Sunday, 10 July 2011

Brave New World, Huxley

Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center


Year A.F. 632

The Alphas and Betas remained until definitely bottled, while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out after 36 hours, to undergo the Bokanovsky’s Process.

One egg, one embryo, one adult – normality. But a Bokanovsky egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From 8 to 96 buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making 96 human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.

Bokanovskification consists of a series of arrests of development. The egg responds by budding.

Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability.

In nature it takes 30 yrs for 200 eggs to reach maturity. Podsnap’s Technique immensely accelerated the process of ripening. At least 150 mature eggs within 2 yrs.

Ovary record = 16012

Epsilon embryo kept below par -> less oxygen -> less intelligence (70%=dwarfs, <70% = eyeless monster) Coolness wedded to discomfort in hard X-rays. By the time they’re decanted the embryo had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. We condition them to thrive on heat. That is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what u’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny. Chemical workers trained in toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar, chlorine. Embryonic rocket-plane engineers kept in constant rotation. “To improve their sense of balance. Doing repairs on the outside of a rocket in mid-air is a ticklish job. We slacken off the circulation when they’re right way up, so that they’re half starved, and double the flow of surrogate when they’re upside down. They learn to associate topsy-turvydom with well-being; in fact, they’re only truly happy when they’re standing on their heads.” Deltas, dressed in khaki. “They’ll grow up with what psychologists call an “instinctive” hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. (Books and loud noise, flowers and electric shock) Not long ago, G, D and E were conditioned to like flowers. The idea was 2 make them go out into the country more often, and thus consume more transport. YET, a love of nature keeps no factories busy. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, but not the tendency to consume transport. -> condition the mass to hate the country, but love country sports.

Elementary Class Consciousness: “Alpha wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m rly awfully glad I’m a Beta, b/c I don’t work so hard. And we’re much better than Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid, they wear green. Delta wear khaki. And Epsilons are worse. They’re too stupid to read or write, and wear black, a beastly color.”

Hypnopaedia = sleep-teaching, words without reason.

The appalling dangers of family life

Fanny saying to Lenina: u ought to be more promiscuous… (Lenina has been with Henry Foster for 4 months, and no one else)

“Everyone belongs to everyone else.”

Bernard: an Alpha plus, psychologist. Physique hardly better than that of a Gamma. 8 centimetres short of standard Alpha height and slender in proportion. Contacts with lower castes reminded painfully of his physical inadequacy (inferiority complex) as hynopaedic prejudice in favor of size was universal. -> feeling alienated and alone, outsider.

Hemholtz: Alpha plus, handsome, lecturer at College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing). A mental excess produced in Hemholtz effects similar to those which, in Bernard, were results of a physical defect. Too much ability made Hemholtz so uncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone.

A physical shortcoming could produce a kind of mental excess. The process, it seemed, was reversible. Mental excess could produce, for its own purposes, the voluntary blindness and deafness of deliberate solitude, the artificial impotence of asceticism.

“I love flying. I love having new clothes. We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending.”

The World State, Community Sings, Ford’s Day Celebration, Solidarity Service.

Soma: “one cubic centimeter cures ten gloomy sentiments.”

“A gramme is better than a damn.”

“Everybody’s happy now.”

Alternate Thursdays were Bernard’s Solidarity Service days. 12 men and women sitting alternate in a ring around the table. Solidarity Hymn. Soma tablets placed in centre. Strawberry icecream soma passed around. “I drink to my annihilation”, “I drink to the Greater Being”, “I drink to the imminence of His Coming.” “The feet of the Greater Being”


(Bernard) was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began – more isolated by reason of his unreplenished emptiness, his dead satiety.

Bernard: don’t like taking soma, don’t like crowds. “What would it be like if I could, if I were free, not enslaved by my conditioning”

When threatened by the D.H.C to be transferred to Iceland, Bernard “left the room with a swagger, exulting, (…) in the thought that he stood alone, embattled against the order of things; elated by the intoxicating consciousness of his individual significance and importance. Even the thought of persecution left him undismayed, and was rather tonic than depressing.”

Hemholtz: hated Bernard’s boasting, abject pity, boldness after the event, yet because he liked him.

“We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at 30. We give them transfusion of young blood, keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. (…) Youth almost unimpaired till 60, then, crack, the end.”

In Savage Reservation: Lenina saw two young women giving breasts to their babies, blushed and turned away. It was indecent.

Bernard and Lenina, at the Savage Reservation, met John the Savage. Linda was his mother, and a Beta-minus, working in Fertilizing Room. Father is Tomakin (the D.H.C), yet he ran way to the “Other Place” (the World State), left Linda and John at Malpais with the Indians.

Linda: “This beastly wool isn’t like acetate. It lasts and lasts. And u’re supposed to mend it if it gets torn. (…) It never used to be right to mend clothes. “The more stitches, the less riches. Mending’s anti-social.”

Bernard: “I wonder if u’d like to come back to London with us?”, making the first move in a campaign whose strategy he had been secretly elaborating ever since….

John the Savage: “O Brave new world”

(…) for “father” was not so much obscene as – with its connotation of sth at one remove from the loathsomeness and moral obliquity of child-bearing – merely gross, a scatological rather than pornographic impropriety.

To say one was a mother: that was past a joke, it was an obscenity.

Linda: the return to civilization was to her a return to soma, was the possibility of lying in bed and taking holiday after holiday. Greedily she clamoured larger, ever more frequent doses… much as 20 grammes a day.

Bernard now found himself, for the 1st time in his life, as a person of outstanding importance. Success went fizzily to Bernard’s head, and in the process completely reconciled him to a world which, up until then, he had found very unsatisfactory.

“Eton is reserved exclusively for upper caste boy and girls. One egg, one adult.”

“Malthusian Drill”

“We don’t encourage them with any solitude amusements.”

Death condition begins at 18 months. Every tot spends two mornings/ week in the Hospital for the Dying. All the best toys are there, and they get choc cream on death days. They learn to take dying as a matter of course.

For G, D, S: get soma after work. 4 half-gramme tablets. 6 on Saturdays.

Hemholtz also went into conflict with authority over some rhymes he made about solitude. (on the use of rhymes in moral propaganda and advertisement, the 7th lecture in 12 about rhymes)

Hemholtz and the Savage took to one another at once. So cordially indeed that Bernard felt a sharp pang of jealousy.

In hearing the Savage citing the scene in Romeo and Juliet when lady Capulet bullied Juliet to marry Paris, Hemholtz broke out in uncontrollable guffawing. “The mother and father (grotesque obscenity) forcing the daughter to have someone she didn’t want! In its smutty absurdity the situation was irresistibly comical.”

V.P.S Treatment (Violent Passion Surrogate): compulsory, once a month.

John insulted at Lenina’s sexual advances: “Whore! Impudent strumpet!”

Mustafa Mond also read Shakespeare and the Bible: “It’s prohibited, but as I make the laws here, I can also break them, with impunity.”

Why prohibited: “because it’s old. Beauty’s attractive, and we don’t want people 2 be attracted by old things.”

“Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. U cant make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People r happy, they get wat they want, and never want what they cant get. They’re well off, they’re safe, they’re never ill, not afraid of death, blissfully ignorant of passion and old age, plagued with no mother or father, no wives, no children, or lovers. And if anything goes wrong, there’s soma.”

“u’ve got to choose between happiness and high art. We sacrificed the high art. Instead, we have feelies and scent organ now.”

An Alpha-conditioned man would go crazy if he had 2 do Epsilon Semi-moron work. They can b socialized, only on condition that they do Alpha work. (Cyprus experiment when 22000 Alphas were left on the island and made to manage all affairs->total chaos.)

“the optimum population is modeled on the iceberg – eight-ninth below the water line and one-ninth above.”

The experiment on Bokanovsky group: more than one century and a half ago, the whole of Ireland put to work only 4 hours/ day. -> unrest and large consumption of soma. Those 3.5 hours of extra leisure was far from a source of happiness; people felt constrained to take a holiday from them.

Every change is a menace to society -> chary of applying new inventions. Every discovery in pure science is potentially subversive.

Mustafa Mond (a physicist before): “I started to do a bit cooking of my own. Unorthodox cooking, illicit cooking. A bit of real science. I was on the point of being sent to an island.”

After the 9-year war, universal happiness kept the wheels turning; truth and beauty cannot.

Hemholtz decided 2 go to Falkland islands where there is bad climate so he can do what he like.

Art, science, religion sacrificed for happiness.

Mustafa Mond: “Bible – pornographic old books. God in the safe and Ford on the shelves.”

The religious sentiments tend to develop as we grow older, as the passions grow calm, fancy and sensibilities less excited… u can only be independent of God when u’re young. We’ve now got youth and prosperity right to the end. We can b independent of God. Religious sentiments are superfluous. Why should we go hunting for substitute for youthful desires when youthful desires never fail? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? Of consolation, when we have soma? Of sth immovable, when we have social order?

God isn’t compatible with machine, scientific medicine and universal happiness.

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.

U cant have a civilization without plenty of pleasant vices. No need for nobility or heroism, as there aren’t any wars now.

There’s always soma to calm ur anger, make u patient and long-suffering. U can carry at least half ur mortality in a bottle. Christianity without tears – that’s what soma is.

“did u eat sth that didn’t agree w u?” “yes, I ate civilization. And I ate my own wickedness.”

The Savage went to live in a light-house to mourn Linda’s death and be away from “loathsome civilization”: “After all, it was not to sing and enjoy himself that he had come here. It was to escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life; it was to be purified and made good; it was actively to make amends.”

Delta-minus land workers happened to see John whip himself. Then the reporters came.

“Poor Linda he had sworn to remember. But it was still the presence of Lenina that haunted him.”

Darwin, the game photographer watched the whole scene of John whipping himself, made a video “The Savage of Surrey”, then helicopters flooded to John’s place.

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