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Chapter 3 Notes from Brave New World

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Brave New World Chapter 3

The tour proceeds outdoors. Outside in the playground, six or seven hundred naked children are running around. They play a game called Centrifugal Bumble-puppy, which involves a chrome steel tower and a rolling ball. It is a complicated game. The director points to a boy and a girl engaging in a sexual game. A nurse passes by with a howling little boy-he had seemed reluctant to engage in erotic play, so she is taking him to the Assistant Superintendent of Psychology. The Director tells the students an incredible story: before the time of Our Ford, erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal and suppressed. The students are shocked to learn that in the time before Ford, erotic play was forbidden as children, adolescents, and at times all the way up until the people were over twenty years old.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 3

A deep voice suddenly breaks in, saying that the results were terrible. The voice belongs to his fordship Mr. Mustapha Mond, the Resident Controller for Western Europe. At this moment, the four thousand electric clocks at the Centre strike four. Henry Foster and the Assistant Director of Predestination purposefully turn their backs in the elevator to snub a man named Bernard Marx of the Psychology Department. He is described as having an "unsavoury reputation." Chapter 3, pg. 34.

Topic Tracking: Inferiority 3

The students are awed by the presence of Mustapha Mond. He is one of the Ten World Controllers. He shares with the students: "You all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's: History is bunk." Chapter 3, pg. 34 History has been wiped away like dust; all forms of past culture, even the memories of Ancient Greece and Rome, Jerusalem, Shakespeare, and Odysseus have been eliminated. The Director is nervous and confused to leave the students in the hands of Mond because he has heard rumors that the Controller has forbidden books like poetry and Bibles in his office.

Topic tracking: Government 6

As the work day ends, the rest of this chapter describes short interludes between Mustapha Mond and the students, Lenina and her friend Fanny, and Bernard Marx and Henry Ford. It is important to note that the lines of dialogue are like a collage, alternating without notice between the three conversations, and that the lines become shorter and shorter until they are not even attributed to a speaker anymore, and are only distinguishable by their subject matter. At one point, yet another simultaneous situation is added to the collage of dialogue: the voices of hypnopaedia, teaching the infants to provide the demand to industrial supply. They chant sayings such as "Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches" Chapter 3, pg. 49 over and over again. The following three paragraphs are the three collaged conversations.

In the lines involving Mustapha and his students, he is telling them about the horrors of motherhood and monogamy. He is drumming in the idea of stability and society functioning as a whole. He talks about the horrible conditions before the World State, and how people used to have to wait for the fulfillment of their desires. He explains that as a result of something called Christianity, women had to go on giving live birth.

He explains that there was also no caste system, and that sleep-teaching, or hypnophaedia, was prohibited. Following this description, the collaged passages of the three dialogues begin to get shorter and shorter, usually not more than a sentence long. He tells them about the Nine-Years' war, about the chemical warfare that went on, and the utter destruction which evolved into World Control. Advocates of culture and simple life were gunned down and gassed until the Controllers realized that conditioning and sleep-teaching were more effective, though slower means of control. There was a campaign enacted against the Past, and during this time, museums, monuments, and books were blown up. He speaks of the concept of God, soul, mortality, Heaven, and how they are defunct. He talks of soma: "All of the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects" Chapter 3, pg. 54 He tells them about how all physiological signs of aging have been abolished, as have changes in character -- only leisure and soma remain.

Topic Tracking: Government 7
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 4

Lenina goes to the changing room, where automatic faucets and powder machines and vacuum massage machines get her ready to go out for the evening. She bathes, covers herself in talcum powder and scent, and puts on her green (all Alphas wear green) outfit. She sees her friend Fanny, who tells her that she has been feeling out of sorts and will be having a Pregnancy Substitute. This is compulsory at twenty-one, though Fanny is only nineteen. It is a series of hormonal shots. Fanny is lecturing Lenina on how unhealthy and unfordly it is that she is seeing so much of one man, Henry Foster. She encourages her to sleep around more, for in the World State, everyone belongs to everyone else. Lenina agrees to make the effort. She expresses interest in Bernard, and Fanny is startled that her friend would go for someone with a bad reputation, someone also sort of short and ugly. Following this, the collaged passages of the three dialogues begin to get shorter and shorter, usually not more than a sentence long. Fanny tells her the rumor that the reason for his oddness is that he was given alcohol when his embryo was being created. Lenina puts on her Malthusian belt, which holds her supply of contraception. [Note: Malthusian is a reference to Thomas Robert Malthus, author of An Essay on the Principles of Population (1798), in which he states, among other things, population growth as problematic when combined with the inability to produce the necessary amount of food.]

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 5
Topic Tracking: Inferiority 4

The third series of conversations takes place between Henry Foster and the Assistant Predistinator in the changing room; Bernard is listening. They are talking about Lenina. Henry Foster tells his friend that he should have her sometime, and Bernard pales. He cannot believe that they are talking about Lenina like meat. He does not speak up. He recognizes much of what they say as clichés, just things they were sleep-taught. Following this, the collaged passages of the three dialogues begin to get shorter and shorter, usually not more than a sentence long. Bernard thinks about how he hates them, but also about how they are strong. The two agree that Fanny is nice too, but not nearly as attractive as Lenina. Bernard is thinking to himself that the only thing worse than how they think she is meat, is that she thinks of herself in this way as well. The two men notice that Bernard is glum and offer him soma pills. Bernard shouts, "Damn you!" and they leave unbothered, laughing at him. He leaves, cursing them as swine.

Topic Tracking: Inferiority 5
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 6

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