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Brave New World: …And Does the Life I Knew Still Remain? Feraco Myth to Science Fiction 26 April 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Brave New World: …And Does the Life I Knew Still Remain? Feraco Myth to Science Fiction 26 April 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brave New World: …And Does the Life I Knew Still Remain? Feraco Myth to Science Fiction 26 April 2013

2 Our last six bullets from the original list – not quite unaddressed, but not focused on explicitly – are as follows: Our last six bullets from the original list – not quite unaddressed, but not focused on explicitly – are as follows: The need for heritage, cultural relativism, and the value of a legacyThe need for heritage, cultural relativism, and the value of a legacy The argument for experience: the search for control vs. “living dangerously”The argument for experience: the search for control vs. “living dangerously” Lust, love, and lies: human cruelty and the usefulness of relationshipsLust, love, and lies: human cruelty and the usefulness of relationships The interplay between suggestion and decisionsThe interplay between suggestion and decisions The process of belief: the fears and events that define usThe process of belief: the fears and events that define us The desire for a place to belong and the formation of philosophy and societyThe desire for a place to belong and the formation of philosophy and society We’ll cover them as we go forward, covering each chapter via a bunch of quotes and points. We’ll cover them as we go forward, covering each chapter via a bunch of quotes and points.

3 Chapter Four finds Bernard and Lenina finalize plans to go to the Reservation, much to Bernard’s public chagrin. Chapter Four finds Bernard and Lenina finalize plans to go to the Reservation, much to Bernard’s public chagrin. That chagrin reminds us of what constitutes “shocking” and “acceptable” here – “mother” is an unspeakable obscenity, but public innuendo is encouraged. That chagrin reminds us of what constitutes “shocking” and “acceptable” here – “mother” is an unspeakable obscenity, but public innuendo is encouraged. He was still wretched…[upset] that she should have trotted away to join Henry Foster, that she should have found him funny for not wanting to talk of their most private affairs in public. Wretched, in a word, because she had behaved as any healthy and virtuous English girl ought to behave and not in some other, abnormal, extraordinary way. He was still wretched…[upset] that she should have trotted away to join Henry Foster, that she should have found him funny for not wanting to talk of their most private affairs in public. Wretched, in a word, because she had behaved as any healthy and virtuous English girl ought to behave and not in some other, abnormal, extraordinary way. We get shades of Winston and Julia here; 1984 remains a vitally original work, but its similarities to Brave New World are unmistakable. We get shades of Winston and Julia here; 1984 remains a vitally original work, but its similarities to Brave New World are unmistakable.

4 As we pan over the athletic action, we notice the beginning of a recurring pattern in the book: Huxley’s descriptions of the masses as insectoid. As we pan over the athletic action, we notice the beginning of a recurring pattern in the book: Huxley’s descriptions of the masses as insectoid. The “societal body” is in many ways like a hive, or at least a hive mind. The “societal body” is in many ways like a hive, or at least a hive mind. If we consider ants, which are conditioned to automatically respond to a queen in a certain way, we can’t help but notice that Lenina is equally unconscious when she voices her dislike for khaki or her gratitude over not being born a Gamma. If we consider ants, which are conditioned to automatically respond to a queen in a certain way, we can’t help but notice that Lenina is equally unconscious when she voices her dislike for khaki or her gratitude over not being born a Gamma. A rogue ant within the hive – an ant that resists its assigned purpose – threatens the hive, and all unorthodoxy is treated the same way in the World State. A rogue ant within the hive – an ant that resists its assigned purpose – threatens the hive, and all unorthodoxy is treated the same way in the World State. That’s why Bernard invites such scorn: it’s not just that he’s breaking the mold, but that he’s introducing danger by doing so. That’s why Bernard invites such scorn: it’s not just that he’s breaking the mold, but that he’s introducing danger by doing so.

5 Bernard has a personal reason to be distressed by his interactions with lower-caste members – he looks like them, and the associations conjure up a lot of inadequacies for someone who’s already fairly insecure. Bernard has a personal reason to be distressed by his interactions with lower-caste members – he looks like them, and the associations conjure up a lot of inadequacies for someone who’s already fairly insecure. However, it opens up a self-reinforcing cycle: …Mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity. How bitterly he envied men like Henry Foster and Benito Hoover! Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon to get an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men who moved through the caste system as a fish through water–so utterly at home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent and comfortable element in which they had their being. However, it opens up a self-reinforcing cycle: …Mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity. How bitterly he envied men like Henry Foster and Benito Hoover! Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon to get an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men who moved through the caste system as a fish through water–so utterly at home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent and comfortable element in which they had their being.

6 In Chapter Five, we get our first brush with the World State’s treatment of death. In Chapter Five, we get our first brush with the World State’s treatment of death. Bodies are burned, and the gasses are collected and recovered over the course of four stages within giant chimneys. Bodies are burned, and the gasses are collected and recovered over the course of four stages within giant chimneys. Henry voices pride over the idea that people can continue contributing to the societal body even after they expire. Henry voices pride over the idea that people can continue contributing to the societal body even after they expire. In the World State, death is just something that happens – another automatic process. In the World State, death is just something that happens – another automatic process. As we’ll later discover, children are “death- conditioned” – exposed to death at an early age in order to demystify it (which, in turn, prevents socially unacceptable reactions like grief or longing). As we’ll later discover, children are “death- conditioned” – exposed to death at an early age in order to demystify it (which, in turn, prevents socially unacceptable reactions like grief or longing). Having seen The Fountain – and, for some of you, having experienced loss yourself – is this something we should do with our children, preparing them for the inevitable so they don’t waste their time fearing it? Or is the grief instinct, that longing for someone who’s passed, something we should guard/preserve? Having seen The Fountain – and, for some of you, having experienced loss yourself – is this something we should do with our children, preparing them for the inevitable so they don’t waste their time fearing it? Or is the grief instinct, that longing for someone who’s passed, something we should guard/preserve?

7 “[It’s] queer that Alphas and Betas won’t make any more plants grow than those nasty little Gammas and Deltas and Epsilons down there.” “[It’s] queer that Alphas and Betas won’t make any more plants grow than those nasty little Gammas and Deltas and Epsilons down there.” “All men are physico-chemically equal,” said Henry sententiously. “Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services.” “All men are physico-chemically equal,” said Henry sententiously. “Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services.” …“I suppose Epsilons don’t really mind being Epsilons,” she said aloud. …“I suppose Epsilons don’t really mind being Epsilons,” she said aloud. “Of course they don’t. How can they? They don’t know what it's like being anything else. We’d mind, of course. But then we’ve been differently conditioned. Besides, we start with a different heredity.” “Of course they don’t. How can they? They don’t know what it's like being anything else. We’d mind, of course. But then we’ve been differently conditioned. Besides, we start with a different heredity.” “I’m glad I’m not an Epsilon,” said Lenina, with conviction. “I’m glad I’m not an Epsilon,” said Lenina, with conviction. “And if you were an Epsilon,” said Henry, “your conditioning would have made you no less thankful that you weren’t a Beta or an Alpha.” “And if you were an Epsilon,” said Henry, “your conditioning would have made you no less thankful that you weren’t a Beta or an Alpha.”

8 In Chapter Six, we see “isolation” blended with “solitude” until the two terms become interchangeable, stripped of the connotation we’ve given them. In Chapter Six, we see “isolation” blended with “solitude” until the two terms become interchangeable, stripped of the connotation we’ve given them. For Lenina, any sort of loneliness – voluntary or not – is unacceptable or disturbing, whereas Bernard has a uniformly positive response. For Lenina, any sort of loneliness – voluntary or not – is unacceptable or disturbing, whereas Bernard has a uniformly positive response. It’s here – even more so than in the last chapter – that we realize how crippled Lenina is by her conditioning; she’s incapable of carrying on an actual conversation, falling back on hypnopædic slogans when she’s not able to respond to what’s actually being said. It’s here – even more so than in the last chapter – that we realize how crippled Lenina is by her conditioning; she’s incapable of carrying on an actual conversation, falling back on hypnopædic slogans when she’s not able to respond to what’s actually being said. In many ways, Lenina’s actions here are perfect crimestop, and trying to talk to Bernard about doing things in public vs. alone or taking soma vs. being “yourself, but miserable” proves impossible: just count the number of times she says “I don’t know,” taking comfort in her cocoon of ignorance. In many ways, Lenina’s actions here are perfect crimestop, and trying to talk to Bernard about doing things in public vs. alone or taking soma vs. being “yourself, but miserable” proves impossible: just count the number of times she says “I don’t know,” taking comfort in her cocoon of ignorance.

9 “I want to look at the sea in peace,” he said. “One can’t even look with that beastly noise going on.” “I want to look at the sea in peace,” he said. “One can’t even look with that beastly noise going on.” “But it’s lovely. And I don’t want to look.” “But it’s lovely. And I don’t want to look.” “But I do,” he insisted. “It makes me feel as though…” he hesitated, searching for words with which to express himself, “as though I were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body. Doesn’t it make you feel like that, Lenina?” “But I do,” he insisted. “It makes me feel as though…” he hesitated, searching for words with which to express himself, “as though I were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body. Doesn’t it make you feel like that, Lenina?”

10 But Lenina was crying. “It’s horrible, it’s horrible,” she kept repeating. “And how can you talk like that about not wanting to be a part of the social body? After all, every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons…” But Lenina was crying. “It’s horrible, it’s horrible,” she kept repeating. “And how can you talk like that about not wanting to be a part of the social body? After all, every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons…” “Yes, I know,” said Bernard derisively. “‘Even Epsilons are useful!’ So am I. And I damned well wish I weren’t!” “Yes, I know,” said Bernard derisively. “‘Even Epsilons are useful!’ So am I. And I damned well wish I weren’t!” Lenina was shocked by his blasphemy. “Bernard!” She protested in a voice of amazed distress. “How can you?” Lenina was shocked by his blasphemy. “Bernard!” She protested in a voice of amazed distress. “How can you?”

11 In a different key, “How can I?” he repeated meditatively. “No, the real problem is: How is it that I can’t, or rather – because, after all, I know quite well why I can’t – what would it be like if I could, if I were free – not enslaved by my conditioning.” In a different key, “How can I?” he repeated meditatively. “No, the real problem is: How is it that I can’t, or rather – because, after all, I know quite well why I can’t – what would it be like if I could, if I were free – not enslaved by my conditioning.” “But, Bernard, you’re saying the most awful things.” “But, Bernard, you’re saying the most awful things.” “Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?” “Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?” “I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.” “I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”

12 He laughed, “Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ We begin giving the children that at five. But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else’s way.” He laughed, “Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ We begin giving the children that at five. But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else’s way.” “I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated. Then, turning to him, “Oh, do let’s go back, Bernard,” she besought; “I do so hate it here.” “I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated. Then, turning to him, “Oh, do let’s go back, Bernard,” she besought; “I do so hate it here.” “Don’t you like being with me?” “Don’t you like being with me?” “But of course, Bernard. It’s this horrible place.” “But of course, Bernard. It’s this horrible place.”

13 “I thought we’d be more…more together here – with nothing but the sea and moon. More together than in that crowd, or even in my rooms. Don’t you understand that?” “I thought we’d be more…more together here – with nothing but the sea and moon. More together than in that crowd, or even in my rooms. Don’t you understand that?” “I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly,” she repeated and smiled, for all the puzzled anxiety in her eyes, with what was meant to be an inviting and voluptuous cajolery. “I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly,” she repeated and smiled, for all the puzzled anxiety in her eyes, with what was meant to be an inviting and voluptuous cajolery.

14 He looked at her in silence, his face unresponsive and very grave – looked at her intently. After a few seconds Lenina’s eyes flinched away; she uttered a nervous little laugh, tried to think of something to say and couldn’t. The silence prolonged itself. He looked at her in silence, his face unresponsive and very grave – looked at her intently. After a few seconds Lenina’s eyes flinched away; she uttered a nervous little laugh, tried to think of something to say and couldn’t. The silence prolonged itself. When Bernard spoke at last, it was in a small tired voice. “All right then,” he said, “we’ll go back.” And stepping hard on the accelerator, he sent the machine rocketing up into the sky. When Bernard spoke at last, it was in a small tired voice. “All right then,” he said, “we’ll go back.” And stepping hard on the accelerator, he sent the machine rocketing up into the sky.

15 He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and then a phrase would insist on becoming audible. “…to try the effect of arresting my impulses,” she heard him say. The words seemed to touch a spring in her mind. He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and then a phrase would insist on becoming audible. “…to try the effect of arresting my impulses,” she heard him say. The words seemed to touch a spring in her mind. “Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day,” she said gravely. “Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day,” she said gravely. “Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and a half,” was all his comment. The mad bad talk rambled on. “I want to know what passion is,” she heard him saying. “I want to feel something strongly.” “Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and a half,” was all his comment. The mad bad talk rambled on. “I want to know what passion is,” she heard him saying. “I want to feel something strongly.”

16 “When the individual feels, the community reels,” Lenina pronounced. “When the individual feels, the community reels,” Lenina pronounced. “Well, why shouldn’t it reel a bit?” “Well, why shouldn’t it reel a bit?” “Bernard!” “Bernard!” But Bernard remained unabashed. But Bernard remained unabashed. “Adults intellectually and during working hours,” he went on. “Infants where feeling and desire are concerned.” “Adults intellectually and during working hours,” he went on. “Infants where feeling and desire are concerned.” “Our Ford loved infants.” “Our Ford loved infants.” Ignoring the interruption. “It suddenly struck me the other day,” continued Bernard, “that it might be possible to be an adult all the time.” Ignoring the interruption. “It suddenly struck me the other day,” continued Bernard, “that it might be possible to be an adult all the time.” “I don’t understand.” Lenina's tone was firm. “I don’t understand.” Lenina's tone was firm. “I know you don’t.” “I know you don’t.”

17 Bernard proves to be an incredibly frustrating character; he feels like such a missed opportunity, although (again) this is an intentional decision on Huxley’s part. Bernard proves to be an incredibly frustrating character; he feels like such a missed opportunity, although (again) this is an intentional decision on Huxley’s part. Whether we realize it or not, we seek a Winston-esque, clear-eyed perspective on this world from someone living in it, and at first blush Bernard seems like our only hope of finding someone who fits the bill; Helmholtz, for all his intelligence, doesn’t seem that motivated to shift his society’s general state of being. Whether we realize it or not, we seek a Winston-esque, clear-eyed perspective on this world from someone living in it, and at first blush Bernard seems like our only hope of finding someone who fits the bill; Helmholtz, for all his intelligence, doesn’t seem that motivated to shift his society’s general state of being. Bernard totally understands the ramifications of his conditioning, and while it’s fair to point out that everyone else does as well (unlike the Oceanians), he’s the only one who really has a problem with those ramifications. Bernard totally understands the ramifications of his conditioning, and while it’s fair to point out that everyone else does as well (unlike the Oceanians), he’s the only one who really has a problem with those ramifications. And when he’s talking with – talking at – Lenina, you want so badly for him to get through to her – to win these battles, to beat back the stupidity and venality choking the World State, even just at an individual level. And when he’s talking with – talking at – Lenina, you want so badly for him to get through to her – to win these battles, to beat back the stupidity and venality choking the World State, even just at an individual level.

18 To later find that he’s just as contemptible and pitiful as so many of the people he decries doesn’t just feel hypocritical – we feel foolish for aligning ourselves with him. To later find that he’s just as contemptible and pitiful as so many of the people he decries doesn’t just feel hypocritical – we feel foolish for aligning ourselves with him. If Orwell’s total destruction of Winston feels like watching a child dismember his action figure after playing with it lovingly for days – jarring, upsetting, difficult to fully accept – Huxley’s treatment of Bernard is just another way to break a toy. If Orwell’s total destruction of Winston feels like watching a child dismember his action figure after playing with it lovingly for days – jarring, upsetting, difficult to fully accept – Huxley’s treatment of Bernard is just another way to break a toy. We identify much more passionately with Winston, and Huxley “reveals” Bernard’s true nature – and brings about his downfall – well before the final credits roll. We identify much more passionately with Winston, and Huxley “reveals” Bernard’s true nature – and brings about his downfall – well before the final credits roll. In the end, our reaction to him somewhat resembles our complicated opinion of O’Brien, with the difference that we’re not so much betrayed when he falls short of our hopes as disappointed. In the end, our reaction to him somewhat resembles our complicated opinion of O’Brien, with the difference that we’re not so much betrayed when he falls short of our hopes as disappointed. And it’s this sequence that gives us the strongest reason to identify with Bernard and his plight, regardless of Huxley’s decision to use our (automatic!) sympathies against us. And it’s this sequence that gives us the strongest reason to identify with Bernard and his plight, regardless of Huxley’s decision to use our (automatic!) sympathies against us.

19 We also discover that the DHC doesn’t like Bernard, which (at this point in the book) gives us yet another reason to root against him. We also discover that the DHC doesn’t like Bernard, which (at this point in the book) gives us yet another reason to root against him. However, he makes a mistake in Bernard’s presence – ruminating on his last visit to the same Savage Reservation Bernard plans to visit, which ended unpleasantly for him. However, he makes a mistake in Bernard’s presence – ruminating on his last visit to the same Savage Reservation Bernard plans to visit, which ended unpleasantly for him. He was lost and suffered injuries, while the young woman who had accompanied him there was never found. (We’ll meet that woman – Linda – when Lenina and Bernard reach the Savage Reservation.) He was lost and suffered injuries, while the young woman who had accompanied him there was never found. (We’ll meet that woman – Linda – when Lenina and Bernard reach the Savage Reservation.) It’s here that the DHC sows the seeds of his own downfall, although this thread won’t pay off for another four chapters. It’s here that the DHC sows the seeds of his own downfall, although this thread won’t pay off for another four chapters.

20 This extended vocalized flashback is considered extremely improper, and when the DHC realizes what he’s done in Bernard’s presence, his tone suddenly turns vicious as he threatens to send the latter to Iceland if he hears any more reports of socially unacceptable behavior. This extended vocalized flashback is considered extremely improper, and when the DHC realizes what he’s done in Bernard’s presence, his tone suddenly turns vicious as he threatens to send the latter to Iceland if he hears any more reports of socially unacceptable behavior. Bernard reacts at first with excitement, the seemingly empty threat serving to reinvigorate him by reminding him that he stands alone within the social body; it makes him feel strong. Bernard reacts at first with excitement, the seemingly empty threat serving to reinvigorate him by reminding him that he stands alone within the social body; it makes him feel strong. When the DHC follows through on the threat, banishing him to Iceland while he’s at the Reservation, Bernard reacts in an entirely different (and far more pathetic) way – the first sign that our faith in him is likely misplaced. When the DHC follows through on the threat, banishing him to Iceland while he’s at the Reservation, Bernard reacts in an entirely different (and far more pathetic) way – the first sign that our faith in him is likely misplaced.

21 When we enter the Savage Reservation in Chapter Seven – having been told repeatedly that there’s “no escape,” which sounds a bit ominous – we’re entering a very different world. When we enter the Savage Reservation in Chapter Seven – having been told repeatedly that there’s “no escape,” which sounds a bit ominous – we’re entering a very different world. “Civilization is sterilization,” according to the World State; everything here is earthy, dusty, subject to decay. “Civilization is sterilization,” according to the World State; everything here is earthy, dusty, subject to decay. You get the sense that the feelies are so popular because nothing else in the World State (save soma) stimulates the citizens’ senses. You get the sense that the feelies are so popular because nothing else in the World State (save soma) stimulates the citizens’ senses. The Savage Reservation, on the other hand, is pure sensory stimulus – the smell of unwashed bodies, the throbbing of distant drums, the ragged edges of primitive structures reaching to the heavens. The Savage Reservation, on the other hand, is pure sensory stimulus – the smell of unwashed bodies, the throbbing of distant drums, the ragged edges of primitive structures reaching to the heavens. The World State’s stability – its faux- cryogenic preservation – contrasts with the inherent instabilities of uncontrolled lives; people even get old here. The World State’s stability – its faux- cryogenic preservation – contrasts with the inherent instabilities of uncontrolled lives; people even get old here.

22 An almost naked Indian was very slowly climbing down the ladder from the first-floor terrace of a neighboring house – rung after rung, with the tremulous caution of extreme old age. His face was profoundly wrinkled and black, like a mask of obsidian. The toothless mouth had fallen in. At the corners of the lips, and on each side of the chin, a few long bristles gleamed almost white against the dark skin. The long unbraided hair hung down in grey wisps round his face. His body was bent and emaciated to the bone, almost fleshless. Very slowly he came down, pausing at each rung before he ventured another step. An almost naked Indian was very slowly climbing down the ladder from the first-floor terrace of a neighboring house – rung after rung, with the tremulous caution of extreme old age. His face was profoundly wrinkled and black, like a mask of obsidian. The toothless mouth had fallen in. At the corners of the lips, and on each side of the chin, a few long bristles gleamed almost white against the dark skin. The long unbraided hair hung down in grey wisps round his face. His body was bent and emaciated to the bone, almost fleshless. Very slowly he came down, pausing at each rung before he ventured another step. “What’s the matter with him?” whispered Lenina. Her eyes were wide with horror and amazement. “What’s the matter with him?” whispered Lenina. Her eyes were wide with horror and amazement. “He’s old, that’s all,” Bernard answered as carelessly as he could. He too was startled; but he made an effort to seem unmoved. “He’s old, that’s all,” Bernard answered as carelessly as he could. He too was startled; but he made an effort to seem unmoved.

23 “Old?” she repeated. “But the Director’s old; lots of people are old; they’re not like that.” “Old?” she repeated. “But the Director’s old; lots of people are old; they’re not like that.” “That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at thirty. We give them transfusions of young blood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course, they don’t look like that. Partly,” he added, “because most of them die long before they reach this old creature’s age. Youth almost unimpaired ‘til sixty, and then, crack! The end.” “That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at thirty. We give them transfusions of young blood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course, they don’t look like that. Partly,” he added, “because most of them die long before they reach this old creature’s age. Youth almost unimpaired ‘til sixty, and then, crack! The end.” But Lenina was not listening. She was watching the old man. Slowly, slowly he came down. His feet touched the ground. He turned. In their deep-sunken orbits his eyes were still extraordinarily bright. But Lenina was not listening. She was watching the old man. Slowly, slowly he came down. His feet touched the ground. He turned. In their deep-sunken orbits his eyes were still extraordinarily bright.

24 No sooner do we witness the punishing religious rituals of the Reservation – the experience heightened by Lenina’s horrified discovery that neither she nor Bernard brought soma with them – than we meet our “Savage,” John. No sooner do we witness the punishing religious rituals of the Reservation – the experience heightened by Lenina’s horrified discovery that neither she nor Bernard brought soma with them – than we meet our “Savage,” John. Both Bernard and Lenina are shocked by his speech, which is formalized almost to the point of parody; that can happen when you practice your reading skills in The Complete Works of Shakespeare! Both Bernard and Lenina are shocked by his speech, which is formalized almost to the point of parody; that can happen when you practice your reading skills in The Complete Works of Shakespeare! This hint of civilization fascinates them, and they begin conversing with the young man, who uses Shakespearean quotes as readily as Lenina falls back on her hypnopædic teachings. This hint of civilization fascinates them, and they begin conversing with the young man, who uses Shakespearean quotes as readily as Lenina falls back on her hypnopædic teachings.

25 As it turns out, John wishes that he had been at the center of the ritual the World Staters had observed with such horror. As it turns out, John wishes that he had been at the center of the ritual the World Staters had observed with such horror. He’s prevented from doing so because the others keep him at arm’s length (a parallel to Bernard’s perception of his own treatment). He’s prevented from doing so because the others keep him at arm’s length (a parallel to Bernard’s perception of his own treatment). You see, he looks like Bernard and Lenina do…because he’s actually a child of the World State, born in exile to the woman (Linda) the DHC lost during his original trip to the Reservation. You see, he looks like Bernard and Lenina do…because he’s actually a child of the World State, born in exile to the woman (Linda) the DHC lost during his original trip to the Reservation. His physical appearance sets him apart, much as Bernard’s looks mark him as an outcast back in civilization; indeed, it’s his physical appearance that Lenina instantly finds attractive. His physical appearance sets him apart, much as Bernard’s looks mark him as an outcast back in civilization; indeed, it’s his physical appearance that Lenina instantly finds attractive. Upon discovering the Savage’s backstory, the wheels start turning behind Bernard’s eyes; the Savage, with his scandalous natural birth, will become his means of avenging his exile at the hands of the DHC! Upon discovering the Savage’s backstory, the wheels start turning behind Bernard’s eyes; the Savage, with his scandalous natural birth, will become his means of avenging his exile at the hands of the DHC! To be continued… To be continued…


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