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Important Quotes from Brave New World
Use these quotes from Brave New World to enhance your understanding of the novel, contribute to class discussions, provide evidence for literary analysis, or impress the girl or guy you've been wanting to hook up with all semester.
Quote: Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else...
Analysis: This scene near the beginning of the novel portrays the social conditioning that helps maintain social and economic stability. The conditioning that everyone belongs to everyone else prevents the desire for individualism later in life.
Quote: Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release.
Analysis: Government uses sex as a unifying force. Modern married couples use sex to unite them in marriage much in the same way the World Government uses orgies to unite multiple individuals in Brave New World.
Quote: And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.
Analysis: Drugs are used as an escape from reality, comparable to illegal drug use today, and an even largely correlatory relationship with the legal disbursement of drugs by psychiatrists and doctors. Think about soma the next time you see a pharmaceutical commercial.
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Quote: Nodding, "He patted me on the behind this afternoon," said Lenina.
"There, you see!" Fanny was triumphant. "That shows what he stands for. The strictest conventionality."
Analysis: This is irony. The reader is shocked that patting girls on the behind in the workplace is the morally correct thing to do. This is one of many examples that hint at the subjectivity of morality and the effects of social conditioning.
Quote: The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha changing rooms, and Lenina's entry was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them.
Analysis: Lenina's popularity is a result of her physical appearance, not a far-fetched concept for today's readers. The fact that she is commended for her behavior and is considered proper because of it differs largely from how society views female promiscuity today. It is clear that Lenina's identity is intertwined with her sexual appeal, a stumbling block as she attempts to win John the Savage.
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Quote: The Savage stood looking on. "O brave new world, O brave new world…" In his mind the singing words seemed to change their tone. They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision!
Analysis: John the Savage quotes from The Tempest. Initially, O brave new world is uttered in anticipation of seeing civilization. Once he sees how mindless civilization is, he uses the phrase mockingly.
Quote: He was a philosopher, if you know what that was."
"A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth," said the Savage promptly.
Analysis: John's overreliance on Shakespeare becomes comical at times. It's apparent that John does not understand what a philosopher is and probably understands little of what he quotes.
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Quote: "All men are physio-chemically equal," said Henry sententiously. "Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services."
Analysis: The worth of individuals is defined by the state; hence, the state wishes to eliminate anything that would supplant its position as supreme. This includes art, family, and God (see commentary on the Declaration of Independence for a modern day application of the dangers of big government). The phrase also presents a twist on the Declaration's most famous philosophical foundation that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.
Quote: It was John, then, they were all after. And as it was only through Bernard, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance.
Analysis: Bernard shows his true colors. His disenchantment with society has little to do with philosophical thought and more to do with his desire to fit in. Now that he has achieved status--through the exploitation of John--he is content to remain in society.
- Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper and Row. 1946.