Brave New World


Chapter 6


The chapter begins with Lenina thinking about how odd Bernard is because of his strange desire for privacy and his tendency to question what she sees as basic social truths. She considers not going on holiday with him to the Savage Reservation, but is drawn to the unique opportunity of visiting New Mexico. The chapter flashes back to a description of their first date, during which Bernard rejects several of her suggestions for group activities in favor of taking her for a walk around the Lake District. She cannot understand why he wants to be alone to talk, as she considers sex the only activity that people can do in private. Eventually, Lenina persuades him to attend a women’s wrestling championship in Amsterdam, but he has no fun at all and refuses to take soma. On the way home, Bernard hovers the helicopter over the Channel and explains that taking time to appreciate the wildness of nature makes him feel more like an individual. Lenina is horrified at the sight of all that rushing water and begins crying. Bernard tries to connect with Lenina about the idea of being free from conditioning, but she is distraught by everything he is saying. She is perplexed as to why he refuses to take soma when it would obviously help him to be happier and free from all these horrible thoughts. Finally, Bernard gives up on trying to talk, and takes a dose of soma so that he can go to bed with her. The next day, he tells her that he regrets having sex with her on their first date, and confesses that he had thought it might be possible to act like adults and wait. In answer, Lenina repeats a number of mottos and conditioned phrases, making it clear that she cannot relate to what he is saying. In spite of Bernard’s oddness, she decides that she still likes him enough to go on vacation to the Reservation.

In the second part of the chapter, Bernard goes to the Director to get his visit to the Reservation approved. At first, Bernard expects to meet with resistance from the Director, but he signs the permit without complaint. Then,...

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