Effects and uses of soma

So in these chapters I feel that the use of soma has really shown itself to be useful in different ways. We find this through characters that we have grown to understand little by little and observe the exact moment and situations that cause them to intake this “feel good” drug.

Taking soma when feeling uncomfortable. A prime example of this is in Lenina’s character. Throughout the book we observe that Lenina has the tendency of feeling very uncomfortable in certain situations or conflicts with other characters. First example is when she took soma after being rejected by John on her roof in chapter 11″Drying her eyes, Lenina walked across the roof to the lift. On her way down to the twenty-seventh floor she pulled out her soma bottle. One gramme she decided, would not be enough; hers had been more than a one-gramme affliction.” (157). We can tell she does not take rejection lightly being that her first reaction to sadness is to take soma. Another example is in chapter 12 (163) when Lenina says “I’d better take a couple of gramme of soma” after the Arch-Community-Songster asks her to join him. We can tell she does not want to go, making her feel uncomfortable and of course she resorts to soma.

Linda is another interesting case in the use of soma. In this case we find that she is using it to sort of forget all that has happened to her in the reservation. Soma-holiday as they call it; a permanent way of drowning her out of the society she once was apart of. Knowingly putting Linda into a state of “eternity” where she would be out of the way and out of sight chapter 11 (143). John and Dr. Shaw ultimately knew that consuming this much soma would eventually kill her, but the “bright-side of this was that yes, the soma would shorten her life in real time but will lengthen it in “immeasurable time” out in eternity.”. I find it very interesting that this was there way of fixing this situation. Having all this advance technology and way of life. They found Linda unable to be “rejuvenated” and they did not feel bad about it. They prefer it this way, why? Maybe she could have corrupted the society with what she knew from the reservation.

We move onto our protagonist Bernard, the one character I thought would never touch soma. He seemed so against it in the first couple of chapters but lately we’ve seen something different. In chapter 12 “Watching them, listening to their talk, he found himself sometimes resentfully wishing that he had never brought them together. He was ashamed of his jealousy and alternately made efforts of will and took soma to keep himself from feeling it.” (166). Observed in this part of the book, Bernard finally uses soma to subside his true feelings on the newly found relationship between Helmholtz and John. He simply cannot accept the fact that they instantly bonded over literature and rhymes, a bond that Bernard thought only he had with John. Bernard knows that the soma does not help his situations, so it leaves me to wonder why he continues to take it. Is it him finally giving into his conditioning? or is he trying to find an accepted way of escape? Many questions arise from Bernard use of soma, but what we do know is that he takes it when is trying to cope with an unrecognizable feeling or urge. Feelings that are normal to us the reader and completely frowned upon in the World’s State.

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