“Brave New World” HMBHS Study Guide

CHAPTER 1 7 questions
1. Why is the first sentence strange? What does it set up? 34 stories in a building is considered “squat” and very short compared to the average building.
2. What is the meaning of the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY?” Communities are stable and everyone has an individual identity.
3. Why odes the fertilizing room look so cold, when it is actually hot inside? What goes on there? It’s a metaphor for the lack of love. Workers fertilize eggs and make children of every caste.
4. Why do particulars “make for virtue and happiness” while generalities “are intellectually necessary evils?” Particulars leave room for no variation, while generalities cause too many questions.
5. How do people know who they are in this society? Eggs are made to fit into the castes of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.
6. Why use the Bokanovsky process at all? How is it instrument “of social stability?” 96 individuals are made from one egg, ad that is to stabilize the population.
7. Why don’t the Epsilons “need human intelligence?” They aren’t required to think much in the jobs theya re created for.
CHAPTER 2 5 questions
1. What work does the conditioning do? Who gets conditioned? How do hypnopaedia work? Babies and children are conditioned into the norms of society. Hypnopaedia, or sleep-teaching, helps individuals to memorize facts but not understand concepts.
2. Why condition the Deltas to hate nature but love outdoor sports? To keep factories in business but to have them continue to use elaborate apparatus.
3. How does time work in this book? History? Why does Ford say “History is Bunk?” History is considered garbage and useless because government doesn’t want society to compare life to old societies because then they would realize they’re not actually happy. Ford wants people to live and consume in the present.
4. What are the various castes like, and why? Intelligence decreases down each class and final three have a mental disorder to make them less intelligent.
5. How do the students demonstrate their own conditioning? Upper-class students have been conditioned to look down upon lower classes, but to be happy about their own.
CHAPTER 3 10 questions
1. How do the children play together? What is childhood like? Naked children play ball games, or squat silently in twos or threes in shrubs. Children are conditioned to have sex at 7, and learn how to act and treat others in their castes.
2. How is our world depicted? How do we get from here to there? Our world is looked down upon for being “simple.” Every invention had to be better than the last.
3. Why must games be so complex in this society? Because there must be constantly new things that continue consumption.
4. Why are strong emotions dangerous? Family relationships? Romance? Religion? Art? Culture? These are all dangerous because they might lead individuals to question their happiness and their true role in society/life.
5. How is sexuality used in this novel? Do you see any problems with it? Sexuality is used as amusement. I think it takes away a lot of freedom and choice and consent, but I like that it takes away sexual stigmas.
6. What does Mustapha Mond do? What is his relationship to history? “His Fordship” is the controller of the Western European zone of London. He decides what history is to be shared and what is to be kept secret.
7. Is there anything unusual about Lenina Crowne? Bernard Max? What? Why? Lenina spends over a month with the same man, when the norm is a week at most. Bernard Marx is very small for an Alpha, which makes him insecure, and Alpha’s should be proud and confident.
8. How does Huxley use the cinematic technique toward the end of this chapter? He switches between different conversations and they become as big as one sentence then we switch to a different character speaking.
9. What is soma? What are its uses? Soma is a pill the people take to keep them from feeling too much. It keeps them in happy euphoria.
10. How do people age in this society? They take pills so they don’t look older, and die at 60 so they don’t look withered and “ugly.”
CHAPTER 4 6 questions
1. What is life like for the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron who runs the elevator? He works all day, doing work nobody else wants to do. People look down upon him and are thankful they aren’t Epsilon-Minus.
2. How do the other Alphas relate to Bernard? They’re very standoffish because he’s different, but also feel bad for him.
3. What does Lenina do on her date? They play golf, eat dinner, take soma, and have sex.
4. What does she think of the lower castes? She’s very vocal about her distance from them.
5. Why is Bernard the way he is? What does he really want? It is believed that a worked put alcohol into his blood surrogate by accident when he was in the tube. He just wants to fit in and be normal for once.
6. Why is Helmholtz the way he is? What does he want? How is he different from Bernard? He has a mental excess. He wants something more in life. He is the opposite because Bernard is mentally disabled and Helmholtz is physically too able.
CHAPTER 5 3 questions
1. What do Lenina and Henry talk about on their way home? What happens at the crematorium? They talk about the Slough Crematorium. People are cremated and used for fertilizer.
2. Why are stars depressing? Because it means you don’t see the sky signs or that they are turned off.
3. What are the solidarity services like? What role do they play? How does Bernard fit? A group that worships materialism-Model T. They have hymns, special soma, and summon a Greater Being. Bernard doesn’t really care but goes along with it.
CHAPTER 6 10 questions
1. Why is being alone a bad thing? Because it allows you to be in your head and feel lonely, which makes people very unhappy.
2. What do Lenina do on their first date? Why is the ocean important? The moon? Bernard talks about the ocean and how calming and peaceful he feels when gazing out into the waves. This makes Lenina feel very uncomfortable, to feel inspired by something too ordinary.
3. What does Bernard say about freedom? What does he mean? He says everyone is happy by force, not by nature. He means that no one is truly free.
4. How does the date end? Bernard gives in to Lenina and takes some soma and sleeps with her.
5. What does it mean to be infantile in this society? To be infant-like: have multiple sexual partners and no responsibility/emotion for them.
6. How does the director feel about Bernard? Why is he warning him? He notices that Bernard is different, therefore must be monitored closely. He warns him not to question society and to act the way he is expected, or else he will be exiled to Iceland.
7.What does his story mean? What does it show us about him? The story shows that the director has made mistakes in his past, in leaving with Linda somewhere in the reservation, that he is not necessarily proud of it.
8. How does Helmholtz feel about Bernard after he hears the story of the meeting with the director? Helmholtz is annoyed with Bernard’s childish behavior and emotions.
9. What doe we learn from the Warden? What are the reservations like? There is no escape from a savage reservation, and children are born into it and will live their for their entire lives.
10. What does the word Malpais mean? Rough and barren landscape with volcanic land forms.
CHAPTER 7 7 questions
1. How is the mesa like the ship? “The mesa was like a ship beclaimed in a strait of lion-coloured dust.”
2. Why doesn’t Lenina like their Indian guide? Because he is associated with the unknown and queer place.
3. What is the city itself like? What are the people like? How does Lenina respond? Bernard? Dirty and dusty. They wear feathers and deerskin and carry snakes. Lenina is shocked and scared. Bernard is shocked and fascinated.
4. What ceremony do they witness? What does it mean? What does it seem like to Lenina? They watch a sacrificial ceremony. This is considered to be an honor. Lenina sees the blood and what is in her eyes torture and cruelty.
5. What idols emerge from the ground? An eagle, Pookong, and Jesus Christ.
6. How is John Savage different? What does he want? How does he respond to Lenina? He has light skin and hair. He wants to fit in with the other savages but doesn’t. He’s embarrassed and shy when he notices her watching him.
7. What is Linda’s story? What has her life been like here? How does Linda react to her? She was left at the reservation by the director. Hard. Lenina pities her.
CHAPTER 8 9 questions
1. What was John’s upbringing like? His relationship with Linda? His education? He’s not readily accepted, and spends most of his time alone. He’s very close to Linda and wants to learn.
2. Why doesn’t Linda want to be called a mother? She has been conditioned to think family is wrong and even though she loves and appreciates John, she’s disgusted with herself for having a baby.
3. What social positions do Linda and John hold in Malpais? Neither are treated with kindness or acceptance.
4. What does John want in his life? To be educated and happy.
5. What does Linda tell him about the Other Place? She tells him how much better it is.
6. What does he learn from Shakespeare? How does he relate to Hamlet? The Tempest? He learns new languages, how to express himself, and how to injure people.
7. What does it mean to discover “Time and Death and God?” To fully understand the meaning of life.
8. What do John and Bernard have in common? They are both outsiders in their own community.
9. Why does Bernard want to take John to London? He wants to use him against the DHC.
CHAPTER 9 2 questions
1. Why does Mustapha Mond agree to the plan? He sees the “sufficient scientific interest” in bringing Savage to London.
2. What happens when John watches Lenina sleep? What does he think or feel? He connects Lenina with Juliet and himself with Romeo. He believes she is above him and that he is not worthy of her.
CHAPTER 10 3 questions
1. How and why was the DHC planning on making an example out of Bernard? He plans on embarrassing him in front of other high-caste members so that he doesn’t “corrupt” anyone.
2. Why is unorthodoxy worse than murder? “Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual, it strikes at Society itself.”
3. How does Linda act in the hatchery? How does the DHC react? The spectators? Linda is kind and excited. The DHC is disgusted at her appearance and acts like he’s never known her. The spectators laugh at the humiliating joke.
CHAPTER 11 10 questions
1. Why does John become popular, but not Linda? Linda is fat, ugly due to age, and a mother.
2. How does Bernard’s life change? How does he react? What does Helmholtz think? He becomes important and popular. He uses it to get girls and make his fellow alpha-pluses jealous. Helmholtz doesn’t care.
3. How does Linda spend her time? In a soma holiday. She takes as much as 20 grammes a day and is thought to live only another 2 months.
4. How does Bernard talk in public? With new-found confidence.
5. What does Mustapha Mond think of Bernard’s reports? He thinks Bernard is rude and an idiot.
6. What does John think of the caste system? Of the clones? How does he use The Tempest now? He finds it revolting and disgusting. He hates them. He uses The Tempest to express himself.
7. What do we learn about the reservations at Eton? What does John think? That everyone is supposed to be happy. He thinks it’s funny.
8. How do the children respond to dying? Why? They have no reaction due to their conditioning.
9. How does Lenina feel about John? She thinks he’s attractive but uncomfortable around her.
10. What does John think about the feelies? Why? He thinks the film is horrible and brainwashing because of the violence and inhumanness.
CHAPTER 12 9 questions
1. Why does John decide not to come to Bernard’s party? What does this mean for Bernard? He feels like Bernard is just using him for popularity. It means Bernard is humiliated.
2. How does Lenina feel at the party? Why does she feel this way? She feels “anxious exultations” because she thinks she may have real feelings for John.
3. How does John feel? Why is he reading Romeo and Juliet? He feels he has requited love for Lenina, but she isn’t capable of love in return. Because he feels for Lenina what Romeo feels for Juliet.
4. What does it mean that Lenina likes looking at the moon now? It means she has a different mindset now and John has had a large effect on her.
5. What role does Mustapha Mond play as a censor? Why does he do it? What does he censor? What does he really want? He makes the rules for society and decides what works to publish. He wants a happy and functioning society.
6. How does Bernard’s position change? How do John and Helmholtz respond to Bernard now? He loses his new found popularity. They take him back, no hard feelings.
7. Why is Helmholtz in trouble with the authorities? What has he done that is dangerous, and why is it dangerous? Why did he do it? What does he want? He wrote a rhyme about solidarity. Solidarity is considered a danger to society. He wants to see everyone’s reaction.
8. What does Helmholtz think of Shakespeare? Romeo and Juliet? He thinks it’s funny but smart.
9. What does Helmholtz think is necessary for good writing? He thinks emotion is necessary.
CHAPTER 13 4 questions
1. What are the consequences of Lenina’s emotion? What is happening? Lenina acts crazy upon her emotions. Lenina wants to sleep with John but he runs away and goes on a rampage.
2. How does she feel for John? What does she do to get what she wants? She loves him and wants to sleep with him. She gets undressed and surprises him.
3. How does John feel for Lenina? What does he want to do to prove it? He likes her, but doesn’t want to show it because he’s scared of what she might think. He wants to prove he’s manly by marrying her and getting a lion skin.
4. How does John react to Lenina’s actions? Why does he respond this way? What did he want from her? He slaps her, calls her a wh*re, and runs away. He doesn’t want to have sex with her, he wants to be in a serious relationship with her.
CHAPTER 14 5 questions
1. What is the hospital for the dying like? What are the dying like? It is cheery and happy. The dying are happy and totally drugged.
2. Why is Linda dying? She has been taking way too much soma.
3. What memories flood over John as he stands before his mother? Why these particular memories? What are his memories of the “other place”? What role does memory play in society? Motherly memories of Linda. The lessons she’s taught him. The other place is heavenly and serene. Memory is used for hypnopaedic purposes.
4. Why are the Delta children at the hospital? What does John think of this? They are being conditioned to like death. John thinks it’s crazy and terrible.
5. Why isn’t death terrible for those in the civilized world? What does this mean for the individual? People have been conditioned to like it. This means that death is not feared anymore.
CHAPTER 15 6 questions
1. The title phrase recurs here. How is it used differently than before? What does it mean now? He now uses it with a negative connotation. It is a curse now.
2. Why does John decide to interfere with the soma distribution? Why does he say it is poison? Because he feels it is poisoning their minds. He says its poison because it’s not helping them be independent.
3. What is John’s conception of slavery and freedom? Manhood? Liberty? Slavery is the life they live, freedom is to be broken free from the life they lie, manhood is gained by hardship and trials, liberty is nonexistent with slaves.
4. What does he think of the Deltas to whom he delivers his speech? He thinks they’re disgusting maggots.
5. What roles to Bernard and Helmholtz play here? What does this tell us about their characters? Helmholtz tries to help John, while Bernard stays behind so as to not obstruct his social image. It shows how different they are.
6. How does the soma riot end? What does it mean to be happy and good? With everyone soma-ed up and happy. To be stable and calm.
CHAPTER 16 11 questions
1. How would you describe Bernard’s behavior in this chapter? Why does he act this way? He starts to realize how terrible the world he lives in is. He acts this way because there is evidence all around him of how terrible it is.
2. Why doesn’t John like civilization? Because it makes people not think for themselves.
3. Why does Mond say old and beautiful things are forbidden? Because they are different from high art and tragedies.
4. Why can’t tragedies be written now? What is necessary for tragedy? Because they would make people sad. Death and emotion is necessary.
5. What does art mean in the new world? What can’t it mean? What is Helmholtz’s role? It includes happiness. It can’t mean sadness. Helmholtz decides what can be published and what can’t.
6. What does Mond say is the role of liberty? Happiness? Stability? Truth and Beauty? Mond says they’re all needed but sometimes aren’t all good.
7. How does Mond explain the caste system? Do you agree? He says we need different levels of people for a society.
8. What would happen with an entire society of Alphas? There would be no one to do the dirty work.
9. Why must science be constrained? Progress? Do you agree? Because it will keep advancing and people will keep advancing and could become dangerous.
10. Why choice did Mond make as a young physicist? Why? What is his real position? He chooses to serve other people’s happiness because he loves people. He is really just in it for himself.
11. Why does Helmholtz make the choice he makes? He doesn’t want to be forced to abandon what he believes in.
CHAPTER 17 9 questions
1. Why does Mond want to talk with John alone? What do they talk about? To share his opinion of religion.
2. What is the significance of their discussion of religion? What does John argue religion can give to civilization? Why does Mond argue that it is unnecessary and potentially dangerous? It’s very personal. John argues that religion gives hope to civilization. Mond says that religion is dangerous because you lose your youth.
3. What does Mond believe is the role of God? How is it related to the self? It’s very high and might and just restricts people. It shows the self has no control over what it does/it’s identity.
4. How does John argue that the civilized man has been degraded? Fromm what and to what? Solitude is important to help determine your spirituality.
5. What are your conceptions of the role of self-denial, chastity, nobility, heroism? What would John or Mond say? Personal opinion
6. What role does Mond say soma plays in this? What is an “opiate of the masses”? Soma is basically their god.
7. What does it mean “to suffer the sling and arrows of outrageous fortune” or oppose them? It means to work hard for your riches and if you oppose them you don’t work hard for them.
8. What does John mean by saying that nothing in civilization costs enough? You shouldn’t be able to buy civilization or happiness.
9. In saying no to civilization, what does John say yes to? Would you make the same decision? John says yes to comfort, God, poetry, real danger, freedom, goodness, sin, and potential unhappiness.
CHAPTER 18 7 questions
1. How does John purify them? He drinks mustard and warm water.
2. Where does he go, and what does he plan to do there? He goes to an abandoned lighthouse to purge himself of the evils of society.
3. Does it represent a healthy alternative from society? For John, yes, because he would be happier alone than with the rest of society.
4. Why the self-flagellation? To purge himself and make himself pure again.
5. What does Lenina want? What does John think she wants? Lenina wants John. John thinks she wants him forcefully.
6. How does the crowd respond? What happens that evening? What becomes of Lenina? The crowd thinks it’s funny. They beat each other. Lenina dies.
7. What is John’s decision? Why does he make it? Were there alternatives? John hangs himself. He hates himself and the world he was forced into. For John, no.

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