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BRAVE NEW WORLD: FREE ONLINE NOTES / BOOK SUMMARY
This chapter is touching in many ways. John, a product of the reservation, is much more appealing than Bernard has ever been. But because his appearance and background are very different, he is not accepted on the reservation. He has lived in isolation and misery. His intense sincerity, however, offers a refreshing contrast to the superficiality of the Utopians. In contrast, Linda, his mother, is a real mess, a mixture of both the new world and the old. Abandoned on the reservation by the Director, she has never fit in to this society of savages. Holding fast to the ways of the new world, she has casual relationships with men and refuses to follow other rules of the old order; as a result, she is used and ostracized by the people on the reservation. Torn as she is, she cannot even give John what he needs. Her emotions for him run from hot to cold. She cannot understand his savage ways and tries to give him her part of the new world, teaching him to read and explaining the "other" life. John longs to leave the reservation and experience the brave new world. In Bernard and Lenina, he sees his opportunity.
Up until this point, the less attractive aspects of the new world have been presented, including sterility, uniformity, and dictatorial rule. Linda, largely a product of the new world, is unable to operate outside the narrow sphere in which she is trained, indicating the negative aspects of specialization that are really present in today's world. But in this chapter, positive "utopian" features are also presented, including cleanliness, hygiene, absence of disease, discipline, prosperity, and peaceful co-existence. All of these positive features are absent on the Reservation.
The chapter ends on a note of anticipation, both positive and negative.
Bernard has suggested to John that he and his mother return to London
with him; John is delighted with the suggestion and is sure that he will
encounter "beauteous humankind" away from the reservation. The
reader, however, is made to wonder what lies ahead for these characters,
especially John the Savage, in the brave new world. Bernard's words cautioning
against John's high opinion of London and the new world strike a rather
ominous note. Additionally, Bernard's purpose in taking John and Linda
back with him is less than honorable.
This chapter provides a brief interlude before the story returns to the new world. Lenina, exhausted by her strange experiences on the Reservation, takes soma in order to embark on an eighteen hour "lunar eternity"--a state of happy oblivion. Bernard uses this time to fly to Santa Fe, contact the new world, and win the Controller's permission to bring Linda and John back with him as a "scientific interest." Bernard arranges for the necessary papers before flying back to Malpais.
On the reservation, John goes to the rest house and, for a moment, panics
at the thought that the visitors had perhaps returned without him and
his mother. Once inside, he spies Lenina's suitcase and feels relieved.
He reverently examines her things, feeling close to her person. Although
his senses are aroused, there is nothing sensual about his response. He
explores further and comes across the sleeping Lenina. Taking care not
to disturb her, he gazes adoringly at her and recollects Shakespeare's
description of Juliet. He drives out "impure" thoughts about
her, claiming they are outrageous to her "vestal modesty." When
he hears the arrival of a plane, John jumps out of the window and goes
to meet Bernard.
In this chapter the different reactions of Lenina and Bernard to the reservation are depicted. Exhausted by her discoveries, Lenina takes soma and goes into a deep, oblivious eighteen-hour sleep. In contrast, Bernard is a bundle of excitement; he rushes off to Santa Fe to gain permission to bring John and Linda back to London with him. In total hypocrisy, he convinces the controller that it will be in the interest of science to return them to the new world. In truth, he is delighted that he will be able to shame the Director who has insulted him.
During the chapter, John plays the role of a love-struck, romantic hero. As
he touches Lenina's possessions and gazes at her sleeping form, he is
sensitive, chivalrous, idolizing, and idealizing. It is ironic that a
"savage" should be so sensitive and should cherish Lenina's
"purity." His pure motives are an intended and sharp contrast
to Bernard's hypocrisy and cunning, traits not encountered in the old
world. John also takes time to linger and enjoy his emotions. In contrast,
the super-efficiency of the new world is stressed in Huxley's description
of the speed with which Bernard achieves his purpose. Between his landing
on the roof of the Santa Fe post-office and his conversation with the
controller, exactly thirteen minutes elapse (from 10:34 to 10:47).
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