Brave New World Summary
Brave New World Summary
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The novel, a brave new world is set in England in the year AF 632.
Bernard Marx– is a sleep-learning specialist at the central London hatchery and conditioning center. Bernard is an alpha male with an inferior physical stature and does not fit in.
Helmholtz Watson– he works as a lecturer at the college of emotional engineering. He is well-liked, respected, and very popular. Helmholtz is not content with society and sees it as shallow.
Lenina Crowne– she is a vaccination worker at the central London hatchery and conditioning center. Lenina is very popular, liked, and only dates one person at a time and goes for odd men.
Mustapha Mond– he is a resident world controller of Western Europe. Mustapha was previously a scientist who did illicit research.
Linda– she is john’s mother. Linda lived in an Indian reserve for years after being left for dead.
John the Savage– he was born in an Indian reserve. John is an outcast who goes insane and rebels.
The novel starts in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is leading a tour group of young students around a lab. There are some short interludes between Mustapha Mond, Resident Controller of Europe, and the students; Lenina and her friend Fanny; and Bernard Marx and Henry Foster. 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.
Bernard and Lenina go to The Savage Reservation. Lenina shudders at the unclean conditions. They meet John, The Savage. He narrates 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. Bernard identifies with John and invites him to return to London with them. Bernard triumphantly presents Linda and John, the Director’s lost woman and illegitimate son. The Director is laughed out of office.
Lenina is interested in The Savage, and so she takes him out. The Savage refuses to appear at an assembly which shatters Bernard’s reputation. Lenina is absent-minded, thinking about the Savage. He tells her he loves her and she undresses. Disgusted by the sexual degradation of society, he violently rejects her.
The Savage visits his mother in the Hospital for the Dying. He hears the low-caste workers and several children talking badly about her and reacts violently. Suddenly, Linda wakes, recognizes him, and dies. He attempts to destroy a large supply of soma, causing a riot, and the police take him away, along with Bernard and Helmholtz. The three meet with Mustapha Mond. Mustapha Mond and the Savage speak of religion. Mond says that there is a choice between machinery, scientific medicine, and universal happiness or God.
The Savage flees, planning to become independent. He repents by whipping himself. One day a photographer makes a popular film about The Savage which makes the Savage a celebrity. There is a huge riot which turns into an orgy. The next morning, reporters find that the Savage has hung himself.
- Technological control. Technology controls the reproduction and conditioning of people. Entertainment and soma are made to keep society content.
- Truth and happiness. In order for society to be happy, truth needs to be hidden.