Brave New World Study Guide Questions Chapter 1



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Brave New World

Study Guide Questions
Chapter 1

  1. What is the motto of the World State?

  2. In what year is the action taking place?

  3. By what names are the various social castes designated? Briefly explain each caste.

  4. What is Bokanovsky’s Process?

  5. Why are the Alpha and Beta eggs exempted from Bokanovsky’s Process?

  6. The World State has applied mass production to what vital life-procuring processes of biology?

  7. How are the human embryos deliberately conditioned to seek a certain environment?

  8. How are the embryos pre-destined to a certain level of intelligence and social role?

  9. How does Huxley’s opening description of the Fertilizing Room set the stage?


Chapter 2

  1. How are the infants conditioned to hate books and flowers?

  2. Why does the State fear having people read books?

  3. How did love of nature threaten consumption, one of the cornerstone of Utopia?

  4. What is the response of the students when the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning questions them about domestic conditions before the advent of the new order?

  5. What is the name of the deity-type figure recognized by the Utopians?

  6. How was the principle of sleep-teaching, or hypnopaedia, discovered?

  7. Why is the sleep-teaching so helpful to the State as a great moralizing and socializing force?

  8. How are the children from the various social classes stereotyped as to dress?


Chapter 3

  1. Using snatches of conversation between a number of individuals, Huxley devotes this chapter to a verbal montage. What characters are speaking?

  2. What does the conversation between Lenina and Fanny reveal to us about the attitude of the State toward personal relationships between men and women?

  3. What are some of the leisure time activities of Utopian life that are mentioned in this chapter?

  4. How did the disastrous effects of the Nine Years War described by Mustapha Mond help to create Utopia?

  5. According to Mond, the government first tried what technique to establish the World State? Give some examples.

  6. Was the technique successful?

  7. How as the World State finally made secure?

  8. How did the State pacify the people after the destruction of so many of their existing institutions?

  9. What emotional control has the state developed to destroy an individual’s capacity for feeling?


Chapter 4

  1. What very unusual trip does Lenina agree to take with Marx?

  2. What episode in this chapter illustrates the robot-like characteristics of the lower class workers?

  3. What explanation is offered for Bernard Marx’s small physical stature?

  4. What might this situation explain Marx’s bitterness toward the Utopian system?

  5. What bond do Helmholtz Watson and Bernard have?

  6. Why is Watson so frustrated by his ability to write well?


Chapter 5

  1. What example does this chapter offer to show science’s absolute control over man’s existence even to his use after death?

  2. In what way does Lenina’s firm class prejudice show during the discussion in the helicopter?

  3. What institution from the Past does Huxley satirize with his account of a Solidarity Service?


Chapter 6

  1. In what ways are Bernard’s ideas different from those of other inhabitants of Utopia?

  2. What episode from his past does the Director relate to Marx?

  3. In what ways are we reminded that any show of emotion is considered undesirable?

  4. With what punishment is Bernard threatened if he does not conform better to the policies of the State?

  5. What revelation about his own character does Bernard make after he learns he is definitely going to be exiled?

  6. How does Bernard console himself?


Chapter 7

  1. What are some of the conditions of the reservation that shock and horrify Lenina?

  2. How does John differ in appearance and manner from the other members of the reservation?

  3. Why is John eager to take part in the snake dance and suffer the whipping?


Chapter 8

  1. During John’s narrative of his childhood, we see several incidents that illustrate the strength of his character – his bravery and courage. Tell several of these incidents.

  2. From what famous book did John receive most of his education and impressions about the civilized world?

  3. What did John do when he was not allowed to join the Indian boys manhood ceremony?

  4. Despite the fact that Linda was conditioned to regard motherhood as being vile and shameful, there are several instances in this chapter where her behavior departs from this conditioning. Cite some (not just one!).

  5. When John first utters the quotation from Shakespeare that refers to the brave new world that he is at last going to see, what is his mood?

  6. Explain John’s contemplation about death. Does this conflict with the impression we have gained of his strong character? Why or why not? Explain.


Chapter 9

  1. What excuse for bringing John and Linda back to London does Bernard give Mustapha Mond?

  2. Do you as a reader feel these are the real reasons Marx is so anxious to bring John and Linda back from London? Explain.

  3. John’s actions in Lenina’s quarters indicate that she has become an object of worship to him. Mention several of the incidents that establish this idea.


Chapter 10

  1. Why does the Director consider Bernard’s unorthodox behavior as the most serious of crimes?

  2. What dramatic reversal of fortunes take place in this chapter?

  3. What characters are used as pawns in this struggle?

  4. What is the response of the Hatchery personnel to the scene where Linda confronts the Director?


Chapter 11

  1. Why are the people of London more anxious to see John that his mother?

  2. How does Linda react to the return to civilization?

  3. In what manner has the guardianship of John altered Bernard’s opinion of Utopia?

  4. After Marx shows the Savage some examples of the ingenuity of civilization, John again repeats the lines from Shakespeare referring to the brave new world. Describe how he feels as he speaks the lines now in comparison to when he first mentioned them.

  5. Huxley’s satirical account of Lenina and John attending the Feelies spoofs what commercial form of contemporary entertainments?

  6. What explanation of a Savage Reservation re the Utopian children given?


Chapter 12

  1. Lenina has emerged as a character able to accept her environment on its own terms; but despite all of her conditioning, what are her feelings toward John?

  2. Huxley again employs a verbal montage using snatches of conversation. How does this device advance the story here?

  3. Mustapha Mond reminds us of the supreme goal of the Utopian society. What is this goal?

  4. Why must a scholarly and masterful paper presenting a new biological theory be denied publication?

  5. Do you feel Mond has any regrets about his role in the new world order?

  6. Why has Helmholtz gotten into difficulty with the authorites?

  7. Why is the subject of Helmholtz’s rhymes considered so dangerous by the authorities?

  8. What opinions does Helmholtz have regarding Shakespeare’s work?


Chapter 13

  1. How does John want to prove his love for Lenina?

  2. What is Lenina’s reaction when John talks of marriage?

  3. How does the scene between Lenina and John emphasize the great difference between the worlds they represent?

  4. What painful memories from John’s childhood might help to explain his violent response to Lenina’s actions?


Chapter 14

  1. How does Huxley describe the Hospital of the Dying?

  2. What is the significance of Huxley’s description of the Hospital for the Dying?

  3. Why are the people of Utopia able to take death so casually?

  4. What is John’s reaction to Linda’s death?


Chapter 15

  1. Why does the sight of a group of Bokanovsky twins upset John so much?

  2. As he watches the workers, the words from Shakespeare, “O brave new world,” again mock John; but what new interpretation does he suddenly make of this phrase?

  3. Why do you suppose the Savage tries to dissuade the workers from taking their soma ration?

  4. Contrast the actions of Bernard and Helmholtz when they see John being attacked by the mob for throwing out their soma tablets.

  5. How does Helmholtz Watson win the unofficial respect of Mond at the close of their discussion?


Chapter 16

  1. What punishment does the World Controller give Watson and Marx?

  2. What does Mond mean when he indicates that this punishment is really more like a reward?

  3. What episode in this chapter shows the complete disintegration of Bernard Marx’s character?

  4. What does Mond reveal about his own background?

  5. How does Mond justify the existence of a world controlled by science?

  6. Why do you feel Mond chose to abandon his work in pure science and join the Controller’s Council?


Chapter 17

  1. What great sacrifices have the Utopians made for their happiness?

  2. Why don’t the citizens of Utopia have any need for God?

  3. What choices has the new civilization made in preference to God?

  4. In what way would self-denial threaten this industrial civilization?

  5. In the dramatic climax to the novel, John asserts his claim for the right to be unhappy. What does Mond warn John that this right to be unhappy will include?

  6. What is John’s final decision?


Chapter 18

  1. What request does the Savage make of the World Controller?

  2. What action does the Savage take to prevent Mond from continuing the experiment at converting him to Utopian ways?

  3. True to his beliefs, how does the Savage attempt to make himself worthy of the beautiful spot he has found?

  4. In what very ignoble manner does John find himself exploited all over Western Europe?

  5. What event finally drives John to the frenzied use of the whip that the crowd has begged for?

  6. How does John finally succumb to civilization?

  7. Comment on the descriptive power of the novel’s closing paragraph.


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