Brave New World


Chapter 13 to Chapter 15

Chapter 13 Summary

Henry approaches Lenina at work and invites her to a Feely. When she says no, he wonders whom she’s going out with instead. Lenina seems upset, so he suggests that she might need a “Pregnancy Surrogate” or a “Violent Passion Surrogate” (formulas given to World State members that simulate a certain feeling so that they can get it out of their system.) Lenina is exasperated with him. She already feels enough “violent passion” as it is, because of her longing for John. She confides to Fanny that she has not “had” him yet, and Fanny encourages her to “take” him.

So, Lenina takes a bit of soma to overcome her nervousness and goes to John’s apartment uninvited. John is surprised, but when Lenina says he doesn’t seem happy to see her, he falls at her feet and begins rapturously quoting from Shakespeare. His talk of marriage confuses her, but she takes his confession of love as encouragement and takes off her clothes.

John is enraged, calls Lenina a whore and a strumpet and slaps her in the face. In terror, Lenina locks herself in the apartment as John continues his verbal rampage with a monologue from King Lear. After John takes a phone call, he rushes from the apartment and, with him gone, Lenina feels safe enough to emerge from the bathroom.

Chapter 14 Summary

In response to the phone call, John rushes to the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying to see his mother. He has been told her end is near. John sits at Linda’s bedside, trying to go over good memories of her in his mind. The ward is full of televisions (telescreens) and piped-in music and perfumes, all attempts to mitigate the unpleasantness of death. A group of Bokanovsky children is brought in as part of their conditioning, being taught to become comfortable with death rather than to find it sad or horrifying. The children stare at Linda, asking why she is fat and ugly, and John hits one of them angrily. He is reprimanded by the...

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