Notes on Objects & Places from Brave New World

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Brave New World Objects/Places

Bokanovsky's Process: Basically, this process involves letting the egg 'bud' and creates up to ninety-six embryos from each bud, each of which will grow into a human being. The Director calls the Bokanovsky process 'one of the major instruments of social stability.'

Soma: Soma is the drug that people take in half-gramme tablets to get away from it all. It produces a joyful effect in which all bad things are simply whisked away. It is on hand at all times. For most of their lives, the citizens of the Brave New World are doped up. John, or the Savage, is pretty much the only one in the book who has never taken soma. The creation and introduction of soma is as such: Two thousand pharmacologists and bio-chemists were subsidized in A.F. 178, and six years later, it was being produced commercially.

Orgy-Porgy: A meeting of about a dozen men and women where they pass 'the loving cup' of strawberry ice cream spiked with soma, sing Solidarity anthems, see Ford, and have sex. Bernard goes to one of these orgy-porgies. At the end of the novel, it is, for a good part, the orgy-porgy that occurs outside of the Savage’s refuge that drives him to his suicide.

Violent Passion Surrogate: Once a month, people are required to go to the conditioning centre to have their systems flooded with adrenaline, which provides them with their ration of fear and rage, without actually having to act on any of it.

Hypnopaedia: Hypnophaedia is sleep-teaching. We first see this in the Director’s tour. It is a series of repeated sayings used to teach children everything from their place in society to clever little sayings and proverbs. Basically, it is a form of thought control, or the imposing of a mind-script. While the children at the Central London Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre are napping, these 'lessons' are played time and time again, thousands of times between the ages of three and sixteen.

Feelies: These are the popular films. Filmgoers sit in special chairs that allow them to feel, and to interact, with the movie. The plots are simple, and often involve sex. Lenina takes The Savage to one of these feelies. She enjoys it very much, but he is horrified.

Sexual Hormone Chewing Gum: This is chewed by men, for instance, Bernard, to attract women. Benito Hoover gives him several packs to congratulate him on his achievement with the Savage.

The Savage Reservation, aka Malpais: The Savage Reservation, or Malpais: The Savage Reservation, or Malpais, is filled with sixty thousand Indians and half-breeds, where things considered abominations, such as marriage, religion, disease, and wild animals still exist. The Reservation is in New Mexico. Malpais means 'bad country' in Spanish.

Slough Crematorium: Lenina and Henry Foster fly over this building on their way to the concert. In the crematorium, the gases produced are treated and ninety-eight percent of the phosphorous is removed for further use. Phosphorus is then used for fertilizer. Henry comments that it is a fine achievement that people can continue being socially useful even after they’re dead.

Synthetic Music: This music comes out of speakers and has a calming effect. It is used at feelies, which are popular sensory movies.

Solidarity Service Day: This is an act compulsory for high-caste people. They gather together for soma and an orgy, aka orgy-porgy.

The Loving Cup: The Loving Cup is passed around at the compulsory Solidarity Service Day orgy, aka orgy-porgy, which Bernard attends. It is filled with strawberry ice cream, spiked with soma.

Central London Hatching and Conditioning Center: This is the building where the embryos are created and conditioned.

Alpha: Alpha is the highest caste in the caste system. Alphas have the highest level of intelligence and attractiveness.

Epsilon: Epsilon is the lowest caste in the caste system. They possess little to no human intelligence, and they are used only as workers.

Soma-Holiday: A soma-holiday refers to the drugged state one enters after taking a large dose of soma, a drug which is widespread and commonplace, used for relaxation and to maintain social stability.

The Other Place: Linda refers to the world outside Malpais, the Savage Reservation, as the Other Place.

Hospital for the Dying: All aging and dying people are sent to this hospital so that others in society will not be exposed to anything but eternal youth and vitality. Linda, the mother of The Savage, is put on permanent soma-holiday and sent to the Hospital for the Dying. Due to the time she spent lost at the Savage Reservation, she aged, a phenomenon unknown outside the reservation.

Death Conditioning: Children are brought to the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying and given chocolate ice cream as part of their Death Conditioning, in which they learn to accept death as a part of life.

Delta workers: These dozens of identical twins, dressed in mandatory khaki, are only one step up from the bottom caste, Epsilons. They staff the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying.

Lighthouse: The Savage exiles himself to the lighthouse after his mother Linda dies. He plans to garden there and start anew, away from the World State, a society he rejects. Once there, some low-caste people spy on him, and alert reporters to his unfamiliar lifestyle. Much to his dismay, he becomes a public sensation and this spurs an orgy/riot outside the lighthouse. Following this, The Savage hangs himself in the lighthouse and several reporters discover him.

The Feely Corporation: This company produces the 'feelie' films, which are so popular in the World State. Feelies are the popular films. Filmgoers sit in special chairs that allow them to feel, and to interact, with the movie. The plots are simple, and often involve sex. Lenina takes The Savage to one of these feelies. She enjoys it very much, but he is horrified.

Decanting: Decanting takes the place of live birth, which no longer exists in the World State. In the World State, human beings do not reproduce in the traditional way, that is, through sex. Instead, there is a complicated scientific process that resembles that of a test-tube baby, involving extracted ovaries and the close monitoring and control of the end product. It is a scientific process described in great detail by the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning in the first chapter. There no longer exists such a thing as a live (viviparous) birth; in fact, the students are horrified even to recall that such a thing once existed. Human beings do not say that they were 'born'; they say that they were 'decanted'.

Alpha Plus Intellectuals: This is the top-ranking social caste in the novel. Bernard Marx is an alpha-plus intellectual, as is Helmholtz Watson.

Pregnancy Substitute: Since there is no live birth or pregnancy, only decanting, it is suggested that women take a pregnancy substitute, which lasts several months. The procedure is not described in detail. It is compulsory at age twenty-one, but some women have it as early as seventeen.

Ectogenesis: This is the scientific process of the breaking up, or budding, of the egg, which is done at the Central London Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre.

Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning: The process of raising a person in the World State includes this procedure, done with young babies while they are being brought up in the Hatchery and Conditioning Centres. Nurses supervise the linking of objects with positive or negative feelings and conditions. For example, in Chapter 2, to keep Deltas away from books and flowers, the babies are exposed to a combination of these two things along with electric shocks and sirens and alarms. The infants therefore associate the unpleasant noises and feelings with the books and flowers, and do not like these objects anymore.

Malthusian Belt/Thomas Malthus: Lenina Crowne and other high-caste women wear these belts. They are fashionable (Lenina’s is green and fancy) and on these belts, they carry their contraception at all times. Malthus was an eighteenth century writer who, put most simply, discussed the problematic nature of unchecked population growth when combined with other factors, such as the inability of food production to keep up with the demand for food.

Sigmund Freud: Sigmund Freud was an Austrian-born psychologist. He is considered the father of modern psychology. He is famous and controversial for his psycho-sexual theories, which often involve family dynamics, including the Oedipus Complex.

motto: The motto of the World State is: 'Community, Identity, Stability'

Social Predestination Room: It is in this room that the embryos are treated in scientific ways so that they will become members of the caste system.

Freemartins: These are the embryos that are created genderless.

Caste System: The people of the World State are all part of a rigid caste system. It goes, in descending order, Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons.

Beta: This is the second-highest caste in the caste system. Betas possess human intelligence, though not as much as Alphas or Alpha Plus Intellectuals.

Delta: Delta is the fourth caste in the system, outranking only the sub-human Epsilon caste. The Deltas are used mainly as workers.

Ivan Pavlov: Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) was a Russian-born behavioral psychologist who developed the idea of conditioning. He worked with dogs, teaching them to associate the sound of a ringing bell with the appearance of meat. The meat made the dogs salivate. Eventually, the very sound of the bell, even when unaccompanied by the reward of meat, elicited the conditioned response, salivation.

A.F.: This refers to After Ford, or the years after the death of the figure of Ford. Ford is the surrogate, and surrogate word, for God in the new civilization. People say things like 'Oh, Ford!' and 'Fordey!' The new sign, replacing the cross, is a T, or a cross with the top chopped off, which alludes to the Model T, the first Ford (as in the motor vehicle company) car. 'Ford' is also a corruption of the word Freud, otherwise known as the last name of the psychologist Sigmund Freud, whose psycho-sexual theories, many of which involve family dynamics, are controversial. Mustapha Mond explains that Ford, or Freud, as he used to call himself when speaking of psychological matters, was the first to reveal the perversion, misery, and dangers of family life.

Malthus: Thomas Robert Malthus was a eighteenth-century writer whose An Essay on the Principle of Population was published in 1798. It has two postulates: that food is necessary for the existence of man, and that passion between the sexes is necessary and will persist. Therefore, an unchecked population is problematic when combined with the inability of food production to keep up with population growth.

fordship: A title of authority; named after the great Ford (Freund).

Centrifugal bumble-puppy: This is a game that children play. It involves a steel ring and a ball.

Stoke Poges Club: Lenina and Henry go to this club to dance to synthetic music by Calvin Stokes and His Sixteen Sexophonists.

Obstacle Golf: This is one of the many games which the people of the World State play.

Bottled: This is the slang term for people who have taken soma.

Fordson Community Singery: This is where Bernard goes for the orgy-porgy

Mescal: Mescal is a hallucinogenic. Linda, the mother of the Savage, takes it in mass quantities because it takes her away from her life at the Savage Reservation, Malpais, and because it has a similar effect to soma. Pope, her Indian lover, brings it to her in liquid form in a gourd.

Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Savage reads this while still at the Reservation, Malpais. He continually makes references, including full quotes, to Shakespeare plays, when feeling strong emotions. For instance, he recites part of Romeo's speech describing Juliet when he is looking at Lenina, and he recites part of Hamlet's speech, when he tries to kill his mother's lover, Pope. The Savage is excited to find out that World Controller Mustapha Mond is also familiar with Shakespeare.

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