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Brave new world summary

By lohanizil Sep 22, 2013 476 Words
Summary of Brave New World
Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, is a fictitious depiction of a futuristic utopian society. In this world every aspect of life is controlled and manipulated, with a specific purpose in mind. Humans are not conceived by parents, but rather in laboratories, undergoing treatments that enhance or impair the individual’s potential. Society adheres to a caste system in which there are multiple “levels” of intelligence (i.e. alpha, beta, delta, etc.). The book commences in a laboratory where a tour is being given of the laboratory in which the humans are conceived. The conditioning process is explained and references to the “old world” are made, jokingly pondering what it would be like to have parents, practice monogamy, and live in a world with infinite imperfections. One of the main characters, Bernard, is introduced. He is considered odd by most people, but that is because he thinks for himself and questions whether he should conform to society. He has feelings for another character, Lenina, who is attracted to Bernard, but reluctant to spend much time with him because of his abnormal behavior. Bernard and Lenina plan a trip to a “savage reservation” in New Mexico. Before leaving, Bernard speaks with a director for approval, and the director gets angry, recounting a story of one of his own visits to the reservation years ago. The director threatens to send Bernard to Iceland. Once at the reservation, Bernard and Lenina meet a young man named John. John is different from the other savages in that he is white and speaks English. As he mentions his mother and her origins, Bernard realizes that his mother, Linda, is the girl the director had lost on his trip here years ago. More of John’s childhood is revealed. His mother was often in trouble because she practiced customs from the utopian world in the reservation, such as promiscuity. John explains his love of reading, particularly Shakespeare. Bernard invites John and his mother back to Europe. Bernard escapes being sent to Iceland by using John and Linda against the director. John and Bernard become famous, but John’s discontent is growing. Eventually he becomes furious and acts violently towards Lenina when she tries seducing him. He leaves to see his mother, who is dying. John gets in a brawl with workers there. John, Bernard, and Helmoltz (Bernard’s friend) get a call from Mustapha Mond, and he explains the mechanics of a utopian world, and why things are the way they are. Bernard and Helmholtz are sent to islands due to their unsettling philosophies, and John is sent to live in the countryside alone. Crowds begin coming to his place and demanding he do his whipping. The morning after an eventful, violent evening, John is disgusted. Crowds and reporters return to find he has hung himself.

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