Brave New World Comprehension Questions
How well do you understand Brave New World? Answer these Brave New World comprehension questions and find out.
Question: In what ways have individuals become devalued in Brave New World's society?
Answer: Individuals have become sexual commodities. Along with the loss of individuality comes the loss of self worth. Lenina, for example, considers herself a commodity to be shared with all. Everybody belongs to everyone is a hypnopaedic preconditioning phrase repeated frequently. Even in death, individuals are viewed as commodities, as a source of phosphorus. The dead are sent to the hospital to die in solitude. Bokanovsky twins swarm throughout the hospital mortality ward as a form of "death conditioning," with no regard for the patients.
Question: How does the World State keep its citizens happy?
Answer: It begins with genetic tampering before citizens are even born. Certain substances are injected into embryos depending on the caste to which they belong. Genetic tampering then gives way to psychological conditioning through the repetition of targeted beliefs. That, however, is not enough to keep citizens constantly happy, so the government distributes soma for those times when pain and stress arrive.
Question: In what ways does the reader's perception of John change as the novel progresses?
Answer: Bernard initially appears to be a rebel, but it is revealed he's a rebel only because he cannot match other Alphas physically. Once he becomes popular and sought after by beautiful women, he no longer wishes to upset the social order. Bernard shows himself to be a selfish coward on many occasions: he shouts at the lower castes who do not respect him automatically on account of his size; he brings John and Linda back for the sole purpose of embarrassing the Director; he uses John for upward social mobility; he tries to escape when John and Hemholtz are in danger. He sobs uncontrollably after being banished.