2 Chapter 1What is the very first indication that Brave New World is a futuristic novel?In a short summary, explain the process of the “Hatchery”.Do you think that anything like this is happening now or might happen in the future? Consider that fact that Huxley wrote this book in 1931 and the many scientific advances since then.
3 Chapter 1In what way is the Bokanovsky process a major instrument of social stability?Describe and explain the response of the students to the Director.In this World State, what is the primary function of The Hatchery and Conditioning Center?What are some actual scientific principles presented? What seems to be a problem the society has "all but solved”?
4 Chapter 1Explain the designations this society gives to individuals. How are these titles used? What strikes you as significant about them?Explain the motto “Community, Identity, Stability.” What are people giving up to achieve these goals?At this point, what is your opinion of Huxley’s new world? Explain your reasons.How is Huxley mocking Christianity? Why may some readers be offended by this? Explain.Who are Henry Foster and Lenina Crowne? What is your opinion of each?
5 Chapter 2In a short summary, explain the processes the “Conditioning Center.”Why are the Delta children conditioned to dislike books and nature?Why can hypnopaedia be used to instill more beliefs and emotional attitudes but cannot be used to learn science?Near the end of Chapter Two, what does Huxley state is the aim of the new world’s conditioning?
6 Chapter 3Huxley has some fun with names. Note for example, the allusions of Polly Trotsky, Bernard Marx, and Lenina; however, the World Controller’s name, Mustapha Mond, has no reference to a real person. What does that name suggest to you?What is meant by the paragraph following “History is bunk”?What about the population did Huxley get wrong?Huxley seems to be using the dialogues of Lenina, Fanny, Bernard, and Henry to comment on the lecture or commentary of Mond. What contradictions do you see between what Mond says and what the others are expressing?
7 Chapter 3What were you able to understand about the drug “soma,” and what is your opinion of this drug? Why do people need soma?As the chapter progresses, what do you notice about the shifting of scenes and speakers?How do the Controllers of the new world define happiness? State why you agree or disagree with the controllers’ definitions.Why does so much effort go into controlling people to be consumers? What aspect of his own society is Huxley satirizing?
8 Chapter 4What is your opinion of Lenina? Include some specific examples of things Lenina says or does that have influenced your feelings.What makes Bernard stand out among the people of the new world?In Section 2 of Chapter 4, the narrator gives an explanation of Bernard’s problems. List the things that trouble Bernard.Compare Helmholtz to Bernard. Explain both their similarities and their differences.
9 Chapter 5Why do you think Bernard is “much more alone” and “utterly miserable” during the solidarity service in Chapter 5? Do you think Bernard is in any way responsible for his own problem?Huxley has introduced two characters that stand in opposition to the new world. What is the significance of these characters?What is the meaning of the frequently repeated word, “pneumatic”?
10 Chapter 6The style of Brave New World is “dialogic” which means several people with different points of view interact, but no one voice is able to predominate.Consider the interaction between Lenina & Bernard at the start of this chapter. What point of view does each express or represent?Consider Lenina’s reaction to Bernard. What conclusions can draw about Lenina’s attitude and position? Find examples.Find examples to support the assertion that Bernard’s protest is more talk than assertion. What is Helmholtz’s reaction to his friend’s description of the encounter with the Director?What is your opinion of the Director’s treatment of Bernard?When Bernard learns that he actually is going to Iceland, what is his reaction?What can be considered amusing about the scene with the Warden of the Reservation?
11 Chapter 7What is ironic about Lenina’s comment, “And you feel so small when you’re on the ground at the bottom of a hill”?In what ways is Huxley’s description of Lenina’s reaction to the Indian Reservation satirical? What makes Lenina seem foolish? How might you apply this to our attitudes today?What is the effect of the focus on Lenina’s reaction to the woman nursing a child? What is your reaction to Lenina’s response?How do you feel about Linda? Why, in your opinion, has Linda had problems?
12 Chapter 7 Compare Linda and Lenina as they stand together. Explain the irony in Linda’s speech about life on the Reservation.What do you predict will take place between John and Lenina and between John and Bernard?Do you think that Lenina would have ended up any different than Linda if Lenina had been left behind in the Reservation? Explain.
13 Chapter 8 & 9What things do you find most interesting about the details of John’s life? Explain.Compare John and Bernard.Why does Shakespeare have such meaning for John?What theories about London and “the Other Place” does John have? What gave him these ideas?What are Bernard’s motives for bringing John back to London with him?What do you think will happen to John and Linda in London? Support your prediction w/details from Ch 8.When John is alone looking at Lenina sleeping, what are his thoughts?
14 Chapter 10 & 11What is your opinion of the Director’s statement: “…no offence is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behavior. Murder kills only the individual–and, after all, what is an individual?…We can make a new one with the greatest of ease…Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself…”?At this point in the novel, how do you feel about Bernard? About Lenina? Consider how people in the new world, including Bernard’s friend Helmholtz, feel about Bernard.At the feely, John and Lenina view/experience what would today be considered a pornographic movie. What happens afterward?What do you see as the main difference between John and Linda and the other characters, those of the new world?Describe one activity that the characters engage in during Ch 11 and explain why you would or would not engage in this activity.
15 Chapter 12 & 13John clashes with the people, the ideas, and the practices of the new world.Describe three specific incidents that illustrate the clash between John and the people of the new world.For each incident explain the reason for this clash.In each of the three incidents, one of the characters of the new world tries to make his or her position clear to John.Explain each person’s opposition to John, and copy a short quotation that best expresses the person’s argument.Then, explain John’s response to this person and state whether you agree or disagree with John’s point of view.
16 Chapter 12 & 13Chapter 12 ends with Helmholtz’s mockery of Romeo and Juliet. In Chapter 13, Lenina confides to Fanny her feelings for John and says, “I shall always like him.” At the end of Chapter 13, we are told Lenina’s response to John’s remarks about marriage is genuine shock.What do you find ironic about this?What idea about love is suggested to you by these contradictions?In the middle of Chapter 12, Huxley describes the Controller rejecting a paper called “A New Theory of Biology.” The Controller will not allow the paper to be published because it challenges the idea of “happiness as the Sovereign Good” and this he thinks might unsettle people in the higher castes. However, the Controller agrees with the paper’s idea, that the goal of life is outside the human sphere, and “that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge.” What do you think is Huxley’s point in this section?
17 Chapter 12 & 13Although scientific advances of the past have given humans the ability to control human reproduction and disease in the new world, what seems to be the attitude of the government toward science?Do you think Bernard has less character than most people would in his circumstances? Remember that he is undersized for his caste and has suffered persecution as a result.At this point in the novel, what behavior of Bernard, John, and Helmholtz is unorthodox?We are told that people in the new world do not experience passion, so they have to be given treatments. For instance, Henry Foster tells Lenina to get “an extra strong V.P.S. treatment.” We also see that women get a “pregnancy substitute,” and the characters take soma on a regular basis so they can escape feeling passions. What conclusions can you draw from these facts?
18 Chapter 14 & 15Explain John’s behavior after his mother dies. What does he do; why does he behave this way? How do the people react to him, and why do they react in this fashion?How does John act in the incident about the conditioning of the children? What does he do; why does he behave this way? How do the people react to him, and why do they react in this fashion?John’s experiences with the soma distribution and the Bokanovsky twins are disruptive. What does he do; why does he behave this way? How do the people react to him, and why do they react in this fashion?What is the mental picture you have of the Hospital for the Dying? Do you think that we may see hospitals for the dying like this one if euthanasia becomes legal in the United States? Do you consider this death with dignity?Find quotations in which Huxley satirizes the following: (A) the loss of any knowledge of God (B) the human attempt to create a utopian worldWhat is ironic about the fact that the new world still has a police force, which appears on the scene quickly?
19 Chapter 16 & 17What does Mond say is the reason Othello could not be the same in the new world? Do you agree with his reason?What happened to the experiment of an all Alpha society?As Huxley summarizes his ideas, the dialogic quality of the novel is heightened. We see this in the dialogue between John and Mustapha Mond. The argumentative nature of their discussion appears in four ways:Their goal is to arrive at truth by exposing the contradictions in each other’s argumentParts of the discussion are in a question and answer formatThere is a logical structure which holds their continuous argument togetherEach man voices a set of principles. The 2 sets of principles are in opposition, creating an interplay of contradictory principlesFind an example of each of the points listed above. You can quote some of the dialogue in your answer.
20 Chapter 16 & 17The Controller insists that tragedies cannot be written in the New World. He explains, “You can’t make flivvers without steel–and you can’t make tragedies without social instability.” What does he mean? What other reasons does the Controller give for the inability of people in the new world to understand tragedy?As this debate progresses, with whom do you find yourself agreeing?Do you see any evidence of Mond’s viewpoint in today’s world?What is the Controller’s position on each of the following topics:Simple-minded peopleHappinessLeisure timeTruth and beautyChangeReligion & belief in GodScienceHeroismIndividualityPassion
21 Chapter 18What is your impression of the final scene with John, Helmholtz and Bernard?Describe John’s new home. How does John feel about his new home?What is your opinion of John’s treatment of the people who come to taunt him?How does Huxley describe John’s suicide? How do you feel about John’s death?Why do you think Huxley wrote this particular ending to the story?What ideas about humans, society, life, or science have you formulated, which ones make sense to you?