Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Year of Publication: 1932
Setting and Time Period: The book is set in London of 2540 AD in futuristic times and in New Mexico/ or 632 A.F, which is mentioned in Chapter one of the book.
Secondary Characters: Lenina Crowne - A 19 year old labworker at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. She becomes a woman of interest for Bernard Marx and John. Her main way of relating to other people is through sex.
Fanny Crowne- Lenina's friend and co worker who advises Lenina to date other men, which is expected in their caste and society.
Linda - A Beta and John’s mother. At New Mexico Savage Reservation, she became pregnant with the Director’s son.
Henry Foster- The first of many lover's of Lenina who is introduced. He helps give the tour of the Central London Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre.
The Director - The Director leads the tour the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. He has the power to exile Bernard to Iceland. The father of John after impregnating Linda.
Point of view and other notable structural, literary and stylistic techniques:
Point of view- 3rd person omniscent-Huxley tellst he reader everything about every character, even their subconscious thoughts
Style- Huxley tends to delay the revelation of important information. Reader put two and two together and make reasonable assumptions. For example, the orgy porgy scene. The readers do not know what it is until about three quarters into the scene. He also uses preciseness. Huxley is exact in describing his society. Lastly, his writing is satirical, making fun of technology and religion, using his idea of the future to attack the present.
Literary techniques- Symbolism= Soma is also a symbol of a powerful influence of science on a society. To the characters, it is considered a religious symbol, and because of this, it portrays use the area of religion as a means to control society.
Allegory: The idea of Ford as a representation of God
Individual freedom vs. social stability
In order to maintain social stability, the leaders of the “New World” disregarded Individual freedom. Everyone is kept in a caste system and they only associate with people of their own caste or people of a higher caste (Lenina and Fanny were involved with “Alpha” men). Using the Bokanovsky process, the leaders were able to create exact copies of lower caste workers (Epsilons and Deltas). Also due to the “hypnopaedia”, the people of the World State have been conditioned to follow the rules and order that have been given to them. The people of the Savage Reservation have individual freedoms however there is no social stability. Characters of the World State such as Bernard Marx, John, Mustapha Mond and Helmholtz felt there was something more that they needed in their lives more than the World State.
People of the World State weren’t given an option between freedom and stability, however due to the “condition” they would probably choose stability. For example, Linda lived most of her life in the stability of the world state and when she was given the freedom of the Reservation, she wanted to return to stability. Anyone who tried to harm the order of the World State was exiled and sent to an Island where they wouldn’t cause harm.
Bernard Marx- was sent to an island in order to not corrupt the rest of the world state.
John – exiled himself out of civilization and eventually killed himself. The people of the world state provoked John’s suicide by treating him like a wild animal (Savage) and not a human being. This is because they couldn’t phantom why John chose exile over civilization.
Mustapha Mond - was given a choice between his scientific experiments and a position as one of the head of the World State, Mustapha chose the position and soon after became the Head Director.
Helmholtz- chose to go to Iceland instead of a more tropical island so as to aid him in his writing. Exiled.
Happiness vs. Truth
Most of the characters of Brave New World prefer Happiness and Truth. They seem to be (or try to be) oblivious to the truth. To stay happy, the people of the World State use soma to escape from their everyday life. For example, John was told how get the New World was, however when he arrived he became aware of the truth, causing him to lose his happiness. Resolution
John tried to inform the people of the truth in chapter 15. He took all the soma and threw it out, this caused a riot. The people refused to accept the truth. Also by placing himself in exile, John tried to prove a point to the people of the World State; however, they took it as another form of entertainment and drove him to suicide. In the end, happiness overtook truth..
Key scenes (turning points, resolutions, climaxes-- page #'s)
“O Brave New World” (92). This is the scene where Bernard informs John of the fact that he will be taking him allow to the New World. John becomes ecstatic at the fact that he will soon be in the land of his mother, and he will also be able to experience this great world that his mother informed him of. However, soon after John becomes aware of the motive of the World State and it becomes less “wonderful”.
“The strongest suggestion our worser genius can, shall never melt mine honour into lust. Never, never!”(129). John becomes aware that he is in love with Lenina. He tries to woo her with love and romance, yet all that Lenina wants is intercourse. This causes John to become distraught and he violently swings her, Lenina becomes scared and runs into the bathroom. For several minutes John angrily stomped outside the bathroom door but then received a call from the hospital about his mother and leaves to aid her. In later Chapters, John tries to hide his love/hate for Lenina but is unable to. Lenina was a major part of John’s downfall.
“Don’t take that horrible stuff. It’s poison, it’s poison.” (145). John threw the soma rations of the Deltas as a form of protest; this was after the death of his mother. This caused a riot to occur and law enforcement was soon involved. Helmholtz also aided John in his “protest” while Bernard watched. The three were later taken to Mustapha for their “punishment”. This is when John had his conversation with Mustapha about Shakespeare, the past, and what exactly the World State stood for.
“Mr. Savage!” (176). John’s dead body was found hanging from the ceiling in front of the staircase after the “orgy-porgy” that the civilians held at his house the day before. John’s suicide was his way of giving up, he became aware that he would not be able to change a civilization so far in development and he didn’t have the ability to fit in with that civilization.
TURNING POINT: In the end Bernard had to slink back, diminished, to his rooms and inform the impatient assembly that the Savage would not be appearing that evening. The news was received with indignation. The men were furious at having been tricked into behaving politely to this insignificant fellow with the unsavoury reputation and the heretical opinions. The higher their position in the hierarchy, the deeper their resentment.
TURNING POINT: BERNARD BEING LIKED: "I'm so glad," said Lenina. "And now you must admit that you were wrong about Bernard. Don't you think he's really rather sweet?"
Fanny nodded. "And I must say," she said, "I was quite agreeably surprised."
'll teach you; I'll make you be free whether you want to or not." And pushing open a window that looked on to the inner court of the Hospital, he began to throw the little pill-boxes of soma tablets in handfuls out into the area.
For a moment the khaki mob was silent, petrified, at the spectacle of this wanton sacrilege, with amazement and horror.
"He's mad," whispered Bernard, staring with wide open eyes. "They'll kill him. They'll …" A great shout suddenly went up from the mob; a wave of movement drove it menacingly towards the Savage. "Ford help him!" said Bernard, and averted his eyes.
"Ford helps those who help themselves." And with a laugh, actually a laugh of exultation, Helmholtz Watson pushed his way through the crowd.
"Free, free!" the Savage shouted, and with one hand continued to throw the soma into the area while, with the other, he punched the indistinguishable faces of his assailants. "Free!" And suddenly there was Helmholtz at his side–"Good old Helmholtz!"–also punching–"Men at last!"–and in the interval also throwing the poison out by handfuls through the open window. "Yes, men! men!" and there was no more poison left. He picked up the cash-box and showed them its black emptiness. "You're free!"
Howling, the Deltas charged with a redoubled fury.
This is the climax of the book because everything goes downhill after this. Everything built up to this one moment, where Bernard would bet in trouble, and the savage would snap under the pressures of this “Civil” society. The book ends soon after the climax of the riot along with the capture of Helmholtz, Bernard, and the Savage.
TURNING POINT (Bringing Savage to Society):
"I wonder if you'd like to come back to London with us?" he asked, making the first move in a campaign whose strategy he had been secretly elaborating ever since, in the little house, he had realized who the "father" of this young savage must be. "Would you like that?"
The young man's face lit up. "Do you really mean it?"
"Of course; if I can get permission, that is."
"Well …" He hesitated doubtfully. That revolting creature! No, it was impossible. Unless, unless … It suddenly occurred to Bernard that her very revoltingness might prove an enormous asset. "But of course!" he cried, making up for his first hesitations with an excess of noisy cordiality.
This is an important turning point in the novel. Bernard was not planning on bringing back a savage but this opporunitiy was too good to neglect. Taking the savage back to civilization would drastically change Bernards life as well as the direction of the novel.
TURNING POINT (Bernard gaining fame): "I'm so glad," said Lenina. "And now you must admit that you were wrong about Bernard. Don't you think he's really rather sweet?"
Fanny nodded. "And I must say," she said, "I was quite agreeably surprised."
Bernard becomes “famous” which is another turning point. His gain of fame brings him up higher, so he can fall harder. This is a turning point because Bernard changed from the unimportant and stunted man to a very important man.
TURNING POINT (Failure): In the end Bernard had to slink back, diminished, to his rooms and inform the impatient assembly that the Savage would not be appearing that evening. The news was received with indignation. The men were furious at having been tricked into behaving politely to this insignificant fellow with the unsavoury reputation and the heretical opinions. The higher their position in the hierarchy, the deeper their resentment.
Bernard’s fame quickly fell in this one scene. The savage refuses to appear for the party guests, so they become infuriated. They blame Bernard and revert back to treating him like nothing. This giant failure is a massive turning point due to the way it changes Bernard.
TURNING POINT (Mothers Death) Her voice suddenly died into an almost inaudible breathless croaking. Her mouth fell open: she made a desperate effort to fill her lungs with air. But it was as though she had forgotten how to breathe. She tried to cry out–but no sound came; only the terror of her staring eyes revealed what she was suffering. Her hands went to her throat, then clawed at the air–the air she could no longer breathe, the air that, for her, had ceased to exist.
The Savage was on his feet, bent over her. "What is it, Linda? What is it?" His voice was imploring; it was as though he were begging to be reassured.
The look she gave him was charged with an unspeakable terror–with terror and, it seemed to him, reproach.
She tried to raise herself in bed, but fell back on to the pillows. Her face was horribly distorted, her lips blue.
This is a key turning point because it is what truly sets the Savage on edge. He was furious at this new world to start, but not hat he lost his mother, he becomes very angry. This anger creates a turning point because it points him towards starting the riot.
When individuality is banned from a society, the society cannot functionally operate and therefore those who show individuality are shunned or forced to end their life to escape which effectively displays a dystopian society.
When a society values material things and hides the truth from its inhabitants, those who try to discover the truth cannot truly be accepted and therefore happy. These inhabitants are often shunned and may even commit suicide to escape.
Most of the response of the reader centers on the satire and regression of the World State. The audience recognizes the unacceptably early age for sexual activity. This begins to anger the reader. Additionally, the character Lenina is one that personally angered me. As a feminist, her character was extremely frustrating. She represents how they treated women before the fight and gaining of rights. This is symbolic of how the society claims to be progressing, but is actually regressing.
This is exceptionally saddening and gives the reader little hope for the future. At this point, in our lowest time, anything could happen. The reader hopes that the future will be nothing like that of the World State.
Figures of Speech:
Soma is a huge symbol in Brave New World. It is used in religious ceremonies which points out how soma is like religion: it controls people. It also is the symbol of the influence of science on a society.
“Again twelve stanzas. By this time the soma had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles.” (Chp 5)
It is Ironic that John is named “Savage”. He is the most civilized man of them all. He is normal in our eyes. Everyone else who appears to be civilized is actually savage
Foil Characters: Lenina/John, Bernard/Helmholtz
Dystopian Society: Flaws, doomed to fail
Happiness vs. Truth
Lack of individuality in a society