Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

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Brave New World | Quotes


The principle of mass production at last applied to biology.

Narrator, Chapter 1

The narrator states this after the Director explains the advantage of the Bokanovsky Process. The narrator's description of the identical twins in each of the lower three castes reveals his satiric tone for this procedure.


Nothing like oxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par.

Henry Foster, Chapter 1

Henry is explaining the process of how the Hatchery decides the intellectual aptitude of the embryos in each caste. His detached tone mirrors that of all of the Hatchery workers who offer a depersonalized attitude toward their work.


Hypnopaedia. The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.

The Director, Chapter 2

The Director is guiding the students through the conditioning rooms. The young men are focused on the sleeping children who are listening to a voice stating hypnopaedic messages into speakers under their pillows. This comment reveals his enthusiasm for the subjective thoughts they present to the children and adults as universal truths.


Indeed, a faint hypnopaedic prejudice in favor of size was universal.

Bernard Marx, Chapter 4, Part 2

Bernard is thinking about how much of his inferiority stems from his Gamma-like size instead of the physique of the Alpha male, which is his caste. Not only does this comment offer understanding for his surly nature, but it also shows that the government designs genetic codes for castes that combine with the conditioning to create discrimination.


They were inside, here and now—safely inside with the fine weather, the perennially blue sky.

Narrator, Chapter 5, Part 1

The narrator is commenting on the décor of the cabaret where Henry and Lenina are enjoying an evening dancing and singing. His purpose is to show that the State doesn't just create people to fit their specifications, but that it designs buildings whose interiors always offer a perfect world that avoids anything disagreeable and that dings every happiness bell. Many resorts offer the same pleasant experiences with their building interiors.

Clara's words are echoed in the similar phrases of all of the attendees at the Solidarity Service. The "he" refers to "the Greater Being," or Henry Ford, the being they have been conditioned to worship. The purpose of the service is to join the 12 members into a unified group. This is part of the group hysteria that the whole chapter creates with the music, songs, and communion-like rite.


What would it be like if I were free—not enslaved by my conditioning.

Bernard Marx, Chapter 6, Part 1

Bernard is hovering over the ocean, the only place where he feels like the person he truly is and not the one he was decanted to be. As a conditioning expert, he understands every aspect of this control method and despises how it subjugates people instead of allowing them to be individuals.


And you feel so small when you're on the ground at the bottom of a hill.

Lenina Crowne, Chapter 7

Lenina and Bernard are standing at the bottom of a huge mesa on the New Mexico Reservation, with the village of Malpais at the top. This is an unusual comment from Lenina. Although she is an intelligent Beta, her thoughts are mostly shallow. She normally speaks in conditioning phrases. But this comment may show that all emotions were not programed out of her, and that she still possesses a thinking side.


A man can smile and smile and be a villain.

John the Savage, Chapter 8

John is sharing his life story with Bernard and makes this (Shakespearean) comment about Popé, his mother's Indian lover. This is a hint of foreshadowing, as in London, John will talk with the charismatic and amiable Controller, Mustapha Mond.


He was obscurely terrified lest she should cease to be something he could feel himself unworthy of.

John the Savage, Chapter 11

John is speaking about Lenina and his love for her. He has put her on a pedestal and doesn't want her to say or do anything that would remove her from it in his mind and heart. This is a crucial comment as it shows his passion for her as well as the rigid morals she has to follow to remain his ideal woman and to keep his love.


What fun it would be if one didn't have to think about happiness.

Mustapha Mond, Chapter 12

Mustapha is reading a paper a scientist wrote, "A New Theory of Biology." As the Controller he is responsible for the happiness of each of the citizens under his rule. The paper questions whether people should be allowed to search their minds and hearts to find their own happiness. He understands the merits of this piece but sees how dangerous it would be to the conditioning process and to his control of the people. He knows that the paper can never be published.


I feel as though I were just beginning to have something to write about.

Helmholtz Watson, Chapter 12

Helmholtz is sharing a poem with Bernard and John about being alone. He is thrilled that he is finally writing something of substance instead of shallow conditioning. Although writing from his heart will cause him trouble with the authorities, he is happy for the first time in his writing career.


Obstinately, the beautiful memories refused to rise; there was only a hateful resurrection of jealousies and ugliness and miseries.

John the Savage, Chapter 14

Linda, John's mother is dying. At first as he sits beside her, all he can think of are the happy times they have spent together. In this stage of grief, however, he can dredge up only the negative ones. These memories, plus the horrid realities he faces—the disrespectful clone children, Lenina's immoral actions, and his mother's soma death—feed his anger.


Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensation for misery.

Mustapha Mond, Chapter 16

Mustapha Mond, John, Helmholtz, and Bernard are in the Controller's office after the soma riot at the hospital. Mond is explaining that people add so many layers of superficiality to their lives because they are afraid of being unhappy, that real happiness is too simple and bland for them to accept. He is inferring that the accoutrements of wealth, the glamour of fame, and the fulfillment of every desire do not equal the simple joy of true contentment.


I ate civilization.

John the Savage, Chapter 18

John is explaining why he is sick to Helmholtz and Bernard as the three men say their good-byes. He is completely overwhelmed with the horrifying realities of London civilization. That immoral society combined with the rigid nature of his personal ideologies have filled his heart, mind, and soul with poison. His plan is to purify himself during his seclusion at the lighthouse.

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