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How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! A passage in Crome Yellow contains a brief pre-figuring of Brave New World, showing that Huxley had such a future in mind already in In vast state incubators, rows upon rows of gravid bottles will supply the world with the population it requires. The family system will disappear; society, sapped at its very base, will have to find new foundations; and Eros, beautifully and irresponsibly free, will flit like a gay butterfly from flower to flower through a sunlit world.
He wrote in a letter to Mrs. Arthur Goldsmith, an American acquaintance, that he had "been having a little fun pulling the leg of H. Wells", but then he "got caught up in the excitement of [his] own ideas.
Lenina Crowne, a hatchery worker, is popular and sexually desirable, but Bernard Marx, a psychologist, is not. He is shorter in stature than the average member of his high caste, which gives him an inferiority complex.
Courting disaster, Bernard is vocal and arrogant about his criticisms, and his boss contemplates exiling him to Iceland because of his nonconformity. His only friend is Helmholtz Watson, a gifted writer who finds it difficult to use his talents creatively in their pain-free society. Bernard takes a holiday with Lenina outside the World State to a Savage Reservation in New Mexico , in which the two observe natural-born people, disease, the ageing process, other languages, and religious lifestyles for the first time the culture of the village folk resembles the contemporary Native American groups of the region, descendants of the Anasazi , including the Puebloan peoples of Acoma , Laguna and Zuni.
Bernard and Lenina witness a violent public ritual and then encounter Linda, a woman originally from the World State who is living on the reservation with her son John, now a young man.
She, too, visited the reservation on a holiday many years ago, but became separated from her group and was left behind. She did not try to return to the World State, because of her shame at her pregnancy. Linda has taught John to read, although from the only two books in her possession—a scientific manual and the complete works of Shakespeare. Ostracised by the villagers, John is able to articulate his feelings only in terms of Shakespearean drama, quoting often from The Tempest , King Lear , Othello , Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.
Linda now wants to return to London, and John, too, wants to see this "brave new world". Bernard sees an opportunity to thwart plans to exile him, and gets permission to take Linda and John back. On their return to London, John meets the Director and calls him his "father", a vulgarity which causes a roar of laughter. The humiliated Director resigns in shame before he can follow through with exiling Bernard. Bernard, as "custodian" of the "savage" John who is now treated as a celebrity, is fawned on by the highest members of society and revels in attention he once scorned.
Considered hideous and friendless, Linda spends all her time using soma, while John refuses to attend social events organised by Bernard, appalled by what he perceives to be an empty society. She tries to seduce him, but he attacks her, before suddenly being informed that his mother is on her deathbed.
Some children who enter the ward for "death-conditioning" come across as disrespectful to John until he attacks one physically. He then tries to break up a distribution of soma to a lower-caste group, telling them that he is freeing them. Helmholtz and Bernard rush in to stop the ensuing riot, which the police quell by spraying soma vapor into the crowd.
Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all brought before Mustapha Mond, the "Resident World Controller for Western Europe", who tells Bernard and Helmholtz that they are to be exiled to islands for antisocial activity. Bernard pleads for a second chance, but Helmholtz welcomes the opportunity to be a true individual, and chooses the Falkland Islands as his destination, believing that their bad weather will inspire his writing. Mond tells Bernard that exile is actually a reward.
The islands are full of the most interesting people in the world, individuals who did not fit into the social model of the World State. Mond outlines for John the events that led to the present society and his arguments for a caste system and social control. John asks if he may go to the islands as well, but Mond refuses, saying he wishes to see what happens to John next.
Jaded with his new life, John moves to an abandoned hilltop tower, near the village of Puttenham , where he intends to adopt a solitary ascetic lifestyle in order to purify himself of civilization, practising self-flagellation. This soon draws reporters and eventually hundreds of amazed sightseers, hoping to witness his bizarre behaviour; one of them is implied to be Lenina. At the sight of the woman he both adores and loathes, John attacks her with his whip.
Onlookers and journalists who arrive that evening discover John dead, having hanged himself. Although Bernard is an Alpha-Plus the upper class of the society , he is a misfit. Unlike his fellow utopians, Bernard is often angry, resentful, and jealous. At times, he is also cowardly and hypocritical. His conditioning is clearly incomplete. Success goes to his head. Despite his tearful pleas, he is ultimately banished to an island for his non-conformist behaviour. John, the illicit son of the Director and Linda, born and reared on the Savage Reservation "Malpais" after Linda was unwittingly left behind by her errant lover.
John "the Savage" or "Mr. Savage", as he is often called is an outsider both on the Reservation—where the natives still practice marriage, natural birth, family life and religion—and the ostensibly civilised World State, based on principles of stability and happiness. The admonishments of the men of Malpais taught him to regard his mother as a whore; but he cannot grasp that these were the same men who continually sought her out despite their supposedly sacred pledges of monogamy.
Because he is unwanted in Malpais, he accepts the invitation to travel back to London and is initially astonished by the comforts of the World State. However, he remains committed to values that exist only in his poetry. He first spurns Lenina for failing to live up to his Shakespearean ideal and then the entire utopian society: he asserts that its technological wonders and consumerism are poor substitutes for individual freedom, human dignity and personal integrity.
He then ostracizes himself from society and attempts to purify himself of "sin" desire , but is finally unable to do so and hangs himself in despair. He feels unfulfilled writing endless propaganda doggerel, and the stifling conformism and philistinism of the World State make him restive.
Unlike Bernard, he takes his exile in his stride and comes to view it as an opportunity for inspiration in his writing. Lenina is promiscuous and popular but somewhat quirky in her society: she had a four-month relation with Henry Foster, choosing not to have sex with anyone but him for a period of time. She is basically happy and well-conditioned, using soma to suppress unwelcome emotions, as is expected.
Lenina has a date with Bernard, to whom she feels ambivalently attracted, and she goes to the Reservation with him.
On returning to civilization, she tries and fails to seduce John the Savage. John loves and desires Lenina but he is repelled by her forwardness and the prospect of pre-marital sex, rejecting her as an " impudent strumpet ". Lenina visits John at the lighthouse but he attacks her with a whip, unwittingly inciting onlookers to do the same. Her exact fate is left unspecified. Sophisticated and good-natured, Mond is an urbane and hyperintelligent advocate of the World State and its ethos of "Community, Identity, Stability".
Mond argues that art, literature, and scientific freedom must be sacrificed to secure the ultimate utilitarian goal of maximising societal happiness. He defends the caste system, behavioural conditioning, and the lack of personal freedom in the World State: these, he says, are a price worth paying for achieving social stability, the highest social virtue because it leads to lasting happiness.
Fanny voices the conventional values of her caste and society, particularly the importance of promiscuity: she advises Lenina that she should have more than one man in her life because it is unseemly to concentrate on just one. His success with Lenina, and his casual attitude about it, infuriate the jealous Bernard.
She remembers that he is particularly hairy when he takes his clothes off. His plans take an unexpected turn, however, when Bernard returns from the Reservation with Linda see below and John, a child they both realize is actually his. This fact, scandalous and obscene in the World State not because it was extramarital which all sexual acts are but because it was procreative, leads the Director to resign his post in shame. Having been conditioned to the promiscuous social norms of the World State, Linda finds herself at once popular with every man in the pueblo because she is open to all sexual advances and also reviled for the same reason, seen as a whore by the wives of the men who visit her and by the men themselves who come to her nonetheless.
Linda is desperate to return to the World State and to soma, wanting nothing more from her remaining life than comfort until death. He is blond, short, broad-shouldered, and has a booming voice.
He renews his fame by filming the savage, John, in his newest release "The Savage of Surrey". He prescribes a lethal dose of soma to Linda, which will stop her respiratory system from functioning in a span of one to two months, at her own behest but not without protest from John.
Ultimately, they all agree that it is for the best, since denying her this request would cause more trouble for Society and Linda herself. Gaffney, Provost of Eton, an Upper School for high-caste individuals.
Others[ edit ] Freemartins , women who have been deliberately made sterile by exposure to male hormones during fetal development but still physically normal except for "the slightest tendency to grow beards. Although he reinforces the behavior that causes hatred for Linda in Malpais by sleeping with her and bringing her mescal , he still holds the traditional beliefs of his tribe.
He gave Linda a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Mitsima, an elder tribal shaman who also teaches John survival skills such as rudimentary ceramics specifically coil pots , which were traditional to Native American tribes and bow-making. Background figures[ edit ] These are non-fictional and factual characters who lived before the events in this book, but are of note in the novel: Henry Ford , who has become a messianic figure to the World State. It is also strongly implied that citizens of the World State believe Freud and Ford to be the same person.
Wells , "Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov , whose conditioning techniques are used to train infants. William Shakespeare , whose banned works are quoted throughout the novel by John, "the Savage".
Mustapha Mond also knows them because as a World Controller he has access to a selection of books from throughout history, including the Bible. Thomas Robert Malthus , 19th century British economist, believed the people of the Earth would eventually be threatened by their inability to raise enough food to feed the population.
In the novel, the eponymous character devises the contraceptive techniques Malthusian belt that are practiced by women of the World State. John Henry Newman , 19th century Catholic theologian and educator, believed university education the critical element in advancing post-industrial Western civilization. Alfred Mond , British industrialist, financier and politician.
He is the namesake of Mustapha Mond. Aldous Huxley has shown his usual masterly skill in Brave New World. Chesterton explained that Huxley was revolting against the "Age of Utopias".
In the decade following the war the discourse shifted to an examination of the causes of the catastrophe. The works of H. Wells and George Bernard Shaw on the promises of socialism and a World State were then viewed as the ideas of naive optimists. Men like Ford or Mond seemed to many to have solved the social riddle and made capitalism the common good.
But it was not native to us; it went with a buoyant, not to say blatant optimism, which is not our negligent or negative optimism. Much more than Victorian righteousness, or even Victorian self-righteousness, that optimism has driven people into pessimism.
Krasni novi svet