over Bernard's head on page 153 represents the equivalency of what a cross would mean in our society today. The people pf the World State worship Ford and his Model T. The T is their cross.
The T that Lenina wears on her bosom (chest), is something similar to what people in this day and age would wear. This represents the conditioning and that Lenina follows the rules and worships their Ford.
When John is reading out poems to Bernard and Helmholtz on page 160, Bernard rudely interrupts John. He claims what John is reading is nothing more than a Solidarity Service Hymn. This angers Helmholtz and he threatens to kick Bernard out.This shows us that Bernard, despite his rebellious side, may still be controlled by the conditioning. This is also dully noted when Bernard gives in and take the soma after all of his party guests leave, disappointed.
Lenina and the Arch-Community-Songster go away alone to "hook up," while the songster is tugging at the necklace on her bosom she breaks a seemingly awkward silence. She then tells him she better take a gramme of soma. This seems uncharacteristic of Lenina, as she has always believed in the everybody owns every motto. This shows the reader that Lenina may be changing her views on relationships, as she has been thinking an awful lot about John.
Lenina's attraction to John is very unusual. At the beginning of the novel when Bernard tried to be a gentlemen to Lenina, she thought he was very odd. Now Lenina desperately wants a relationship with John, and she really wants him to like her. This goes against many of the rules of the World State. This foreshadows some possible rebellion. Lenina seems to love John, which is quite ironic because at the beginning of the novel she could not understand love and compassion, and took soma so she did not have to think about it. Lenina wanting love and a relationship is very ironic because she was the type of person in the beginning of the novel who would never get involved in that type of stuff.
In Brave New World (BNW), we notice similarities about how this alternative future relates back to the events of when it was first written and to the events in our present day. During this chapter John reads Shakespeare to Helmholtz. Helmholtz seems to really take a liking to it, until John reads a passage from Romeo and Juliet. In this passage it talks about how Juliette's parents try to force her to marry Paris, the man she does not love. Helmholtz thinks this is absurd and bursts out laughing, he couldn't imagine how one person could want or expect somebody else to be totally committed to just one person. In our society, being with more than one person intimately is frowned. In the society of the World State though, you are frowned upon to be comitted to only one person. In this aspect of our two completely different societies, they are total polar opposites
1. How do the party guests react when they hear that the savage will not be attending the party?
2. At the end of the chapter, what does Helmholtz say his society needs?
3. What causes Helmholtz to laugh while hearing John read Romeo and Juliet?
4. What advice does the Arch-Community-Songster give to Bernard? What does this mean?
5. What is our view vs. the World State's view on Lenina's relationship with John? Could this relationship cause Lenina to get into trouble with the World State?
6. Lenina wears a T on her bosom, what does this represent? What does this tell us about Lenina?
By: Emily Counahan, Jack Jarlette, Jeremy Walton and Sydney Vajda