Brave New World


Significant Quotations

1. “Stability,” said the Controller. “No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability.” His voice was a trumpet. Listening, they felt larger, warmer.

The machine turns, turns and must keep on turning—for ever. It is death if it stands still. A thousand millions scrabbled the crust of the earth. The wheels began to turn. In a hundred and fifty years there were two thousand millions. Stop all the wheels. In a hundred and fifty weeks there are once more only a thousand millions; a thousand thousand thousand men and women have starved to death.

Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment.

Crying: My baby, my mother, my only, only love; groaning: My sin, my terrible God; screaming with pain, muttering with fever, bemoaning old age and poverty—how can they tend the wheels?

This passage is taken from Chapter 3, during Mustapha Mond’s lecture to the group of boy students at the Hatchery and Conditioning Center. Although only the first sentence is the directly quoted speech of Mustapha Mond, the remainder of the passage sums up the substance of his lecture. With Mond’s emphasis on stability, we see what is at the core of the decisions the World State has made to enforce its particular brand of totalitarianism. Mond draws a direct connection between happiness and stability, the stability of the society and the stability of the individual. Together, all function to support a happy civilization, according to Mond. The boys’ reaction to his words, that of feeling “larger, warmer,” emphasizes the effectiveness of their conditioning. Each of them truly believes himself part of a greater whole, truly feels safe and content in a society which has been ordered thus. We get a clear picture that they have no sense of a loss of freedom; rather,...

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