The novel opens in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning
Centre, in the years A.F., or After Ford. Ford is the God-surrogate, a
corruption of the name Freud, the controversial psychosexual
psychologist. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is leading a
tour group of young students around a lab. He explains the scientific
process by which human beings are fertilized and custom-made, and
shows them the Social Predestination room, where workers create the
social castes. They pass onto the conditioning rooms, where they
reinforce the caste divisions by sleep-teaching.
Lenina confirms with Bernard that she would like to go on a trip with
him to The Savage Reservation. Following her departure, there is more
bitterness on the part of Bernard concerning his own inferiority.
Lenina and Henry eat dinner, go on a soma-holiday, and see a concert
of synthetic music. Later, they have sex. The next day is Bernard
Marx's Solidarity Service Day. A group of men and women sing and take
soma together, and it eventually turns into an "orgy-porgy".
Lenina and Bernard go on a date. He tries to show her the ocean, and
to express some of his subversive views to her, but she cries. She
convinces him to take soma, and they go back to his rooms and have
sex. The next day, when Lenina asks him if he had fun, Bernard is
pained at the way she seems to degrade herself.
He and Lenina go to The Savage Reservation. Lenina shudders at the
unclean conditions. They meet John, The Savage. He tells his story to
Bernard, and it turns out that he is the illegitimate son of the
Director and Linda, a woman who disappeared twenty-five years ago.
John tells Bernard his life story. He fe...
... middle of paper ...
...resented by Shakespeare’s works.
Shakespeare provides the language through which John understands the
world. Through John’s use of Shakespeare, the novel makes contact with
the rich themes explored in plays like The Tempest. It also creates a
stark contrast between the utilitarian simplicity and inane babble of
the World State’s propaganda and the nuanced, elegant verse of a time
“before Ford.” Shakespeare’s plays provide many examples of precisely
the kind of human relations—passionate, intense, and often tragic—that
the World State is committed to eliminating.
The drug soma is a symbol of the use of instant gratification to
control the World State’s populace. It is also a symbol of the
powerful influence of science and technology on society. As a kind of
“sacrament,” it also represents the use of religion to control
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