Brave New World Summary: Brave New World Chapter Summaries

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Brave New World Chapter Summaries: 1-3

This Brave New World Summary will help clarify your reading. Brave New World chapter summaries, albeit useful, make a poor substitute for actually reading the novel.

Chapter 1: The novel opens in the year A.F. 632 in the social conditioning and hatchery center in London. The director and Henry Foster are conducting a tour. Babies are no longer born. They are hatched. The director explains the Bokanovskification process, which takes one embryo and splits it into multiple soon-to-be babies. The embryos are then treated based on its predetermined social caste–Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon.

Chapter 2: The Director continues his tour and brings the students to the nurseries. They observe a group of 8-month old Deltas crawling towards books and flowers. Once they reach the items, alarms sound, followed by electric shocks. The whole scene is meant to condition Deltas to hate books and nature. The lower castes are also conditioned to love transportation and elaborate sports in order to increase consumption. The Director then explains hypnopaedia, a process in which sleeping children are conditioned according to caste by the replay of messages as they sleep.

Chapter 3: The Director leads the students to a garden where hundreds of naked children engage in erotic play. Students are shocked that sexual behavior in children and adolescents used to be discouraged. His Fordship Mustapha Mond enters. The clocks strike four and the day shift ends. The remainder of the chapter involves constant scene switching among Mustapha Mond’s lecture to the students, Lenina Crowne’s conversation with her roommate, and Henry Foster’s conversation with coworkers. Mond discusses industrialization, the world before the revolution, and the invention of soma, the perfect drug used by all citizens to escape from their troubles. Lenina’s roommate advises her to be a good girl and be more promiscuous. Bernard Marx overhears Henry Foster’s conversation in the men’s room and is disgusted by it. Lenina tells her roommate, Fanny, that he’s accepted Bernard’s invitation to visit an Indian reservation.

Analysis: Brave New World, like Orwell’s 1984, portrays a dystopia. In their efforts to create social and economic stability, world leaders and scientist use technology and psychology to eliminate individuality and discourage all activity that requires solitude or thought. Devices used to promote stability are sex, drugs, music, brainwashing, and class consciousness. Huxley’s world combines the worst aspects of socialism–the loss of individuality–and capitalism–an unsatiated desire for consuming.

Chapter Summaries for Brave New World: 4-6

Chapter summaries for Brave New World, albeit useful, make a poor substitute for actually reading the novel.

Chapter 4: Lenina accepts Bernard’s invitation to visit the Indian reservation. She then goes on a date with Henry. Bernard visits his friend Hemholtz, a physically superior Alpha plus, and the two discuss their yearning for individuality. Hemholtz desires to write something more meaningful than Hypnopaedic expressions.

Chapter 5: Henry and Lenina enjoy their date, with the help of soma. Bernard attends his mandatory community solidarity service where the twelve participants eat soma, sing hymns, and have an orgy.

Chapter 6: Lenina and Bernard go on a date. Lenina worries as Bernard hovers over rushing water and expresses how it makes him feel like an individual. They return to Bernard’s and have sex, something which Bernard claims he did not want to do on their first date. Bernard gets permission to visit the reservation and finds out the Director had visited the reservation 20 years earlier with a woman, who got lost there. The Director, embarrassed by his confession, threatens to send Bernard to Iceland for anti-social behavior. Bernard and Lenina arrive at the reservation. Bernard phones Hemholtz and discovers he has been exiled to Iceland.

Analysis: For those wondering what life would be like if high school went on forever, here’s the answer. The only thing that maters is what others think of you. Anyone who steps out of line is ostracized. Those who are ostracized revel in rebellion, more out of sour grapes, and whimper as soon as they are punished.

Chapter Summaries for Brave New World: 7-12

Chapter summaries for Brave New World, albeit useful, make a poor substitute for actually reading the novel.

Chapter 7: Bernard and Lenina enjoy the reservation ceremony and are surprised to find a blond haired boy (John) who speaks perfect English. They meet his mother, Linda, who had been abandoned on the reservation 20 years earlier. She carries on her conditioned customs by sleeping with all the men, something which causes her to be beaten often.

Chapter 8: John tells Bernard of his life on the reservation, of his ostracism on account of his mother’s whorish ways. He learns to read and finds a copy of Shakespeare’s collected works that he reads frequently. Bernard offers to bring him to London.

Chapter 9: Lenina goes on an 18-hour soma holiday as Bernard gains permission to bring Linda and John to London.

Chapter 10: The Director exiles Bernard to Iceland in front of the entire hatchery. Bernard retaliates by presenting John and Linda. John sends the crowd into hysterics by repeatedly calling the Director, father.

Chapter 11: John the Savage becomes a social icon. Bernard, his guardian, becomes popular and brags to Hemholtz about his sex life. Linda constantly takes soma. John is repulsed by Bokanovsky twins. Lenina takes John to a “feely.” It repulses him. Lenina is disappointed that John will not have sex with her.

Chapter 12: Bernard schedules an important party, but John refuses to participate, humiliating Bernard. Hemholtz meets the savage and the two become instant friends. They read Shakespeare and Hemholtz laughs at Romeo and Juliet, which insults the savage.

Analysis: John fits in to neither world. He’s an outcast on the reservation and wishes to be left alone in London. Bernard’s dissatisfaction with his life changes as he becomes popular. After his humiliation he becomes dissatisfied again, demonstrating that John’s rebellion had more to do with his insecurities than it did with his society.

Brave New World Summary: Chapters 13-18

Chapter summaries for Brave New World, albeit useful, make a poor substitute for actually reading the novel.

Chapter 13: Lenina ingests soma and visits John. John goes to one knee and expresses his love. Lenina undresses. John calls her a whore and roughs her up. She escapes to the locked bathroom. The phone rings. John answers it and leaves.

Chapter 14: John rushes to the dying ward at the hospital and asks to see his mother, a phrase which makes the nurse blush. A large group of 8-year old Bokanovsky twins enter the room for their death conditioning. John swats one of them in the head. Linda mistakes John for Popé, which angers him. Linda dies. John leaves the hospital angrily.

Chapter 15: John is infuriated by workers receiving their post work soma rations. He runs to the rationing location and throws the soma tablets out the window, calling the drugs a device for enslavement. Hemholtz and John arrive. A riot begins. Hemholtz goes to help John. Bernard fears for his life and wavers between helping and not helping the two. The riot police arrive and spray soma into the air to stop the riot.

Chapter 16: John, Bernard, and Hemholtz are taken to Mustapha Mond’s office. He quotes Shakespeare and explains to John why civilization has developed the way it has. In order to create stability, feelings, relationships, passions, commitments, art, and truth must be eliminated.

Chapter 17: John and Mustapha discuss religion. Mustapha justifies its elimination.

Chapter 18: Mond wishes to continue the experiment. The other two are exiled and John takes up residence in an abandoned lighthouse where he performs his “savage” rituals. Two Deltas witness John whipping himself and the next day two reporters show up. John beats both of them. On the following day a swarm of reporters arrive. John thinks lustfully about Lenina and whips himself. A reporter hiding in the bushes records it and it is made into a “feely.” Lenina arrives. John gives into temptation. He is found the next day, dead.

This post is part of the series: Brave New World Study Guide

Instead of whipping yourself into a frenzy with John the Savage, read this study guide and become World Controller.

  1. Brave New World Chapter Summaries
  2. Characters from Brave New World
  3. Important Quotes from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  4. Themes in Brave New World
  5. Brave New World Study Questions