Book Notes Chapter 2 Notes from Brave New World

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Brave New World Chapter 2

Henry Foster remains in the Decanting Room. The Director and the students pass into the Infant Nurseries and the Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms. They witness an act of conditioning. The nurses lay out bowls, bowls of rose petals, and stacks of books, and then wheel in carts on which are riding identical Delta-class eight-month-old babies. As the babies crawl toward the stimuli, the Head Nurse turns on loud, violent explosions, alarm bells and sirens, and electrifies the floor. The next time the infants see the books and flowers, they associate them with the loud noises and shocks, and turn away in horror. The director is satisfied, for as Huxley writes, "What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder." Chapter 2, pg. 22 The Director is very satisfied with the demonstration and goes on to explain that the love of nature has been systematically destroyed. However, they are conditioned to love country sports, so that they will be effective consumers of sporting equipment.

Topic Tracking: Government 3

The Director tells the story of the young boy Reuben Rabinovitch, who was born to Polish-speaking parents. Polish, the director and the students quickly clarify, is a dead language, as are German and French. They also briefly, and with horror, discuss the idea of the "parent," a concept that no longer exists in the World State, where all children are decanted and raised in the Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre. There is an uncomfortable and embarrassed silence in the room as the Director speaks briefly of what is considered smut in the World Society: he reminds them that the parents were the father and mother. "These," he said gravely, "are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then most historical facts are unpleasant." Chapter 2, pg. 24

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 2
Topic Tracking: Government 4

One night, Reuben's parents accidentally left the radio on at night, and when they woke up in the morning, Reuben could repeat word for a word a lecture which had been broadcast during the night. With this event, the principle of hypnophaedia, or sleep-teaching was discovered. The early experiments attempted to use hypnophaedia to educate intellectuals, but this did not work because intellectual information was too rational to memorize. However, they switched to using hpynophaedia to deliver moral education, which, the Director claims, must never be rational. At this, he takes the students into a room where eighty infants lie sleeping. They are being sleep-taught a lesson called Elementary Class Consciousness. A voice from a loudspeaker is preaching softly and distinctly:

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta." Chapter 2, pg. 27

The lesson will be repeated one hundred and twenty times, three times a week, for thirty months. After that, they will proceed to a more advanced lesson. The Director is very excited about hypnophaedia. He calls it the greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time. In his excitement, he shouts and bangs on the table, waking the children.

Topic Tracking: Inferiority 2
Topic Tracking: Government 5

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