Key Quotes and literary significance
“Alphas are so conditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotional behaviour. But that is all the more reason for their making a special effort to conform. It is their duty to be infantile, even against their inclination. “(Huxley 98) * Director is addressing Bernard, after he embarrasses himself by showing an emotional side of himself. * Goes against the idea of all the characters in the novel having one identity, it’s a large mistake made by a senior authority figure. * The idea of infantilism comes up in the following quote, not only here but through much of the novel. * Proof of this is “Alphas are so conditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotional behaviour.” (Huxley 98)
"Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We flood the whole system with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fear and rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and being murdered by Othello, without any of the inconveniences." (Huxley 240) * Addressed by to Mustapha Mond by the controller. Communicating to him the power of science, while relating it to Shakespeare. * The Controller expresses that science, even with all its power, must address the basic needs of the human nature. * The need for “Violent Passion Surrogate” (Huxley 240) every month is proof that the world they live in has severely altered the human experience. * In order to meet the needs of man, the controllers have added drugs and simulations. * So in theory the human body is being tricked that it is still fully human.
"Then why on earth didn't you say so?" she cried, and so intense was her exasperation that she drove her sharp nails into the skin of his wrist. "Instead of drivelling away about knots and vacuum cleaners and lions, and making me miserable for weeks and weeks." (Huxley 193) * Lenina is devastated after she finds out John had been keeping a secret from her for weeks . * This is one of the key moments in the novel that provides evidence for a minor theme in the novel, the sex-violence connection between characters. * Lenina passion for john is so strong; that when she finds out that he is keeping a secret from her she physically hurts him. “Then why on earth didn't you say so?" she cried, and so intense was her exasperation that she drove her sharp nails into the skin of his wrist.” (Huxley 193) proves this.
“Helmholtz rose from his pneumatic chair. "I should like a thoroughly bad climate," he answered. "I believe one would write better if the climate were bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms, for example…" (Huxley 229) * Helmholtz is addressing the controller after he describes the lovely tropical islands he wishes to stay on. * It is clear in this quote that Helmholtz has learned what the value of sacrifice is really about. Including the intentional suffering one may go through, in order to pursue our passions in life. * It is one of the first steps in his claim to write about a passion that he has come to understand. Not only this but since physically emotions are suppressed in the world they live in, he plans to use his writing as a way for him to experience suffering. * The imagery of whether and how it affects the plot is proven here, "I believe one would write better if the climate were bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms, for example…" (Huxley 229)
"What about self-denial, then? If you had a God, you'd have a reason for self-denial."
"But industrial civilization is only possible when there's no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning." (Huxley 237) * John is addressing this quote to Lenina, when she questions the idea of religion and God. * The process of allowing suffering to one’s self and denying the needs of your body is the process of “self-denial.” John is here stating that the God is one of the main reasons of self-denial, he explains this also in earlier chapters. * John believes that religion expresses suffering as a vital part of it, addressing the theme of the novel, of never finding true happiness while one is alive.
“The Savage nodded, frowning."You got rid of them. Yes, that's just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether 'tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them… But you don't do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy." (Huxley 239) * John is addressing himself in this quote, and comes to realization that he is operating in a very different world than the one in which he was raised. * It is this realization that ultimately leads him to leave the world state he is in and go live in solitude. * This quote addresses the theme of the use of the technology to control the society and how characters such as John realize they cannot live in such a world. * Since technology is such a vital part of this world John leaves to join a different world, one with sling and arrows. “Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy.” (Huxley 239)
"Don't you want to be free and men? Don't you even understand what manhood and freedom are?" Rage was making him fluent; the words came easily, in a rush. "Don't you?" he repeated, but got no answer to his question. "Very well then," he went on grimly. "I'll teach you; I'll make you be free whether you want to or not." And pushing open a window that looked on to the inner court of the Hospital, he began to throw the little pill-boxes of soma tablets in handfuls out into the area.” (Huxley 213) * John is once again addressing himself in this quote, moving from a rather inexperienced character to one full of rage and angry. * Passion is a strong topic of the quote; it’s not only a part of what humans experience but the reason we acquire many of our experiences. It is with passion that we can become our own individuals, having opinions, disagreements and interacting with one another in a way that wouldn’t be otherwise possible. * This is what the following quote is about, however it is this very reason that causes John to go against the theme of the play of non-existent individualism.
"Almost nobody. I'm one of the very few. It's prohibited, you see. But as I make the laws here, I can also break them. With impunity, Mr. Marx," he added, turning to Bernard. "Which I'm afraid you can't do." (Huxley 220) * Mustapha addresses Bernard here about his belief of the power he has in the world. * As a controller of Western Europe, he is one of the ten most powerful individuals of the plant. * Believing he has ultimate freedom in this World, he has come about to the idea that he can break whatever rules he desires. “But as I make the laws here, I can also break them.” (Huxley 220) proves this notion of his.
"The optimum population," said Mustapha Mond, "is modelled on the iceberg – eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above." (Huxley 223) * Mustapha Mond is addressing a savage about the current state the world is in, believing that the savage is a null-minded idiot. * Here Mustapha Mond is in particular claiming that those who are under the water line are indeed happier than the ones who are above it. Mainly stating that one should never question the power and authority of the world state society.
"'We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. […] as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man – that it is an unnatural state – will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end…'" (Huxley 234) * The following quote said by Mustapha Mond was directly from the Cardinal Newman's writings. * Amazingly, the following quote about God can also be applied to the world society that he lives. This without a doubt is odd, because all though there is a figurative authority figure in the world state society, there is defiantly no belief of any God. * However, the following part of the quote addresses that they might in fact believe in a God, “We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters” (Huxley 234).
"My dear young friend," said Mustapha Mond, "civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended – there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense." (Huxley 235) * Mustapha Mond addresses the young savage once again, explaining the idea of heroism in a population. * The conditioning of man he states is the reason for loss of individual identity, not only this but the situation one may find themselves to be in can also lead to loss of individual identity. * Expressing that man is given neither the ability nor opportunity for individual thought and not to mention individual action. The following part of the quote proves this “nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic.” (Huxley 235)
"It's an absurdity. An Alpha-decanted, Alpha-conditioned man would go mad if he had to do Epsilon Semi-Moron work – go mad, or start smashing things up. Alphas can be completely socialized – but only on condition that you make them do Alpha work. Only an Epsilon can be expected to make Epsilon sacrifices, for the good reason that for him they aren't sacrifices; they're the line of least resistance. His conditioning has laid down rails along which he's got to run. He can't help himself; he's foredoomed. (Huxley 249) * The following quote is addressed to Bernard by the Dictator, as he works in the part of the factory reserved for the alphas. * The dictator is appealing that the lower level workers, the Epsilons, were imprisoned in their own world. Epsilons weren’t even allowed to understand intellectually that they were imprisoned; it was truly one of the worst kinds of imprisonments. * Appealing the theme of the novel, the inability of a individual to acquire happiness and truth.
"The gods are just. No doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cue from men." (Huxley 234) * Here one can see that Mustapha Mond again represents religion as something that is purely invented to keep people in line. “But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cue from men,” (Huxley 234) provides proof towards this claim. * However, since the controllers and directors have drugs such as soma to maintain the order in their districts, religion just isn’t needed anymore.
"Call it the fault of civilization. God isn't compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That's why I have to keep these books locked up in the safe." (Huxley 232) * At this point Mustapha addresses Bernard, about his ideas of science and God. * Believing that God just isn’t compatible with science, however what is meant by this? Well as a scientist and a man who believes in God, what he could have meant is the way God is viewed to man through religion. Knowing that religion and science never really agree, this claim seems to be possible. * “God isn't compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice,” (Huxley 232) providence to this claim.
“Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east.…” (Huxley 259) * The following quote is addressed to the audience of the novel by the author, expressing the idea of science precision in the novel. * Taking us back to the begin of the novel where this idea is first introduced to the audience through the quote “33 centimeters per hour” (Huxley 3). * The audience gets a harsh picture of the absolutely horrifying precision of science. * Truly a great way to end the novel of a science fiction genre.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World,. New York: Harper & Bros., 1932. Print.