Brave New World

Chapters:15-18

On his way out of the hospital after his mom died, John encounters two groups of twins while they were getting doses of soma after their shifts. John attempts to get them to stop taking the soma. He says that it is poisonous and is keeping them almost like slaves to the society. He wants them instead to choose “freedom”. The twins look as though they aren’t understanding what John is trying to tell them and this makes John mad. He takes the soma and throws it out of a window. The man that is giving these soma doses to theses twins is alarmed by this speak from John and calls Bernard. Helmholtz answers the phone instead and is informed about what John is doing. He then transfers the information to Bernard. The two of them then rush to the hospital. The workers run at John in anger, but Helmholtz jumps in front as an attempt to defend John. Bernard on the other hand isn’t so fast to jump in. He is afraid that he will get hurt trying to prevent this whole situation. He feels ashamed that he thinks the way that he does. The police soon arrive. They began to spray soma vapor play a recorded voice that asked why the people fighting weren’t happy. After while, the soma vapor kicked in and the delta workers were apologizing and making up with each other. The police ask the other boys to come with him. Bernard attempts to escape but is caught in the act.

The police take John, Bernard, and Helmholtz to Mond’s office. They begin talking and John lets Mond know that’s there are some things that he like about the society such as “the constant sound of music”. Mond responds with a line from a Shakespeare poem. John is surprised at the fact that Mond has read Shakespeare. Mond lets John know that such text are “forbidden” because they are just things that help society cling on to the past, which isn’t a good thing. And also the people of the World State would not be able to read it because the stories he writes are based on experiences and feeling that do not exist anymore in the World State. The believe that these things have been replaced with “happiness”. Though John believes that this has not solved the world’s problems, but instead made them worse. He asked Mond, the Director, why all people couldn’t atleast all be created as alphas. He responded by saying that majority of the population had to be “stupid” and happy with it so that they could feel superior and happy with their place in life. He then mentioned an experiment where all alphas were placed on an island together, and civil war soon broke out because none of them were happy about being on the same level as, or not being superior to anyone else.

Science cannot exist in the World State because “the search for truth conflicts with happiness”. This is ironic because the products of this society are taught to have science as one of their fundamentals in life. Though one of them have any scientific education or even know exactly what it is. This is key because it suggests that this whole society is built on untrue things. Mond tells Bernard and Helmholtz that they are being sent away from the World State to the islands. Bernard begins to beg him to change his mind but is taken away. Mond says that the islands are a place full of interesting people that just didn’t fit in the World State. Helmholtz asks if so then why didn’t he go when given the choice. Mond responds by saying that he would rather manage the happiness of others. Mond also believes that the islands are a good thing to have because if not for them, people that didn’t fit in would instead be killed.

After Helmholtz chooses the island he would like to be sent to, he leaves to check on Bernard. When he leaves the office, John and Mond continue their conversation. Though this time it is about the religious factors of the World State, which have also been forbidden from the society. Mond shows John his collection of religious books he has banned throughout the years and read some of them aloud. Mond believes that in a youthful and progressive there are no loses, and therefore no need for religion. John responds by asking if it should be natural to believe in God. Mond responds by saying that “providence takes its cue from men”, which means that you believe what you have been conditioned to believe. Though John believes that if the citizens believed in God then they wouldn’t be degraded. He says that God is the reason for “everything noble and fine and heroic”. Mond says that the citizens aren’t degraded, but live by a different set of values from one another and John. Mond believes that soma is “Christianity without tears”. But John want it the hard way with God, real danger, and freedom, even though it might lead to unhappiness.

Bernard and Helmholtz say goodbye to John before heading to the islands. He asks if he could go with them, but Mond says no because he wants to continue the experiment on John. Later John decides to isolate himself with an abandoned lighthouse. He grew his own plants here and punished himself because he felt he was a toxin to the society. Though he cannot escape the attention of everyone who discovers him. He is constantly interrupted and recorded and even has a video of him whipping himself go viral. Fans of the video crowd around him in the lighthouse chanting to see the whip. Lenina hops out of a helicopter and walks up to him. John calls her a prostitute and begins to whip her in front of everyone. The crowd instead of trying to stop him, mimic his gestures and movements as if he is doing a dance. After midnight, the helicopters leave the lighthouse and John is collapsed “stupefied by soma” and a “frenzy of sensuality”. When he awakes, he remembers everything that happened and is horrified. The next day, a group of people that had read about the event went to John’s lighthouse, only to find that he had hung himself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s