Book Notes Chapter 11 Notes from Brave New World

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Brave New World Chapter 11

London is in an uproar. Everyone wants to see the son of the director. Nobody, however, wants to see Linda, for she is not a real savage, only a mother, which is an obscenity. Her fatness and decayed state makes people feel sick, and she is put on permanent soma-holiday, in amounts so great that the doctor confides to Bernard that it will soon finish her off, shutting down her breathing. John objects, but the doctor tells him it is better than having her screaming mad all the time. So John gives in. Linda lives in a world of soma, with beautiful music, colors, and scent, a paradise without end. The doctor thanks Bernard for the wonderful example of senility.

Bernard is the big man on campus. Once inferior and looked down upon, he now receives gifts and is favored by many women. Even Fanny, Lenina's friend, agrees that Bernard is sweet. His success goes straight to his head. Bernard boasts about his conquests to Helmholtz, and when Helmholtz seems sad, Bernard interprets this as envy, and vows not to talk to him ever again. People talk behind his back, predicting that his fame will come to an end when the uproar ends, and that he will not find another Savage when this one loses its novelty.

He instructs that the Savage be shown all aspects of civilized life, and reports back to Mustapha Mond that the Savage shows little surprise at the civilized inventions. Mond finds his reports patronizing and thinks that Bernard has gone mad to lecture him, the World Controller, on the social order.

Topic Tracking: Inferiority 14

John gets a tour of the Central London Hatchery facilities, similar to the tour the students received. He begins to violently retch. In an interlude, Bernard reports to Mond that the Savage (John) refuses to take soma and is distressed about the state of his mother and the fact that despite her repulsiveness, the Savage still goes to see her, citing this as an example of early conditioning. The Savage is taken to Eton, a private school community reserved for upper-caste boys and girls. Bernard hits on one of the teachers. John learns about freemartins, sterile and genderless members of the upper caste. John sees a film of some of the religious rituals he is familiar with, and asks with pain and bewilderment why all the students are laughing at it. Bernard continues to hit on the Head Mistress. They tell John of Death Conditioning, which begins at eighteen months. Tots spend two mornings a week in the Hospital for the Dying and are given chocolate ice cream, and they learn to take dying as any other process. They show John where they keep the daily soma rations. The containers remind him of a scene from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Topic Tracking: Government 13

Lenina is also experiencing a very gratifying popularity through her association with the spectacle. She has been asked by many clubs and organizations to speak about her fashionable glory, and important men are asking her out. Yet she recognizes that the fame is under false pretenses, because people keep asking her what it is like to make love to a Savage, and she must confess that she does not know. She has a crush on him, and notices him looking at her with desire, but does not understand why he does not make a move.

She takes him to a feely, a movie which is completely interactive, with tactile sensations and smells. It is called THREE WEEKS IN A HELICOPTER. AN ALL-SUPER-SINGING, SYNTHETIC-TALKING, COLOURED, STEREOSCOPIC FEELY. WITH SYNCHRONIZED SCENT-ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT. The Savage is completely bewildered by the fact that he can actually feel the sensations. A couple in the film makes love on a bearskin and he can feel every hair. He can even feel it when a black man falls out of a helicopter onto his head. He tries to woo a Beta blonde, but she is rescued by handsome Alphas and he is sent off for reconditioning. The Savage tells Lenina she ought not to see horrible things like that. She does not understand and thinks it was lovely. On the way home he wonders why he must be so queer and strange and spoil things. He says good night to her with a grimace, and she is stunned when he does not invite himself to go home with her to have sex. He goes back to his room and reads Shakespeare's Othello, which also features a black man. Lenina cries and takes some soma and goes to bed.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 13

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