City Tech, Fall 2016

“I actually dream about it sometimes.”

It seems no one is completely conditioned by the human construct of a “perfect society” that has taken hold of humankind in the story. Bernard’s visit to the D.H.C to obtain his initials for a permit to travel to a savage reservation was rather peculiar. Interested with the location destination, the Director recalled when he went there with a woman he was familiar with. Even though she went missing and was never found, he quietly admits that he still dreams about that fateful night. He quickly recollects himself and shrugs off the feelings, and proceeds to warn Bernard for his behavior outside of work. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning has a subconscious feeling about that night that he won’t admit to himself or anyone else for that matter. The Director knows about fear and despair, even losing someone you can say meant something to him.

Secrets are somewhat kept as part of the human nature. When Bernard and Linda see the public sacrifice, they meet a man named John. John is not like the others due to a light complexion. John’s backstory intrigues Bernard as a man named Tomakin is John’s father. Coincidentally, Linda (John’s mother) had ended up in the New Mexico reservation because she had suffered a fall that hurt her head. She is from “The Other Side” but lives here with a son born from a man named Tomakin. Bernard quickly puts two and two together to realize that he is the Director’s son, for his name is Thomas. However, Bernard doesn’t share this information with Lenina. Why is he withholding this information? Is it for an advantage to up-stand the Director since he was warned he would be transferred to Iceland? What are his motives?

The feeling of being immersed into a culture other than your own can be daunting for some people, so much so, people will seek means of coping. Lenina is horrified by this feeling; she cannot grasp why people live differently. Albeit, the public whipping was a bit excessive, everything from the smell to Linda’s appearance appears to scare or disgust her. Lenina’s way to cope is to swallow 3 grams of soma and knock out for a long period of time. The conditioning, it seems makes, her blissfully ignorant of the world at large. She is so acclimated to a life of order, soma and conventional sex that seeing a new way of life is as if though she was looking at aliens.



1 Comment

  1. Shiaja Simeon

    I believe the fact that the characters use soma so much through out the novel proves your point. It helps keep the characters in line because you can condition a person as much as you want but a certain outside feeling, or action can change your beliefs. Especially for the people who felt like misfits. In chapter 6 Bernardino wanted to feel that anger he felt instead of taking soma. You begin to see flaws in a society that is meant to be ideal free from human emotions.

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