Brave New World


Chapter 7


Bernard and Lenina arrive at the Savage Reservation and are taken to the village of Malpais by their Indian guide. Lenina finds everything “queer” and distasteful from the beginning. She is horrified to see a very old man, since in the World State technology and drugs prevent anyone from looking old. In her discomfort, Lenina reaches for her soma, only to discover that she has left it back at the rest-house. She must therefore experience the Reservation as an unmediated reality. She takes some comfort at first in the sound of drum music, which pleasantly reminds her of the Solidarity Services back home. This illusion of connection is quickly dispelled when they witness a traditional Indian ceremony, which involves the public whipping of a young man. Disgusted by the sight of blood and frightened by the brutality of the event, Lenina is sobbing by the time the ceremony ends.

A young white man appears and begins speaking to them in English. Lenina is still more shocked when the man explains that he had wanted to be whipped himself in the ceremony. This is our introduction to John, who explains that he was born in Malpais but that his mother, Linda, had come from the “Other Place” long ago. His father, John explains, had disappeared, but he was called “Thomas” and had also come from the “Other Place.” With excitement, Bernard realizes that Thomas is the D.H.C., that Linda was the woman he had taken to the Reservation, and that John is his son.

John takes Lenina and Bernard to his small, squalid home on the outskirts of the village to meet Linda. Even as Linda is thrilled to see fellow members of the World State and hopeful that she may be able to return somehow to her old world, Lenina is horrified at the sight of her. She has grown old, is missing teeth, and reeks of alcohol. Linda tells Lenina how miserable she has been, condemned to this uncivilized, unsterile life where promiscuity is punished. She explains that she has been treated very badly by the villagers for...

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