In these few chapters we read this week, it’s been overwhelmingly focused on Bernard and his rapid rise and fall from power, that we may overlook another character’s plight in these chapters. Lenina is extremely insecure and sad and dare I say not the happy go lucky soma can cure everything well conditioned model citizen that she has been portrayed to be in earlier chapters and I find it quite interesting.
After returning from the savage reservation she, along as Bernard becomes a celebrity of sorts. She’s been “had: by a number of important people The Resident world Controller’s second security, the Ford Chief Justice and the Deputy-Governor of the bank of Europe just to name a few. I would suspect that is very good company to be in, being that she is a Beta. A lot of people know who she is and her popularity has increased a great deal. “Lenina was lucky……..lucky in reflecting from her insignificant person the moment’s supremely fashionably glory………. Had she not already appeared in the Freelytone News- visibly, audibly, and tactually appeared to countless millions all over the planet?” ( Huxley page 152).
Even with all her new found celebrity and higher social standing, she is I believed deeply saddened because the Savage, John, rejects her. She’s used to being had by most guys, even Bernard had her, but John wont touch her. She has been in his company several times and been on a number of dates with her, but he won’t have her, he wont touch or at times even look at her. On page 152 she even states that he even goes as far as leaving the room when she walks in. I think his actions towards her are not only confusing but I think it’s really screwing with her psyche. She’s not emotionally equipped to handle the rejection.
Growing up through adolescence and early adulthood we learn through life lessons, the pain and struggles of heart ache and rejection. The sadness of having your crush be with someone else, not having a date for the dance, or even worse having your first love break your heart into a million pieces and thinking you’ll never get over it, but eventually we all do. Lenina never went through these trials and tribulations of romance, and she was conditioned and programmed to believe everyone belongs to everyone. This rejection is new to her and she doesn’t know how to handle it.
In chapter 12 Bernard throws a party and John refuses to attend and Lenina assumes it’s because of her. “‘Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t like me,’ she said to herself. And at once this possibility became an established certainty: John had refused to come because he didn’t like her. He didn’t like her” ( Huxley page 160). That is some deep, misguided, depressive thinking! I think she is so used to popping soma to not feel bad, that she doesn’t know to process her emotions and she is reaching to the most outlandish and far out conclusion about the situation, because as we read early one John not coming to the party has nothing to do with her. As we read later on the chapter she is so distraught she seems out of it, that she unwillingly and almost mechanically leaves the party with the Community- Songster. This is such a big deal, that this very important person wants her, but she is so distraught and so overcome with melancholy that she doesn’t recognize the importance of this invitation. She even in a sense drags her feet and is slow in coming with him to the lift gates. She even stares at the moon, which in earlier chapters she refused to do and annoyed when Bernard wanted to do the same activity with her when they were alone in the helicopter.
The dynamic in Chapter 13 between John and Lenina is also very, very interesting and it’s the climax I feel between their relationship and I can write a whole blog just on that, so I will end my blog and with only commenting on the earlier chapters. I can’t wait to read the following chapters and see what happens next.