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The description of the Fertilizing Room is the first paragraph of the novel. The vivid imagery creates a futuristic atmosphere that focuses on the dependence of technology to control human life. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.
The continued description of the Fertilizing Room utilizes the simile to create a perfect image in the reader’s head. The cloning process is made to seem like a very smooth task. And in effect, the sultry darkness into which the students now followed him was visible and crimson, like the darkness of closed eyes on a summer’s afternoon.
The image of the children following the director demonstrates how the government controls the people with such ease. Even though the children cannot clearly see what is happening, they continue to do what they are told. He pointed upwards. Like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling.
The children are depicted as brainless in the scene. They are compared to chickens, animals that are usually genetically modified. “And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.” This quote relates to the fact that the government controls a person’s place in society and they make them enjoy it. The quote helps develop the theme that false happiness is created when people are forced to conform to certain ideologies.
And home was as squalid psychically as physically. Psychically, it was a rabbit hole, a midden, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life, reeking with emotion. What suffocating intimacies, what dangerous, insane, obscene relationships between the members of the family group! Mustapha refers to family, love, and “home” as a restriction on previous life. He makes the children believe that life before “everyone belongs to everyone” was ridiculous.
The government constantly drills information into the children’s mind to make them think that the World State knows best. Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy.
What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? In the quote above, the director is speaking about life outside of the World State. He says that disease and isolation create wicked creatures. He also that person in the pre-modern world was not “conditioned to obey,” which is a huge theme in the World State.
“Now-such is progress-the old men work, the old men copulate, the old men have no time, no leisure from pleasure, not a moment to sit down and think- or if ever by some unlucky chance such a crevice of time should yawn in the solid substance of their distractions, there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a weekend, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon; returning whence they find themselves on the other side of the crevice, safe on the solid ground of daily labour and distraction, scampering from feely to feely, from girl to pneumatic girl, from Electromagnetic Golf course to .”
Soma symbolizes false happiness. It creates an immediate happiness that wears off in a short period of time. The drug is yet another technological advancement the World State uses to control its people. And waving her hand she ran away across the wide flat roof towards the hangars. Bernard stood watching the retreating twinkle of the white stockings, the sunburnt knees vivaciously bending and unbending again, again, and the softer rolling of those well-fitted corduroy shorts beneath the bottle green jacket.
This vision of Lenina shows Bernard’s intimate feelings towards her. It further develops Bernard’s character by demonstrating that he has real feelings, which are considered wicked in the World State. Just one more reason to call him an outsider. Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon to get an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men who moved through the caste system as a fish through water-so utterly at home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent and comfortable element in which they had their being. o Simile and Characterization (65)o Bernard envies men that find life easy, men that are not considered to be outsiders. This quote helps develop a character for Bernard that lacks confidence. Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
Comparing words to X-rays makes the use of language have extreme importance. This quote may be foreshadowing a rebellion by Helmholtz or at least an event where he speaks out against the World State. The forest of Burnham Beeches stretched like a great pool of darkness towards the bright shore of the western sky. Crimson at the horizon, the last of the sunset faded, through orange, upwards into yellow and a pale watery green. Northwards, beyond and above the trees, the Internal and External Secretions factory glared with a fierce electric brilliance from every window of its twenty stories.
Through the description of the World State, an eerie atmosphere is created. The great pool of darkness and fierce electric brilliance paint both an amazing and harsh image. “I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly,” she repeated and smiled, for all the puzzled anxiety in her eyes, with what was meant to be an inviting and voluptuous cajolery.
Lenina expresses that she cannot understand why someone like Bernard wouldn’t be satisfied with the World State. Lenina does not find fault in the government, and she thinks it is absurd that Bernard would question the World State. Lenina symbolizes everyone who is afraid to develop their own sense of individuality, in the novel and in modern time. She is just like the average person subjected to government control who does not know how to stand up for herself.
Lenina uses soma to describe the technological advantages of false happiness. Often in the past, he had wondered what it would be like to be subjected (soma- less and with nothing but his own inward resources to rely on) to some great trial, some pain, some persecution; he had even longed for affliction. Bernard longs for something more than the World State can offer. He wants to know what it is like to feel, to even have pain. However, he cannot because the government will not allow such behavior. She felt in her pocket for her soma-only to discover that, by some unprecedented oversight, she had left the bottle down at the rest house. Bernard’s pockets were also empty.
Soma is a mental technology that helps develop the theme that people can be controlled through the innovation of technology. Soma is the clearest demonstration of mind control in the novel. The strange words rolled through his mind; rumbled, like talking thunder; like the drums at the summer dances, if the drums could have spoken; like the men singing the Corn Song, beautiful, beautiful, so that you cried; like old Mitsima saying magic over his feathers and his carved sticks and his bits of bone and stone-kiathla tsilu silokwe silokwe silokwe.
The quote above is John’s reactions to the first page he opens to in Linda’s little book. He doesn’t really understand the language, but the words are so powerful that he is intrigued. It is similar to Helmholtz’s quote about words being like X-rays. Kiai silu silu, tsithl-but better than Mitsima’s magic, because it meant more, because it talked to him, talked wonderfully and only half-understandably, a terrible beautiful magic, about Linda; about Linda lying there snoring, with the empty cup on the floor beside the bed; about Linda and Popé, Linda and Popé.
The paradox, a terrible beautiful magic, describes Linda. She is both a blessing and a curse in John’s life. Although he loves his mother, she beats him and makes him a victim in the Savage Reservation. She is a curse because she is from the World State, but John loves her as his mother. The bruises hurt him, the cuts were still bleeding, but it was not for the pain that he sobbed; it was because he was all alone because he had been driven out, alone, into this skeleton world of rocks and moonlight.
John is very similar to Bernard in the way that they both feel alone and excluded from their societies. They are both outsiders and they view the world as empty. There, on a low bed, the sheet flung back, dressed in a pair of pink one-piece zip pyjamas, lay Lenina, fast asleep and so beautiful in the midst of her curls, so touchingly childish with her pink toes and her grave sleeping face, so trustful in the helplessness of her limp hands and melted limbs, that the tears came to his eyes. The vivid description of Lenina implies that John really does love her. He thinks that she is so beautiful that tears the tears came to his eyes.
Lenina wonders if John even likes her because he denies her, but in this scene his affection is overwhelming, he just does not know how to show it. “He has proved himself an enemy of Society, a subverter, ladies, and gentlemen, of all Order and Stability, a conspirator against Civilization itself. For this reason I propose to dismiss him, to dismiss him with ignominy from the post he has held in this Centre; I propose forthwith to apply for his transference to a Subcentre of the lowest order and, that his punishment may serve the best interest of Society, as far as possible removed from any important Centre of population.
The Director proposes to dismiss Bernard for defying the rules of the World State. However, he himself has broken one of the most vital rules of society. The Director later resigns because of his impudent deed, but he was chastising Bernard for a minor infraction. Soma played none of these unpleasant tricks. The holiday it gave was perfect and, if the morning after was disagreeable, it was so, not intrinsically, but only by comparison with the joys of the holiday. The remedy was to make the holiday continuous. Greedily she clamored for ever larger, ever more frequent doses. Dr. Shaw at first demurred; then let her have what she wanted. She took as much as twenty grams a day.
Linda worships soma to make her feel better, but soma is what eventually kills her. She describes the holidays as a continuous remedy, but it only creates a false happiness that leads to her destruction. Pierced by every word that was spoken, the tight balloon of Bernard’s happy self-confidence was leaking from a thousand wounds.
Bernard is untouchable once he returns to the World State with John. However, as soon as John stops participating in his glory, Bernard is considered a phony. The citizens refer to his birth defeats once again, and his praise comes to an end. What should have been the crowning moment of Bernard’s whole career had turned out to be the moment of his greatest humiliation. Bernard expects to become even more famous once John attends his party.
However, John refuses and Bernard comes nothing again. He was expecting a crowning moment, but instead, he is denoted by society. “The author’s mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published.” He underlined the words. “The author will be kept under supervision. His transference to the Marine Biological Station of St. Helena may become necessary.”
Mustapha Mond controls everything that comes in and out of the World State. He does not allow for citizens to access the great works of science, religion, and history, but he has unlimited access to these types of novels. Mustapha Mond is the only person who is allowed to disobey the rules, yet he created them. But instead of also saying “Darling!” and holding out his arms, the Savage retreated in terror, flapping his hands at her as though he were trying to scare away some intruding and dangerous animal. Four backward steps and he was brought to bay against the wall.
John is repulsed by Lenin’s sexual behavior. He strongly disagrees with sex before marriage, and he cannot fathom that Lenina would try to pursue him. The ideology that “everyone belongs to everyone” is against John’s morals. However, John regrets denying Lenina, and this situation is a leading factor in his suicide. A, B, C, vitamin D:The fat’s in the liver, the codes in the sea. o Repetition and Motif (201, 203, 204)o As Linda is dying, John, repeats the sleep-conditioning phrase that his mother so often referred to in his childhood.
The citizens of the World State are conditioned to accept this phrase so they do not fear, or even believe in illness. By conditioning the citizens, there is no room for them to be unhappy. The Savage stood looking on. “O brave new world, O brave new world.” In his mind, the singing words seemed to change their tone. They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision!
Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare. Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. “O brave new world!” Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibility of transforming even the nightmare into something fine and noble. “O brave new world!” It was a challenge, a command.
John references Shakespeare’s Tempest immensely throughout the novel. In the Tempest, Miranda was excited to see civilization as John was. However, they both experience a corrupt form of society and wish to go back t their old lives. John uses this allusion to exemplify the nightmare of the World State he ironically encounters. “Don’t you want to be free and men? Don’t you even understand what manhood and freedom are?”
John questions why the civilians of the World State accept being imprisoned. However, they people cannot see that they are not free. John believes that if one is not able to make their own decisions, they are not free. Unlike the World State citizens, John can recognize the difference between a free body and a free spirit. “The optimum population,” said Mustapha Mond, “is modeled on the iceberg- eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above.”
Mustapha Mond describes the structure of the World State as the iceberg metaphor. He tells John that the majority of reason and law is made underneath the surface, and the citizens should be kept from knowing what is happening—for their safety, of course. Happiness is a hard master-particularly other people’s happiness. A much harder master, if one isn’t conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.
Mustapha Mond believes that happiness can only come stability, which is created through one belief system. In order to keep the citizens happy, the government conditions all the people to think and act one certain way. Mustapha Mond urges that the truth is inadequate compared to universal happiness, even if it is a sense of false happiness.
Christianity without tears-that’s what soma is. Mustapha Mond tells John that soma can solve all the world’s problems, something that religion cannot do. John, on the other hand, argues that he would rather experience something real, like God and sin. The World State replaces religion with soma so that it can develop happiness and disregard the malicious truths of the world. “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
At the end of John and Mustapha Mond’s meeting, John declares that he would rather experience something real, than the false happiness that Mustapha Mond offers. John wants the choice to be happy; he does not want to be forced to be happy. John recognizes all the citizens who suffer imprisonment of the mind, and he does not want to become part of that confinement. There, on a low bed, the sheet flung back, dressed in a pair of pink one-piece zip pyjamas, lay Lenina, fast asleep and so beautiful in the midst of her curls, so touchingly childish with her pink toes and her grave sleeping face, so trustful in the helplessness of her limp hands and melted limbs, that the tears came to his eyes.
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