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Brave New World | Chapter 9 | Summary

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Summary

Bernard spends the morning setting the groundwork for his plan to save his job. He explains the scientific aspects of taking Linda and John to the Controller, careful not to mention the Director's story about the girl. Mustapha sends the proper paperwork to the Warden. When Bernard stops by the man's office to pick up the signed forms, he responds to the Warden's warm greeting with an air of self-importance, implying a relationship with the Controller that doesn't exist.

Meanwhile John finds the guesthouse door locked and the place seemingly empty. When he sees Lenina's suitcase, though, he breaks in and rummages through the girl's clothes, enjoying the feel of the material and the scents that remind him of her. He finds her fast asleep in the bedroom and crouches down beside her while reciting some of Romeo's lines from Romeo and Juliet that illuminate Lenina's beauty.

Analysis

Huxley uses this short chapter to add more depth to Bernard's and John's personalities. Up to this point, Bernard has shown a sour attitude toward the World State's conditioning philosophy and the false reality it creates, as well as his anger at having to sublimate his individuality. Now that his revelation about Linda and John give him immediate access to Mustapha Mond, he is enjoying internal delight stimulated by feelings of superiority instead of soma. Bernard has changed somewhat and crossed an emotional fine line actual life can offer people. Just as quickly as hysterical laughter can turn to tears, Bernard's resentment toward the control of the World State switches to pleasure for the perks of power when he is treated with importance. He enjoys the luxury inspired by the numerous toiletries when he showers and shaves at the hotel instead of scoffing at the general indulgence of their life he had deemed inane the previous day.

John's emotions run the gamut from despair when he thinks Bernard and Lenina have abandoned him to sheer joy when he silently witnesses her beauty. He interprets her flirtatious demeanor toward him as attraction, and hopes she will return the love he feels. Unaware of the World State's philosophy that "everyone belongs to everyone else," John doesn't understand Lenina is attracted to him only physically, like Linda is to Popé. He has been raised to accept the Reservation's belief that only a monogamous sexual relationship is valued. The lessons that the World State will impart are sure to be hard for John to learn.

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