Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Name ________________________
Don’t worry; not every chapter will be this detailed....
Numbers in parenthesis refer to page numbers to be referenced.
1. Give your description of a utopia. How would people treat one another? What would we have to add to our society? What would we have to do away with?
2. What is the world state’s motto? (1)
3. What is the purpose of the building being described in this chapter?
4. Why is “Bokanovsky’s process” one of the “major instruments of social stability”? (7)
5. Why does the director say that through “Bokanovsky’s process”“the whole problem would be solved”? To which problem is he referring? (7)
6. Who seems to be more important - Alphas and Betas or Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons? How do you know this?
7. What is the purpose of the process to which embryos are exposed? (pp. 9-17).
8. What are “freemartins”? (13)
9. How would you entitle this chapter?
10. What kind of narrator is being used in this novel?
11. What is the purpose of the first few chapters?
12. What is the point of the babies’ exposure to books and flowers? (21)
13. Why is the boy so embarrassed when speaking of parents? What “smut” is being discussed? (23)
14. Who is “Our Ford”? (22) What is the sign of the T? (25) What is the metaphor?
15. How is “moral education” administered? (24-26)
16. Explain “Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational.” (26)
17. What are the children being taught about their social class? (27)
20. What is the purpose of not allowing games that don’t need a lot of equipment? (31)
21. What kind of game are the children playing? (31)
22. What is the “amazing truth” that the director reveals? (32)
23. Who is Mustapha Mond? (33)
24. Why would Our Ford say” History is bunk.”? (Consider Mustapha Mond’s use of the word “whisk.” What might history (and literature for that matter! ) offer that this society would be afraid of?) Why would bibles and poetry be forbidden? (34 -35)
25. Identify each of the following: Bernard Marx, Henry Foster, Lenina Crowe.
26. This section is switching scenes - How is home described? (37)
27. Who else do we discover that the title “Our Ford” refers to? How could they live with this confusion? Why do you think Huxley throws this in at this point? (39)
28. Why is Lenina embarrassed? (40)
29. Why is motherhood and monogamy and romance discouraged? (41)
30. Focus on Mustapha Mond’s explanation. What is the purpose of this social engineering? Why must we be deterred from every human instinct? (42)
31. Look at the following two paragraphs. How do they reinforce the previous one? (42)
32. When we hear “Ford’s in his flivver, and all’s right with the world,” What literary device is Huxley reinforcing? (44)
33. What is the relationship between Henry Foster and Lenina Crowe? (44-45)
34. What do you learn about Bernard Marx? (44-46) Consider: What Fanny says: what Lenina says, what Bernard says and does (especially,” degrading her to so much mutton.”) (44-46)
35. What do you learn about Lenina?
Why is she challenging to Fanny and ends up apologizing for her behavior? (44- 48)
36. What are the epigrams on page 49 meant to relate?
What are you supposed to understand about the ultimate meaning of life in this society?
37. What is the purpose of Lenina’s belt? (50)
38. What do the characters say has “all of the advantages of Christianity and alcohol but none of their defects”? (54) In what way is that true?
39. Why do they say “a gramme is better than a damn.”? (55)
40. Point out some things that are unusual (to us, not to the residents of this new world) about the way that Lenina and Bernard relate. (57-60)
41. In what ways does Lenina seem to be an average woman of her society? In what ways isn’t she? (57-63)
42. How does Bernard feel about his physical appearance? What conclusions can you draw from this? (64-65)
43. What is the basis for the friendship between Bernard and Helmholtz? (67)
44. What do you think Helmholtz really feels he is missing? (69-70)
45. From what is phosphorous being produced?
46. Where is Bernard going?
47. What is this experience meant to replace? (79-85)
48. Make reference to at least two descriptions of this ceremony that reinforce the metaphor.
49. What odd desire does Bernard express? (89)
50. What do you think Bernard is looking for in Lenina, and why is this so disturbing to her?
51. How would you explain Huxley’s idea of what it means to be human and how has this society removed that humanity? (87-95)
52. What story does the director recount about his experience on the savage reservation?
53. Why does he seem to feel guilty about it? (97-98)
54. What details do we learn about the savage reservation? (100— 103)
55. Why would Huxley include the detail about Bernard’s leaving his tap on? What does Bernard discover?
56. Name some of the things that shock and disgust Lenina when she arrives at the savage reservation. (107-112)
57. What is the young man’s concern? (117)
58. How would you characterize Linda?
59. Why do the village women hate her?
60. Who is John’s father? (120- 121)
60. When is the action on these pages taking place? (124- 130) _____________
61. What stories does Linda tell John? (129) What does she teach John? (130)
62. What book does he get as a gift? (132) -
63. In what way does this shape his thinking?
64. Why do the words of his book move John so deeply? (133-134)
65. Why don’t the men allow John to participate in their ceremony? (137-138)
66. Why does Bernard invite the savage and Linda to return with them? (140-141)
69. How does this chapter help to advance the plot of the novel? (For example, what feelings of John’s does it reveal and how does that contrast with what you know about Lenina?)
70. Enumerate, according to the director, Bernard’s sins. Since this is a satire what does this tell you about what Huxley is criticizing in society? (151)
7 1. How does this chapter help to advance the plot of the novel?
72. How does the fact that he “has” the savage affect people’s opinion of Bernard. How does this, in turn, affect Bernard’s behavior and opinion of himself - that is, how does Bernard begin to change? (158-159)
73. What does Bernard point out that the savage believes in? (161) In what way may this be related to his “violent retching”? (163) How may this be significant for the current controversy about cloning human beings? What would Huxley say about that?
74. What kind of things are the children at Eton taught to find humorous or pleasant? Why?
75. How is Bernard continuing to change? (165-167) (Find at least two examples)
76. Why is Lenina so confused about the savage’s response to her? (168-169)
77. What does Lenina seem to be thinking about after the feely? Why does the savage react so differently? (172 - 174)
78. Why does the savage refuse to come to the party?
79. Why is Lenina so upset?
80. How does this change Bernard’s status? (175-180)
81. Really focus here. What is so threatening that Mustapha Mond underlines twice it is not to be published, so threatening that even he admits it maybe true? (180-18 1) How does this contrast with Shakespeare’s words on the next page?
82. What is the basis for the friendship between the savage and Helmholtz? Why is Helmholtz brought to laughter over the scenes from Romeo and Juliet that the savage reads? (1 84-189) What is it that Helmholtz is looking for but unable to recognize?
83. Poor Lenina! What’s ailing her? (190-192)
84. Contrast Lenina’s idea of “love” and John’s. (190 - 200)
85. What other kind of love does John display?
86. How does Bernard’s conflict exemplify the theme of the novel? (220)
87. What does Mustapha Mond have in common with John? (224-226)
88. Why would people not understand Shakespeare even if they were allowed to read it? What element of human life does this imply is missing and essential for drama? (230
89. Why is science considered dangerous?
90. What does the controller admit about God? (240)
91. What are the controller and John arguing about in this chapter? What point of view does each represent. (be specific)
92. Why does John say he “ate civilization”?
93. What do you think of the ending? Was this end inevitable or could it have worked out some other way?
94. Would you now revise your description of utopia? How?
Questions for further discussion:
95. How are some of Huxley’s predictions drawing closer to reality? Consider. megacorporations and mega-govemments running things; technology replacing human contact; virtual reality replacing real experiences.
96. How does the fact that cloning and genetic manipulation are now almost reality change what it means to be human? Does it or doesn’t it? In the light of this novel, do you think that cloning is something we should pursue? Do you think that the picture that Huxley paints is necessarily the truth or just a possibility? What conditions would make it true or not?
97. The motto of the World State is “Community, Identity, Stability.” What motto might characterize contemporary American society?
99. Research some of Brave New World’s allusions and explain what they add to the novel’s themes: The historical names borne by many characters: Marx, Lenina (Lenin), Bonito Hoover, Diesel, Engels, Bokanovsky, Bakunin, Darwin, Bonaparte; New Mexico, the mesa city of Acoma, the Zuni people, the Penitentes cult; allusions to Shakespeare’s works in novel’s title and in the body of the work.
99. Do you think this book is okay, good, or great? Why?