1. Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder those poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? This passage comes from Chapter 3, when Mustapha Mond is explaining the history of the World State to the group of boys touring the Hatchery. “Mother, monogamy, romance”can be seen as a concise summary of exactly the issues with which John will be most concerned. And “feeling strongly” is what John values most highly, and also what leads to his eventual self-flagellation, insanity, and suicide. Mustapha is saying that by doing away with these things, the World State has finally brought stability and peace to humanity. John’s critique of this position is that stability and peace are not worth throwing away everything that is worthwhile about life—“mother, monogamy, romance” included. Another facet of World State philosophy that is encapsulated in this quote is the idea of constructing a world in which human beings have only one way of behaving. The World State is an enormous system of production and consumption in which humans are turned into machines for further production and consumption. The world “allows” them to be happy by creating a system in which not being happy—by choosing truth over soma—is forbidden. 2. Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. . . . This quotation comes from Chapter 5, when Lenina remembers waking up as a small girl and, for the first time, hearing hypnopaedic messages whispered into her ear. She is reminded of the quote by a discussion with Henry Foster about the fact that all humans, regardless of caste, become equal after death. This quote illustrates the power of mind-numbing repetitiveness of the hypnopaedic rules and beliefs that form the basis of World State society. The message also highlights the hypocrisy of the conditioning: it may be true that “every one works for every one else,” but it is also true that certain castes have a much better time of it than others. 3. Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
Like drops within the Social River;
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.
. . .
Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release
This song is sung during the Solidarity Service attended by Bernard in Chapter 5. It gives an example of the banal “religion” the World State uses to keep its members in conformity with societal rules. The song’s silly wording helps emphasize the triviality of the ceremony. It also contrasts with the snippets of Shakespeare that John quotes later in the novel. The theme of anonymity is a metaphor for the whole of World State society, whose aim is to create humans that are as indistinguishable from each other as machines made on an assembly line. The repeated calls to “Ford” also point out the connection to the assembly line. Finally, the last stanza’s “orgy-porgy gives release,” like the Violent Passion Surrogate, the Pregnancy Surrogate, and soma, is a signal that the World State has not been able to entirely annihilate human nature. There is still some need for release, some need to experience strong emotions that has not been entirely wiped out through conditioning. The Solidarity Service is one of many...
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