Chapter 15 – 18

The last 4 chapters do a great job of rapping things up and even creating a deeper understanding for the society to the readers and also revealing how the society deals with the people that don’t fit into the society. In chapter 15, the conflicts between John and the society reach the climax. John witnesses the distribution of somas to groups of bokanovskificated Deltas and feels that he should save them from the way the society controls them. His idealism might have been okay but his action was too impromptu. From this, we can see that John is a very hot-blooded person who is very obsessive to his idealism. When Helmholtz and Bernard hear about this incident and comes to help, we can see the two different depths of friendship from Bernard and Helmholtz. While Helmholtz runs into the middle of the fight to save his friend without hesitation, Bernard fails to overcome his fear. Chapter 16 and 17 are explanation/debate about the society’s policies. Chapter 16 is mostly about explanation from Mond, the world controller, to Bernard, Helmholtz, and John about the things that the society has to give up for stability. It explains how history, poetry, religion, and science has to be restricted for stability of the society. In chapter 17 a serious philosophical debate between Mond and John begins. John insists that give the people reason to live and hope to look forward to. However, Mond argues that religion is only needed when there is suffering that people can’t withhold but the people in the society does not have any suffering to bear. John agrees but still insists that he want that freedom. In the end the question that remains is that can there be happiness without suffering? Mond says that with a controlled knowledge and freedom the people are always happy and don’t even know what suffering is. They are always satisfied with what they are doing in that society and there is no challenge or reason for their life. However, another option is to have suffering, randomness, goals, dangers, and freedom and feel the happiness within those unhappiness. I think this is the main question that the author is throwing to the readers. In chapter 18, Helmholtz and Bernard leaves John and John succeeds in living a life of his own. However, the fact that he is still physically within the civilized society, prevents him from living in a complete freedom. In the end, disgusted in the civilized society, Lenina, and John himself, he ends up hanging himself. Maybe that was the ‘right’ way of reaching the ‘true Utopia’ that he has been searching for all his life.

Chapter 11 – 14

Chapter 11 is the beginning of the fame that John gains as ‘The Savage’. As John gains fame Bernard also gets fame since he naturally became his tourist/guardian in the civilized land. From chapter 11 to 14, it shows some character development of Bernard drenched in his new fame, and John’s interaction with the civilized land. Chapter 11 is more towards the introduction to the new situation. The new environment where not only John is introduced to the new civilized land, but Bernard is also introduced to something called ‘fame’ for the first time in his life. This is a turn over for both characters John and Bernard and it is also a good source for a new character development for these two characters. One big thing that appears in chapter 11 is the change in Bernard’s characteristic. Bernard used to be the different and right character that was fighting against the ‘evil’ citizens. However through this change in his characteristics the readers were able to see his bad side. Though the disrespectful reactions of Bernard we can see how he was only rejecting the society not because he purely disagreed with its policy but because he was treated badly in the society due to his physical disabilities. If we happened to have been born in a high place within the society like Helmholtz, he would have had no problem living in the civilized land, rather he may have even defended its policies. All these fames fade away as John refuses to attend to Bernard’s important meeting in chapter 12. In this chapter the fame that Bernard gained from John’s specialness is lost because John begins to be uncooperative. In this chapter Helmholtz’s good personality is also emphasized by the action of forgiving Bernard’s rudeness and accepting him as a friend again. Chapter 13 is about Lenina’s passion for John and the contradictions between two characters’ idealisms. At the same time Lenina’s deep passion for John is revealed in this chapter, through the conversation with John, her love is described to be non-‘true’ love. She is still stuck in the civilized way of thinking. We also see John’s other side in this chapter. We see how John can not tolerate people who have different opinions than him. Lastly in chapter 14 John’s view on the civilized society is fixed. If the last three chapters were about the interactions between John and the civilized society’s way of thinking, chapter 14, where John’s mother dies and he meets children that talks about death indifferently, is the decisive chapter where John fixes his opinion about the civilized society to be a bad society without freedom and emotions.

Chapter 5 – 10

This blog post is about chapter 5 to 9. At the beginning in chapter 5 and 6, a juxtaposition between the standard Brave New World citizens’ way of thinking and Bernard’s way of thinking. In Chapter 5 from a conversation between Henry Foster and Lenina, the readers are able to learn about how the regular citizens in the society thinks of themselves as just a part of the community. Some quotes that show this are “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we’re dead. Making plants grow”, “All men are physic-chemically equal”. Through this we can se how the citizens value more of the stability and the well being of the society as a whole than the importance of individuality. “Everyone works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone…” However, as a contrast, in chapter 6 the conflicting conversation between Bernard and Lenina shows how the Bernard’s opinion differs from the society’s view. Lenina represents the standard normal view of the citizens in the civilized land and she is not able to understand what Bernard is trying to say to her. From chapter 6 to the end of chapter 9, it’s about the fight between Bernard and DHC to kick one another out of the society. The beginning of that fight is when Bernard and DHC have a conversation about the reserves and DHC’s past. In this conversation not only does DHC show a soft non-civilized way of thinking, but he also provides a hint for Bernard to attack him later. In chapter 7 when Bernard and Lenina finally begin the tour around the reserves, they witness something that was too hard to understand from the civilized society’s land. They see dirtiness, diseases, and oldness. They see ritual of people getting hurt and wanting to be sacrificed. They see religions. While Lenina is just shocked and horrified by the reserves, Bernard tries his best to comprehend them and think in their point of view. After that they see John and Linda. As soon as they began talking, John and Bernard knew right away that they were alike in the sense that they were different and abandoned by their own societies. Chapter 8 is mostly about John’s past. The story of how the discrimination from the fact that he was from the civilized land and how his mother acted, led to who he was. At this point, although the book doesn’t really say it, Bernard probably noticed that John was the son of the DHC. Knowing that if he just went back without any mesures he would be sent to Iceland, Bernard desperately visit the people in the high positions of the civilized society and asks the permission to bring John and Linda(the proof of DHC’s mistakes) back to the civilized society. In chapter 10, the fight between the DHC and Bernard begins. A quote that shows how the DHC viewed Bernard and the society is “” Eventually the fight ends with Bernard winning, and the DHC leaves the civilized society never to come back.

Brave New World IHubReads Chapter 4

The first half of chapter 4 was about a conversation between Lenina and Bernard. Lenina and Bernard met in public and Lenina accepted Bernard’s invitation where everyone could hear. However, for Bernard, it was embarrassing to talk about such things in public. In this scene, by peeking into Lenina’s thoughts, we can assume one of the reasons why she accepted Bernard’s invitation. “Anyhow, she was publicly proving her unfaithfulness to Henry. Fanny ought to be pleased, even though it was Bernard.” (Page 51) By looking at this phrase, we can see that part of her reason was to prove to everyone that she was no longer abnormal and fit into the community. The other half of this chapter was focused on Bernard’s perspective. It showed a glimpse of Bernard’s life and his complexes. After this came the communication between Bernard and Helmholtz Watson. A friendship between two very opposite men was very interesting to see. Bernard was the outcast of society; in some sense lower than the Epsilons in the community’s view, while Helmholtz was the famous; the role model. But at the same time, the fact that even the two opposite people in the society ended up with the same idea that there was something more, could be evidence to support that their idea was true. A new character that came out in this chapter was Helmholtz Watson. He was a man of admiration itself. He had a handsome body, intelligence, and girls. He was the exact opposite of Bernard. This chapter also did a good job of allowing the readers to further understand Bernard’s life and his characteristics. There were several things that caught my attention in this chapter. The first ones were phrases on page 56 and page 58 “Those who meant well behaved in the same way as those who meant badly.”, “The 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 around by being alien and alone.” These phrases were from Bernard’s point of view. However, while I was reading these, they reminded me of the disabled people in our current world. I thought that these phrases not only described Bernard’s life, but also described how the disabled people in our world feel when they are often seen differently, just because they are physically and mentally different. The second thing that I found interesting was on page 57 “Wretched, in a word, because she had behaved as any healthy virtuous English girl out to behave and not in some other, abnormal extraordinary way.” This phrase was interesting because even though the word ‘wretched’ was supposed to be bad, the rest of the phrase which described the victim didn’t have any bad words. The next thing that I found was on page 56 and 57. “’My word,’ said Lenina, ‘I’m glad I’m not a gamma’”, “’I am I, and I wish I wasn’t’”. The first quote was from Lenina while the second was from Bernard. We can see a clear contrast between these two. If you recall, there was a similar phrase on page 25 “I’m really awfully glad I’m a beta because…”. This was the phrase that was repeated to people every night when they were infants. By looking at those three phrases we can see the clear difference between Lenina and Bernard. While Lenina is living as the state wanted her to, Bernard was clearly defying what he should not have been able to defy, according to the information we knew about the power of hypnopaedia.

Brave New World IHubReads Chapter 3

Adding onto the last two chapters, chapter three contributes by explaining the settings to the readers in a new way. Chapter three consists of series of events that contradict our current common beliefs. By going through events like children playing erotic games, talking about families as if they are strange things, and talking about pregnancy substitutes, the author forces the readers to realize the differences between their world and ours, and to throw questions at themselves. The new way that chapter three adopted  further more represents the differences between the characters’ view and ours, by letting us hear them talking about us. By listening to the Controller and DHC recalling and explaining our current lives, and watching the students’ reactions, the readers are able to see the contrast between the book’s way of thinking and ours, and better understand the setting of the book. If chapter one and two were about describing the physical and cultural setting of the book, chapter three, by showing the readers the reactions and the characters’ way of talking, was able to show the readers the actual people’s way of life, and thinking shaped by the physical and cultural background settings of the world they are living in. Some new characters that came out in this chapter were the Controller, Fanny, Assistant Predestinator, and Bernard. The entrance of the Controller was enough to show how high he was in the social class. Even just by reading chapter three, we could see that the Controller was a round character who was not like other regular flat characters in their world. He not only had the knowledge of history, but also had the wisdom to try to understand and consider the attributes and the flaws of both political systems; of their world and ours. The phrase in page 30 does well to describe how he was a round and considering man, “There were those strange rumours of old forbidden books hidden in a safe in the controller’s study. Bibles, poetry – Ford knew what.” The fact that such rumours were half-true, and that the Controller was even familiar with books that may be considered to be a book against the state, shows that the Controller is at least not just following the rules because he was told. He seeks more knowledge and information for him to decide the rights and the wrongs for himself. The next characters, Fanny and Assistant Predestinator, seem to be flat characters, who just came out to show the contrast and the relationship between the important characters. On the other hand, Bernard was a man who was different. He first of all hated what everyone else liked, and was also physically different. The world motto: Community, Identity, Stability didn’t fit for him. His way of thinking was the opposite to the world he is living in, but at the same time, due to this fact, he was able to become a character that the readers could finally relate to. Some new characteristics that were shown in this chapter were about the two characters: Henry and Lenina. We could see that Henry was the perfect guy in his world, “the perfect gentleman” (page 37). On the other hand, Lenina was a bit special; she preferred to stay with one partner, and she decided to go out with Bernard whom everyone avoided. There were mainly two things that I found interesting in this chapter. The first one was on page 30 where the author’s style of writing suddenly changed. The setting of the conversation began changing from place to place. I tried to find some kind of relationship between the dialogues but it was hard to find something that stuck out. This was something worth inquiring into. The second thing that I found interesting was on page 44 “Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches.” This seems to be one of the mottos of their world. Through this phrase we can see how the stability and community instead of individuals were successful because of this kind of idea. By using drugs called ‘Soma’, and hiding the concept of love and passion from the people, which is the idea of ‘Ending is better than mending’, the state was able to build a society where there were no deep attachments towards each other; therefore nothing important in their lives.

Brave New World IHubReads Chapter 2

After finishing the tour in the Decanting room, the students and the DHC moved into a room called Infant Nurseries Neo-Pavlovian conditioning. In that room, the DHC presented a performance to the students, that demonstrates the use of hypnopaedia. One example of how the infants were trained was using terror and pain to make them hate books and flowers. DHC gave the infants some books and flowers, and gave them horrible sounds, and gave electrical shocks to them. Also, when they were sleeping, very quite repetitions of rules and policies they need to follow were being whispered in order to shape their moral personalities. Chapter 2 touched more upon the political shape of the world. The demonstration that may be viewed by the readers as a cruel thing to do well explained the functions and the differences of social classes. The way they were training the children was to ignore the children’s freedom, and predestine their life. This tells the readers that the political state of the world is more towards communism where the community as a whole is more important than the individuals. There weren’t really any new characters that were introduced in this chapter, but through this chapter some new characteristics were revealed from the DHC. One major thing that was revealed was “”But all these suggestions are our suggestions!”, “Suggestions from the State”, “It therefore follows…””. By this phrase, we can see how DHC understands the problems around freedom and predestined lives.

Brave New World IHubReads Chapter 1

My book for the IHub reads is ‘Brave New World’ and this blog is about chapter 1. Chapter 1 focuses a lot on describing the setting of the story. The story, told in third person omniscient view, begins in a building called ‘Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre’. In chapter one, the author uses a scene of Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning(DHC) giving a tour around the building and explaining the functions of each room to the students to indirectly inform the readers of what kind of world they are currently living in. Instead of just laying out the settings word by word for the readers, the author uses the characters’ thoughts and actions to allow the readers to guess the settings by themselves. By going through a tour around a building that functions as the foundation of all the strange characteristics that the world is built on, the readers are able to find the differences of our world compared to theirs, and set the basic background information about the world, which will later allow them to easily understand some of the odd principles and actions that the characters in the book are living by. By explaining to the readers the reason and the function of a fertilizing room, the readers get to know that the people living in their world no longer seek to be viviparous. By explaining the detailed process of bokanovskification, the readers get to guess the era and the political principles that the world is in. By furtively mentioning the World Controllers, Epsilons, and their social destinies, the author gives a hint to the readers about the social class and the discrimination that the people in the lower class are forced to undergo. The three main characters that chapter 1 reveals are the DHC, Lenina, and Henry Foster. DHC seems to be a very informed man with a lot of knowledge about the system of the world. Henry Foster appears to be very involved in his work. However, a quote in the chapter “He was going to say future World Controllers, but correcting himself, said ‘future Directors of Hatcheries’ instead.” (page.11) shows that he is a very sly canny person. Lenina was another character whose characteristics weren’t fully shown, who has a professional relationship with Henry Foster. There are two main things that I found interesting in this chapter. One of them is at page 5 “Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines”. The adjectives that are describing both twins and machines are exactly the same. This rhyming quote seems to work as symbolism for how the people in this world view humans as nothing more than workers made to function as another kind of machine. Another thing that caught my interest was on page 13 “That is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.” I don’t know for sure if the author used the word ‘unescapable’ on purpose, knowing that the proper form is ‘inescapable’, in order to stress this point, but the reason why this phrase caught my eye was because this phrase sounded like it created a Utopia for everyone. In the current era, lots of people complain about how they have to give up what they want to do, and do what they are good at. Often the things that we are good at are not the things that we want to do. Reading the phrase from this era’s view, making people like what they’ve got to do really seems to be the secret of happiness and virtue. However, one thing that we have to also recognize is the word ‘unescapable social destiny’ Even if we were to like what we are supposed to do, if it’s an ‘unescapable social destiny’, would it be true happiness? Would living in a world without challenges and freedom really be a life worth living for? Would happiness gained without suffering and pain really be happy? These questions seem to be the main ones that the author is asking in the book ‘Brave New World’.