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January 08, 2015

Braving the New World of Aldous Huxley


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Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

Dr. Hobbs

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at January 8, 2015 10:48 PM

Readers' Comments:

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
16 February 2015
“Moral education which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational.” (Chapter 2, page 17, par. 3)
Question: How does the irrational morality of the Hatchery effect the way in which it is perceived by the students? In what ways does this lack of true morality set up the dystopian novel?
Answer: The students at the Hatchery seem to be under the impression that it is one of, if not the, greatest event in science. After exhibiting a quite disturbing practice of creating prejudices against other classes – Alphas, Betas, etc. - within the children the Director claims this acheivment “The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time” (Huxley 18). Huxley continues, writing, “The students took it down in their little books. Straight from the horse’s mouth” (Huxley 18). This importance paid to the Director and the Hatchery as a whole show that people have begun to buy into the almost sadistic ways in which babies are influenced for the rest of their lives. The main importance of the students, and to a larger extent, society, buying into and agreeing with this method of “teaching” is that society has given up on the idea of free will, which ultimately sets up the dystopian nature of the novel.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 14, 2015 05:41 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
16 February 2015

“At this moment, and for no apparent reason, Bernard suddenly remembered that he had left the Eau de Cologne tap in his bathroom wide open and running.” (Huxley 101)

Question: In the last half of Chapter 6 in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Bernard becomes obsessed with the fact that he forgot to turn off his water at home while the Warden describes the entirely foreign, chaotic Reservation that Bernard and Lenina are visiting. What is the importance of Bernard’s distractions in this context? How does Lenina’s interaction with the Warden parallel Bernard’s?

Answer: When Bernard and Lenina are speaking with the Warden before their trip, Bernard does not fully listen to the Warden and silently calculates how much money he loses every minute his faucet at home continues to run. Bernard’s diverted thoughts reflect (although he is an outcast of sorts) how he is still a product of society; he is susceptible to the distractions and worries brought about by a constantly moving culture. Bernard’s priorities are warped: “Destined to die … A decilitre of Eau de Cologne every minute. Six litres an hour.” (Huxley102) While Bernard worries about his material problems, he fails to realize the dangers and oddness of the place he is about to head towards.

Furthermore, Lenina does the same thing as Bernard: she listens to the Warden’s descriptions of the Reservation but she does not comprehend them because she is preoccupied with her soma. While Bernard thinks about the faucet, Lenina thinks about her drug-induced happiness. “… she has inconspicuously swallowed half a gramme of soma, with the result that she could now sit, serenely not listening, thinking of nothing at all, but with her large blue eyes fixed on the Warden’s face in an expression of rapt attention.” (Huxley 101) Citizens of the Utopia are concentrated on the mundane but conveniently tune out information that is outside their ordinary routine.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at February 16, 2015 12:04 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
17 February 2015

“And that… that is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.” (Chapter 1, page 16, paragraph 5).
Question: After examining the quote, can you see any similarities between this concept and the one proposed in Plato’s Republic? How so? If so, what do you think about the fact that The Republic aimed at describing a utopia whereas Brave New World depicts a known dystopia? Is there a way for a person to alter their social destiny in the World State?
Answer: After examining the quote, there are definitely clear similarities between the concept described in the quote and that discussed in The Republic. In The Republic, it was nearly impossible to escape your social destiny as described in the Myth of Metals. If you were born with a bronze soul there was nearly no hope that you could ascend in society. Similarly, within the World State of Brave New World, people are predetermined what they will be before they even have a chance to make a decision for themselves. There is no way for a person to alter their social destiny in this society because it is predetermined for you from the start. It is stated, “The first batch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineer was just passing the eleven hundred metre mark on Rack 3… a special mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation… to improve their balance” (Huxley 17). A person’s occupation is determined and that person is conditioned to like or fit the job through training and conditioning before they are even born.
It is interesting that there are similar characteristics between the dystopian society of Brave New World and the utopian society of The Republic. The society of The Republic may seem “perfect” in theory, but to live in this society would be far from perfect. It is imperative to understand the similarities in societal structure between these two worlds because they are meant to represent complete opposites, but they do not.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 17, 2015 08:14 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
18 February 2015

Question: How does the sexual play of the children at recess play a role in explaining how the World State works and what does it reveal about taboos?

Answer: The sexual play of the children at recess shows us that the taboo of sexuality has been discarded. The Director explains on page 24 that “erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal.” When the boy comes and feels uncomfortable playing with the other children naked, he is brought to a Psychologist to see what is wrong with. In our eyes, this is something completely immoral but in this story, it serves a purpose. Part of being a citizen of the World State is the fear of being “shameful” or “abnormal.” The reality is that this type of citizen has no private life and this is how the story of the children comes into play of explaining the World State.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 18, 2015 01:31 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
18 February 2015

"But Henry's voice was almost, for a moment, melancholy. 'Do you know what that switchback was?' he said. 'It was some human being finally and definitely disappearing...' Then, in a resolutely cheerful voice, 'Anyhow,' he concluded, 'there's one thing we can be certain of; whoever he may have been, he was happy when he was alive. Everybody's happy now'" (Huxley 75).

Question: Why would it be strange in "Brave New World" for a character to be saddened by death? Why is no one ever sad in this world?

Answer: All of the people in "Brave New World" are brainwashed to become clogs in a machine. They have no parents, they cannot reproduce on their own, and if they ever feel sad they take soma to escape reality. Children fall asleep to moral conditioning tapes every night, and the tapes tell them that "everyone belongs to everyone else" (Huxley 43). This means that no one has a core group of friends to feel sad about their death, and since they are made in factories no one has a family. this might sound like a miserable existence, but in order to combat this the government gives people soma rations. Soma gives people a "soma-holiday" (77) that takes away all their mental pain for a period of time. Because of these two factors, Harry should never feel sad about anything, especially someone being cremated whom he never even knew.

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 18, 2015 09:59 AM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
18 February 2015

“No, the real problem is: How is it that I can’t, or rather because, after all, I know quite well why I can’t-what would it be like if I could, if I were free- not enslaved by my conditioning?” (Chapter 6: page 66, par. 7)

Question: When faced with the suspicion that there is something greater than himself, does Bernard confront or deal with his emotions?

Answer: By chapter 6, Bernard is both very aware of his conditioning and role as a whole, which is a character trait lacked by most of the people around him. Frustrated by his enslaved nature in society, he feels a strong longing to accomplish something greater and be an individual. However, he represses and avoids these emotions, swallowing “four tablets of soma in one gulp” and continues his role in society. Soma acts as a way of diminishing individual thought and creativity, which is how he manages to continue living in this conditioned society.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at February 18, 2015 01:33 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
18 February 2015

“The mockery made him feel like an outsider; and feeling like an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.”
(Chapter 4: Brave New World, page 65, par. 1)

Question: This passage refers to Bernard Marx’s feelings regarding his physical characteristics and how others perceive him because of those characteristics. What exactly is the “physical defect” to which Bernard Marx refers to and what is it about how other people treat him that is so bothersome?

Answer: Bernard Marx is of the Alpha-Plus caste, but stands “eight centimetres short of the standard Alpha height” (Huxley 64). Because the lower classes are conditioned to associated size with class, Bernard often feels as though he has to assert the power that comes with his Alpha class in some other way because he is lacking Alpha stature, likely due to an “accident” (Huxley 64) during his creation. Bernard is especially bothered by how he thinks people perceive him because people in his society are defined solely by class. When a lower class person fails to appreciate Bernard’s class authority, he feels as though his very way of life and being is threatened.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 18, 2015 02:25 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
18 February 2015

“ ‘That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at thirty. We give them transfusion of young blood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course, they don’t look like that.’ ” (Chapter 7: Brave New World, page 111, par.1)

Question: Why is Lenina confused on the image of old people between the two civilizations? What do you believe created this difference and what is the purpose for keeping the old people looking younger?

Answer: The society that Lenina and Bernard live in do not allow much emotion or sympathy for others. Hence why they create these advancements to stop the old people from looking older. They do not want others to have any feelings of sadness or emotional connectedness to one another. This is also why Linda, Thomas’ mom, was conditioned to sleep with whoever she pleased because there was believed to be no emotional attachment to her so called partners. (Huxley 111-14).

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 18, 2015 02:52 PM

Bethanee Victoria Reynolds
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
Dr. Hobbs
18 February 2015

“She stepped up to him. ‘I was looking for you.’ Her voice rang clear about the hum of the mounting lift. The others looked round curiously. ‘I wanted to talk to you about our New Mexico plan.’ Out of the tail of her eye, she could see Benito Hoover gaping with astonishment. The gape annoyed her. ‘Surprised I shouldn’t be begging to go with him again!’ she said to herself. Then aloud, and more warmly than ever, ‘I’d simply love to come with you for a week in July,’ she went on. (Anyhow, she was publicly proving her unfaithfulness to Henry. Fanny ought to be pleased, even though it was Bernard.) ‘That is,’ Lenina gave him her most deliciously significant smile, ‘if you still want to have me.’ Bernard’s pale face flushed.” (Chapter 4: Brave New World, pages 57-58, par. 4 and 5, Aldous Huxley)

Question:
This quote speaks to the open unfaithfulness allotted in this society. Why is unfaithfulness acceptable, and in knowing this, why does it make Bernard uncomfortable?

Answer:
It would seem that unfaithfulness is acceptable in this After Ford society because “Family, monogamy, and romance” (40) are part of the human process that leads to chaos and destruction. In order for society to be stable there can be no belonging to another. In the book it says “’But every one belongs to every one else’” (40) it is this freedom that makes unfaithfulness acceptable everyone is everyone’s so there is no rage, jealousy or envy. In this sense you can see in history how jealousy and rage and envy have caused much stress over the years, in this time there are no, “Helen’s of Troy or Face’s that launch a thousand ships,” there is freedom to be live and enjoy. It makes Bernard uncomfortable because he is a flaw in the system. He is an alpha that was genetically processed wrong. He undermines the motto of The World State “Community, Identity, Stability” he shows is the John the Baptist to the Christ-like revolution that is coming.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at February 18, 2015 03:19 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
18 February 2015

"But it's all different here. It's like living with lunatics. Everything they do is mad" (Huxley 121).

Question: How has Linda adapted to her life with the Indians? How does her conditioning affect her adaptability?

Answer: In the second half of chapter 7, Linda tells Linina of her woes as part of the Indian tribe. She views the tribe as mad and assimilates just enough to survive. She slept around which put her on bad terms with the tribal women (Huxley 121-122). This accentuates the cultural differences between a society based on monogamy and a society based on polyamory. The things she did based on her conditioning resulted in a rift between her and the tribe. She fails to understand the tribe and their customs but manages to live among them. She is unable to escape her class identity. "But I'm a Beta; I worked in the Fertilizing Room; nobody ever taught me to do anything like that. It wasn't my business" (Huxley 121). She perceives basic survival skills as "lunatic." She can't even understand basic emotions like jealousy. This is shown with the tribal women as well as when her son tries to kill one of her lovers (Huxley 122). This makes it impossible for her to be truly accepted by the tribe. She wears their clothes and lives with them physically, but not mentally.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 18, 2015 03:31 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON351 Contemporary World View CA01
18 February 2015

Question:
The Director says that forcing the eggs to divide to make multiple babies was the answer to a problem being faced by the society. What is this problem using only clues from the first chapter? Is there actually a purpose to these test tube babies?

Answer:
The main reason babies are being cloned from fertilized eggs is to repopulate the world and to work in the various jobs throughout the nations. As he recites, “Community, Identity, Stability (Huxley 7).” It can be understood in this chapter that the national state is trying to work together as a whole to build a unified workforce to sustain life after some event. The purpose of these clones, as the Director and Mr. Foster both repeatedly seem to insist, is to increase the population for the “optimal” workforce, which means there was not enough people to do all of the jobs available in the society.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 18, 2015 03:45 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2015

“It was John, then, they were all after. And as it was only through Bernard, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance.” (Chapter 11, page 104, par. 6)
Question: Should Bernard be viewed as a true rebel of the World State idea, or simply a misfit who was angered by his isolation?
Answer: At the beginning of the novel, Bernard is portrayed as a person who disagrees with the practices of the World State, but there seems to be a hint that his disagreement could stem from his own insecurities as opposed to an ideological difference. When the character of John comes into play, and people begin to pay more attention to Bernard, the rebellious nature seems to disappear and Bernard becomes caught up in the “importance” that he feels. As Bernard becomes more recognized by society, Huxley writes, “Success went fizzily to Bernard’s head, and in the process completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) to a world which, up until then, he had found very unsatisfactory,” (Huxley 105). This shows that Bernard was less of a rebel than initially portrayed and was more of a misfit in the World State society. Therefore, Bernard should be viewed as less of a rebel and a hero and more of a follower. Bernard simply follows whatever ideas make him feel better about himself.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 21, 2015 04:29 PM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
23 February 2015

"For Ford's sake, John, talk sense. I can't understand a word you say... Answer me this question: do you really like me, or don't you" (Huxley 191)?

Question: Why are Lenina and John so confused by each other?

Answer: Lenina has been conditioned to believe "everyone belongs to everyone else" (43). She does not understand why anyone would refuse to have sex or lustful thoughts. John, on the other hand, was raised by monogamous Indians (191). He despised his mother and her lovers for sleeping around, and he even stabbed one of her lovers out of frustration (133). John learned about love from Shakespeare who writes negatively about loose women. When Lenina tries to have sex with him, he goes into a rage because she suddenly represents the "impudent strumpets" of the plays (196). Because Lenina and John have such vastly different ideas of love, they cannot understand each other.

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 23, 2015 11:13 AM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2015

"One of the principle functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishment that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies." (chapter 12: Huxley, page 179, par. 3)

Question: Why is Bernard taking out his frustration on his friends? What does this say about Bernard's character? Why is he both "grateful and resentful" when Helmholtz forgives him?

Answer: Bernard is taking out his frustration on his friends (John and Helmholtz) because they are accessible. John is particularly accessible as Bernard is his guardian (Huxley 179). Bernard is a weak coward that needs a whipping boy to make him feel like he has some power and standing in the world. Bernard is incredibly insecure about his status and needs to put down others to feel like he belongs. His actual enemies, like the Assistant Predestinator, are out of his reach (Huxley 179). He has no authority or influence over any of them and he is too much of a coward to confront them face-to-face. He is both grateful and resentful towards Helmholtz for renewing their friendship (Huxley 180). He is grateful because their relationship is a comfort to him and one of the few outlets he has in his life. He is resentful because of jealousy. Helmholtz is a better person than him and everything that he wants to be. Helmholtz is also someone accessible that he can take out his frustration on. He wants someone to suffer for the injustices he feels have been dealt to him, and the most accessible people in his life are his friends.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 23, 2015 12:09 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View
23 February 2015

“‘Murder kills only the individual--- and, after all, what is an individual?’ With a sweeping gesture he indicated the rows of microscopes, the test tubes, the incubators. ‘We can make am new one with the greatest ease--- as many as we like. Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at society itself.’” (Chapter 10: Brave New World, page 148, par. 1)

Question: Based on the society that is presented what way do they see human lives as being? Are they valued or considered easily replaced? What is the reason for sacrifice and how is it supposed to benefit the society as a whole?

Answer: Because this society is based on no emotional attachments and dehumanization of people so therefore they do not value the lives. Since they live in a world where they make the babies themselves and predetermine the level of importance in which each human will end up having within the society they do not focus on the empathy for one another. Because they are considered easily replaceable the director had no problem choosing to sacrifice John due to his betrayal of trust imposed on him, unorthodoxy of sex life, and refusal to obey teachings of the civilization. The director believes this will serve as a lesson in the best interest of the society to avoid any conflicts and future uprisings. (Huxley 149).

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 23, 2015 12:16 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2015

“Is she dead?” (Huxley 207)

Question:
How does John (the ‘Savage’) react to the twins and vise-versa? What does this mean for the values of the World State? Does anything in this chapter justify John being referred to as ‘the Savage?’

Answer:
In this chapter, John is visiting his mother, Linda, in the Hospital for the Dying. She looks nothing like the other patients and is not entirely aware of what is happening, as seen in her habit of dozing off, forgetting about John, and mumbling about Popé. When the group of identical twins arrive and start gawking at Linda, John is disturbed and angered by the kids’ insensitivity as well as they're clones of each other. John gets slightly violent with the children and becomes distressed by their presence and his mother slipping in and out of sensibility. When she dies, John is distraught and angered further by the kid asking, “Is she dead? (Huxley 207).” The kids were at the death hospital for their ‘death conditioning,’ which is essential to their development; otherwise the nurse wouldn’t threaten John with kicking him out should he interfere again. Only John sees the children as intrusive and “disgraceful (Huxley 202).” Furthermore, John is the only one expressing any decency or humanity; everyone else in the death hospital is apathetic and cold towards him and his dying mother. In contrast, the children were amazed and almost appalled by the sickly state of Linda and were oblivious to John's grief. In the World State, no one seems to care about the dying or what they mean to others, rather people care about making more members of society as if they were bolts in a machine. While called ‘the Savage,’John doesn’t display any ‘savage’ tendencies. It is true that he got violent with the children and the nurse, but he had reason to as they were inconsiderate. The real ‘savages’ in the chapter would be the denizens of the World State because they are simply clones of one another and have no sense of humanity, serving only as conditioned pieces to a machine.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 23, 2015 12:51 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2014

"The magic was on his side, the magic explained and gave him orders." (Chapter 7, Page 99, par. 5)

Question: How does the gift of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare effect John and his experience in the Indian village as a child?

Answer: In the Indian Village, John was an outcast due to his ability to read, his upbringing, and his mother's exploits. Though his role in the village did not change when given the Works of Shakespeare, the inspiration he drew from the volume encouraged him to take action. For instance, when he reads a passage during his rage, he seems to feel forced to attempt to murder the Pope, the "magic explained and gave him orders" (Huxley, 99). By reading the "uncivilized" words, he is able to find guidance and take action when he wasn't before.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at February 23, 2015 02:38 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 The Contemporary World View
23 February 2015

Question: Why does John reject Lenina and her advances even though he explains the love that he has for her?

Answer: John has said that he see Lenina as a pure, virginal women who possess the ability to complete sexual modesty. Since he has read most of Shakespeare's works, he sees her as one of those virtuous women in his plays. John has a set of moral code that he has not explained to Lenina and struggles with the physical side of sexual conduct. So as a result, he called her a whore since the boundaries had been broken and he is struggling to recover.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 23, 2015 03:00 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
22 February 2015

“Do they read Shakespeare?” asked the Savage as they walked, on their way to the Bio-chemical Laboratories, past the School Library. “Certainty not,” said the Head Mistress, blushing. “Our library,” said Dr. Gaffney “contains only books of reference. If our young people need distractions, they can get it at the feelies. We don’t encourage them to indulge in any solitary amusements.” (Chapter 11, page 163, paragraph 6).

Question: What is the important role that Shakespeare plays in Brave New World? What type of threat does literature like Shakespeare’s purpose in the society of Brave New World?

Answer: In the society of Brave New World, literature is outlawed. Writers, such as Shakespeare, are known for possessing immense passion in their writing. Passion in writing can evoke emotions and trigger thoughts within an individual. In the society of Brave New World, thinking and emotion are looked down upon while conformity and stability within the society are required. It is stated, “No civilization without stability… no stability without individual stability” (Huxley, 42). With this quote, it is evident that the stability of the society is reliant first on the stability of the society’s people. If the individuals in this society were allowed to read literature such as Shakespeare, their society would be at risk of becoming unstable. Reading Shakespeare could act as a possible threat to their society because those reading it have the chance of thinking thoughts that disagree with what society tells them. The society of Brave New World is threatened by the idea of its citizens having sources, such as Shakespeare, which provoke thoughts and ideas that do not agree with what the society spells out for everyone. Disagreeing ideas lead to rebelling against conformity, and this threatens the overall stability of the society as a whole.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 23, 2015 03:02 PM

Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
16 February 2015

"Murder only kills the individual-and, after all, what is an individual?" (Huxley 148)

Question: What is a role of the individual in this new society? What does Bernard do that makes him stand out as an individual?

Answer:The role of the individual in this society is virtually nonexistent. All of the humans in a caste are supposed to conform to the norm and all deviations are looked down upon. Even something as small as height is seen as faulty. “...eight centimeters short of the standard Alpha height” (Huxley 64). Bernard finds difficulty with acceoing the society after his trip to the reservation. He begins then rejecting the perfect society, and with that, begins his journey to individuality.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at February 23, 2015 03:18 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2015

“‘On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand, may seize
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.’”
(Chapter 9: Brave New World, page 144, par. 2)

Question: In this passage, John is using a quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in an attempt to understand his feelings towards the unresponsive Lenina. What significance does the fact that John is quoting Shakespeare have in his character development?

Answer: Because John learned all of his morals from Shakespeare, his quoting of Romeo and Juliet provides a strong contrast between his principles and those of the World State. John’s struggle between his desire for Lenina and his self-control (and his self-control winning with his reminder to himself of “pure and vestal modesty” (Huxley 145)) juxtaposes the culture of instant gratification in the World State, showing how far removed John is from such a culture. John’s constant quoting of Shakespeare mirrors the axioms of the World State that Lenina constantly says. John’s words are much more sophisticated than the simple phrases of Lenina, such as “’a gramme is better than a damn’” (Huxley 116). This parallel allows for another obvious comparison between not only John and Lenina, but their cultures.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 23, 2015 03:18 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
23 February 2015

“Undoing all their wholesome death-conditioning with this disgusting outcry—as though death were something terrible, as though any one mattered as much as all that!” (206)

Question: In chapter 14 in Brave New World, John is berated for mourning the loss of his mother while several dozen twins watch and analyze the affair. Why is John’s mourning not considered mannerly in the Utopian society, and what are the implications of teaching children to be desensitized to death in this scenario? How has death become depreciated with controlled reproductive technology?

Answer: When John visits The Park Lane Hospital for the Dying, his mother dies. However, his grief is looked down upon by the nurses: “The nurse stood irresolute, looking now at the kneeling figure by the bed (the scandalous exhibition!) and now (poor children!) at the twins who had stopped their hunting of the zipper …” (206) Since life has become controlled by the Utopia, it is no surprise that death is a distraction that has been reconditioned into a short inconvenience. John (having been raised in a society where his mother was his blood-related family and his source of learning) is an anomaly to the twins whom were raised in a laboratory where nobody particularly stood out as a form of comfort. With life so easily manipulated, death has also been manipulated into something insignificant and routine.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at February 23, 2015 03:40 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

“Degrade him from what position? As a happy, hard-working, goods-consuming citizen he’s perfect. Of course, if you choose some other standard than ours, then perhaps you might say he was degraded. But you’ve got to stick to one set of postulates.” (Chapter 17, page 160, par. 6)

Question: Is Mustapha Mond correct in stating that the World State civilization should not be judged on another civilization’s standards? Is the way that the World State operates agreeable if their citizens are happy with life?

Answer: Judging the World State civilization from the viewpoint of today’s society, or the society that John inhabited while on the Reservation, is an egregious error. Mustapha Mond is fully correct when stating that the World State cannot be judged by a different society because different societal values lead to different believes about how the world should operate. Within the World State, there are no societal differences and therefore peace and stability reign supreme, and is this not the goal of all societies? Furthermore, the World State civilians seem to be, at the very least, content with their way of living. No citizens worry about unhappiness or death because they have been conditioned to be happy with their lot in life. Mond claims “civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency,” and although this may not seem to be the case, when looking at today’s society, it becomes clear that his comments are true (Huxley 161). An efficient government does not have a need for nobility or heroism because they government would take care of that on its own and would leave the citizens to revel in the happy life that they have been granted, as is the case with the World State.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 23, 2015 09:35 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary View
25 February 2015

“Linda had been a slave, Linda had died; others should live in freedom, and the world be made beautiful. A reparation, a duty. And suddenly it was luminously clear to the Savage what he must do; it was as though a shutter had been opened, a curtain drawn back.” (Chapter 15: Brave New World, page 210, par. 4)

Question: What did the Savage realize he must do? What does this mean for the society as a whole? What impact will the decision to act upon the realization have on the society?

Answer: At this moment in the book the Savage realized that he must try to stop the people from taking the soma. Finally seeing that it is poison to the body and soul he was determined to stop the distribution. He claims that the soma makes the citizens slaves and babies and is convinced it needs to be destroyed. By riding of this poison the men will finally be free at last. This will completely alter the inner workings of the society and will have a great impact on its citizens. The whole system within this ‘brave new world’ will end up crumbling down and new countermeasures will have to be taken to either save it or begin again. (Huxley 210-13)

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 25, 2015 11:53 AM

Annie Hays
Dr.Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
25 February 2015

"We should suffer acutely if we were confined in a narrower space. You cannot pour upper-caste champagne-surrogate into lower-caste bottles" (Huxley 223).

Question: Mustafa Mond makes a very convincing argument as to why most people need to be kept uneducated and easily entertained. Do you think this would make today's society better? Why or why not?

Answer: If most people were brainwashed like this, the world would become both better and worse than it currently is. No one would have to deal with hardships since they would just take soma, and love would not be there to complicate people's lives. However, true joy in life can only be attained from achieving things or overcoming hardships. "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery" (221). People would be a lot happier without stress and challenges, but they would never attain true joy from success (220). Furthermore, since the controllers clamp down on science and learning in order to prevent change, society can never better itself. Sure, change creates instability for awhile, but that instability is needed for positive growth (227). Because life would become so blah if most people were mindless worker bees, I say keep educating everyone. We might end up killing each other like the people of Cyprus, but at least humans will never live in fear of censorship.

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 25, 2015 12:18 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

"Don't you want to be free and men? Don't you even understand what manhood and freedom are?" (Chapter 15, page 162, par. 1)

Question: How does witnessing and indirectly participating in the death of Linda affect John and his perception of this New World?

Answer: As John is the only character we have met to grow up without the influence of civilization, his perception of the society has been conflicting. He understands his mother's desire to be part of the community yet sees how it has driven them out. When they finally return in early chapter 14, John witnesses how this civilization alienates his mother and eventually drives her to her death. This significantly affects John in chapter 15, when he begins to try and stop the characters from taking the soma and help them understand what freedom is, beyond the "poisonous", emotion-repressing soma.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at February 25, 2015 02:32 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

“‘Do you like being babies? Yes, babies. Mewling and puking,’ he added, exasperated by their bestial stupidity into throwing insults at those he had come to save. The insults bounced off their carapace of thick stupidity; they stared at him with a blank expression of dull and sullen resentment in their eyes.”
(Chapter 15: Brave New World, page 212, par. 6)

Question: This passage refers to the beginning of Brave New World’s climactic moment in which John is attempting to insight a rebellion against the use of soma. What does this say about John’s feelings toward soma and the ideals of the World State in general?

Answer: John’s failed attempt to start a rebellion among the Delta workers at the Hospital show how different his standards are than the citizens of the World State. John’s ultimate goal is not the artificial happiness that people of the World State so desire, and because of this clashing of values, John is unsuccessful and becomes completely angered by the ideals of the World State, specifically the use and dispersion of soma. Having just watched his mother die due to soma, John’s throwing of “the little pill-boxes of soma tablets in handfuls out” is understandable. John’s comparison of those who use soma to “babies” (Huxley 212), makes clear John’s negative attitude towards World State entities, specifically soma. John’s rage is juxtaposed to the World State citizens around him, including his guardian Bernard, whispering in shocked confusion things like, “he’s mad” (Huxley 213). These two opposing views of soma show, in an underlying way, that John will never fit into the culture of the World State.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 25, 2015 03:09 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 315 Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

“The ape had spoken; there was a burst of laughter and hand-clapping.” (Huxley 255)

Question:
Who was(were) the real savage(s) in this chapter of Brave New World? What do John’s actions in this chapter say about his character and beliefs?

Answer:
At the end of Brave New World, a fine line is drawn between who is and is not behaving like a savage. John is found in the lighthouse he has been squatting in, and the people chant and jeer at him to perform “the whipping stunt (Huxley 256).” Though John tells them all no and tries to send them all away, they remain and press more on him and laugh. As it is written in the book, “the ape had spoken; there was a burst of laughter and hand-clapping (Huxley 255).” According to this quote, John is the one seen as an ape, as the savage and trained animal. The people gathered around see him as an exhibit in a zoo or a circus act. They dehumanize him as a novelty and take advantage of his vulnerable and distressed state. During this, John tries to maintain some semblance of his dignity and retain his humanity. The savages in this chapter are the people gawking at John because they focus solely on their enjoyment rather than the feelings of John, thus quenching their bodily needs instead of being logical. John, on the other hand, is the most human because he is trying to think things through, but is ultimately unable to because of the peer pressure his is under. The savagery the John displays is a result of the stress the people put him under and he lashed out and lost his sense of self. When he wakes up and realizes what has happened, he is ashamed and hangs himself because he gave into the savagery of the mass orgy, gave into the savagery of violence with his whip, and gave into the savagery of being dehumanized.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 25, 2015 03:11 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
23 February 2015

“Yes,” Mustapha Mond was saying, “that’s another item in the cost of stability. It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled.” Chapter 16, page 225, paragraph 2.

Question: How does Mustapha Mond represent a paradoxical figure in Brave New World?
Answer: Mustapha Mond, can represents a paradoxical figure in Brave New World based on a few different factors. To begin, Mustapha Mond is the controller of the World State. He pushes for the importance of stability in the society and does his best to censor new ideas and thoughts from forming that threaten this stability. Although this is true, the controller also reads outlawed literature like Shakespeare, and is able to have a full-fledged intellectual conversation with John about why the World State is not like the world in Shakespeare’s Othello in the beginning of Chapter 16. The controller states, “…Our world is not the same as Othello’s world… the world’s stable now” (Huxley, 220). This quote shows the contradictory nature of the controller. The controller is pushing the importance of stability, but at the same time, he is discussing outlawed literature intellectually because he, himself, has read it.
In addition to reading outlawed literature, the controller was also an independent scientist at one point in his life. This factor alone makes the passage quote, dealing with science, seem completely hypocritical for him to say. The controller explains how he was studying science in hopes of finding truth, but was then threatened to be sent to an island. He explained that those who are threatened to be sent to an island think they are going to have their throat slit. He then states, “Whereas if he’d have the smallest sense, he’d understand that his punishment [being sent to the island] is really a reward” (Huxley, 226-227). It seems contradictory for Mustapha Mond to suggesting feelings of remorse for choosing the path he did since he is the controller of the World State.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 25, 2015 03:12 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

"Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your mortality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears - that's what soma is." (chapter 17: Huxley, page 238, par. 1)

Question: How does John's view of religion differ from Mond's? How do their arguments transfer to our world? What does Mond mean when he states that soma is "Christianity without tears?"

Answer: Mond takes the stance that humans created God to satisfy a need, but in a perfect society, God no longer has a purpose and he even goes as far to say that God is not compatible with the modern age. Technology and science made Him obsolete (Huxley 234). In Mond's eyes, religion leads to instability. John views religion as something that adds to the depth of society and gives life purpose. To John, believing in God is natural for a human and makes sense when pondering eternity and death (Huxley 234-235). Mond disregards this notion because the people in his society are never alone to have time to ponder such things. Their arguments are arguments that can be heard today. Some people will make the case that science has made God obsolete. They will argue that scientific advancements and modern medicine allow for an enlightened populace that no longer needs to depend on the primitive notion of a higher power. They say that religion leads to wars, unrest, and instability. Other people will argue that their is still a reason for God in our society. He provides comfort, a strong moral compass, and a purpose. These people usually consider a person to be one part mind, on part body, and one part spirit. To them, it is only natural to believe in a God. God satisfies a part of their own existence. When Mond stated that soma is "Christianity without tears," he was saying that a drug could provide spiritual satisfaction without any heartache or inner turmoil. To him, soma was sciences solution to God. Why subscribe to a religion when a drug can give you all of the same positive effects without any of the negative baggage? This view was to shallow and empty for John's taste.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 25, 2015 03:17 PM

Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
25 February 2015

"I ate civilization." "What?" "It poisoned me; I was defiled." (Huxley 241)

Question: What did John do that made him feel so ill? Why did he want to purify himself?

Answer: The acceptance of the new society and the realization that he is the only person who believes what he does causes John great distress. He seeks to purify himself to escape the new world that he has placed himself in. He throws up, and later turns to whipping in the chapter. "That's how the Indians always purify themselves." (242) Eventually, he turns to drastic measures for redemption, but this action marks the beginning of his end.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at February 25, 2015 03:20 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 The Contemporary World View
25 February 2015

Question: What does the lighthouse represent and how does it reflect on the book as a whole?

Answer: In my opinion, the lighthouse can be seen as a reflection to the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was a utopia created by God but in the end banished humanity for their sin. In the same way, this secluded place will provide John a piece of utopian society that the modern day dystopia has lost. He will attempt to recapture religion, love, pain, and abstinence in which the modern day society no longer has. This lighthouse is the place and the perfect chance to recapture the “Garden” and repent from his own sins. However, as seen later on in the chapter, this space is also corrupt with all of the reporters not respecting him in this isolated area.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 25, 2015 03:21 PM

Stephen Pinol and Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
25 February 2015

Question: Although they were raised very differently, Bernard Marx and John the Savage are both dissatisfied with the society of the Brave New World. What qualities do the characters have in common? How are they different? Compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Answer: Some of the qualities that they share is that they don’t fit into the ideals of the World State of society. John doesn’t fit in because he was raised in the “savage” Indian culture. Bernard doesn’t fit in because he has more of a traditional view of relationships in society. The difference between the two characters is that Bernard has insecurities that causes him to use the system for his own personal gain. In the end, he tries to find a way to cheat the system in order to fit in. But John on the other hand wants to change the system because it isn’t correct in his own eyes. John is strong is his own way because he is trying to change a dystopia and is standing against society. Bernard on the other hand shows more weakness because he has to use others for his personal gain instead of trying to do things on his own.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 25, 2015 04:40 PM

Mekayla Davila
Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View
1 March 2015

Group question #8:
Is John really more free than the World State members? How is he conditioned in his own way?

Answer:
John, while free from the civilized state, is still part of his own conditioning. He only feels emotions and desires through the lens of his own conditioning (Shakespeare and he savage Indian religion). While he is free to have knowledge and feel emotions but is confined to the world he lives in because he knows not of what is not told. His mind is not like those of the World state because he has the capability to know so much more but due to his own self-conditioning he is limited in what his mind contains.

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at March 2, 2015 12:20 AM

Kenna Dieffenwierth and Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
1 March 2015

Question: Discuss the relationship between science, religion, and political power in the World State.

Answer:

Everything connects back to control and maintaining order. The political power has complete control and uses aspects of science and religion to keep the people content and under control.

"God isn't compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness" (Huxley 178). There is no room for religions in the state because religion can lead to instability; however, the people use the drug soma to induce a state of worship at their Solidarity Services as seen in the second half of chapter 5. The people also revere Ford (or Freud) as a type of deity. A "T" is used instead of a cross in honor of the Model T. In chapter seventeen, John debates Mond on religion. Mond insists that religion is made obsolete with science and is undesirable because it fosters instability and division. This counteracts the goal of the state to unify the population. Instead of religion, people can turn to soma with their problems. "Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half of your mortality in a bottle. Christianity without tears--that's what soma is" (Huxley 238).

Science is tightly controlled by the state. "That's another item in the cost of stability. It isn't only art that's incompatible with happiness; it's also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled" (Huxley 225). Science could lead to the people making unsavory discoveries and result in disorder. The people are not allowed to really delve into science, but they are devoted to it. They are shielded in a world carefully constructed by science. Since they do not have a full understanding of science but have faith in it, science almost becomes a religion. A religion tightly controlled by the World State. "Too good--good enough to realize that all our science is just a cookery book, with an orthodox theory of cooking that nobody's allowed to question, and a list of recipes that musn't be added to except by special permission from the head cook" (Huxley 225). They only give the people enough science to promote ignorance.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at March 2, 2015 09:05 AM

Annie Hays and Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
2 March 2015

Question: What are Mustapha Mond’s arguments against freedom? Is there any validity to them? Do you think there is a “winner” of his debate with John?

Answer: Mond argues that there is too much instability that comes with freedom. Freewill makes people unhappy because there is no guidance. He says it is better to be mildly amused than to be fully happy because true happiness comes from hardships and sadness. However, "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery" (Huxley 221). If people live in a controlled environment, there are no bad things for them to deal with like heartbreak or death. People can either be mildly content, but they can never know true happiness, which comes from overcoming challenges (220). John says that it is best to be free to choose happiness or sadness. Life is too bland for him without difficulties, and he goes crazy in the Brave New World without any challenges (240).

There is no real winner in this debate because it is based on opinion. Some people would choose to be mildly amused their whole lives so as not to deal with pain. Some, like John, would choose pain and suffering if it meant happiness.

Posted by: Annie Hays and Craig Graves at March 2, 2015 10:40 AM

Lyndsey Pospisil & Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
1 March 2015

Question: Analyze Mustapha Mond's role in the novel. How is the World Controller different from the other characters? What is Huxley's purpose is putting Mond in Brave New World? What would the novel be like without Mond?

Answer: Mustapha’s plays the role of the intermediary in the novel. Mustapha plays the intermediary between the World State and the opposing views of the other characters. Before he became a controller, Mustapha Mond studied science independently and was almost sent to an island. Because of this, Mustapha Mond understands the view of characters such as John while also understanding the requirements of the World State. Mond states, “I was given a choice; to be sent to an island, where I could have got on with my pure science, or to be taken on to the Controller’s Council with the prospect of succeeding in due course to an actual Controllership” (Huxley, p. 227). Mustapha Mond is different from the other characters because he understands how the society of the World State works. Mustapha Mond has access to knowledge and doesn’t take soma like everyone else. He has a clear mind and can act as an objective character at times. The purpose of including Mond in Brave New World is to act as the intermediary character that sees both sides. Because Mond plays this important role, he is able to sympathize and rationalize with characters like John. Mond is able to understand opposing views and then explain why the way of the World State is better.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at March 2, 2015 02:39 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

Question: Why does Huxley discuss forms of past government within chapter three of Brave New World?

Huxley mentions past forms of government as a way to show their faults. Henry Foster mentions how the past government was ignorant to not use the ectogenesis drug that was developed so that women no longer had to go through pregnancy or worry about becoming pregnant when instead they could be created artificially. Instead the government placed importance on Christianity and the value of pregnancy. (Huxley 33) Foster then goes on to state, “Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.” (Huxley 34) From this we can see that Foster believed that the previous government was only made to make their people miserable because they are not living up to their true potential and not achieving ‘true’ freedom.

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at February 10, 2016 01:58 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
10 February 2016
Brave New World Question

“How is it that I can’t, or rather—because after all, I know quite well why I can’t—what would it be like, if I could, if I were free—not enslaved by my conditioning.”
“But Bernard you’re saying the most awful things.”
“Don’t you wish you were free Lenina?”
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
(Chapter 6, pg. 91)
Questions: This passage refers to the marked difference in Bernard being unhappy in being unable to break away from his conditioning, while showing Lenina terrified of even the suggestion. What do you think the definition of freedom is? Do you think the United States has the spirit of freedom that is so often purported?
Answer: Although our modern day society does not go about handing out soma to people the way society does in Huxley’s Brave New World, it certainly does have its own way of masking unhappiness through a system of ignorance and consumption. Between brand logos and advertisements, the average adult in the developed world typically encounters hundreds of messages expressing that they should buy more, be thinner, sexier, and therefore become more worthy, and more well-liked. In order to buy more people must make more money and therefore follow a rigid educational system, and begin working upon completion in order to pay off their educational debts and begin consuming at a level that proves their success. When people come home from their jobs, most prefer to skip keeping up with the news, as it’s depressing. Most who do keep up with the news, resolve that they are incapable of changing anything outside their own microcosm, as it is just too difficult. In the United States, some of our society’s most obvious weekend pastimes include drinking alcohol and admiring the athletic prowess of strangers on television.
There comes a certain point in people’s lives, where the notion of living outside such a system is unfathomable. Even the suggestion of living life in another manner can be easily brushed off, because, even if an individual wants to do so, they would not know where to start, quite similarly to Bernard who yearns to be something more than, “just a cell in a social body” (Huxley pg. 90).
Today, we are free in the context of social system we have constructed. In the true sense of freedom, the freedom to have the means to decide what one wants to do with his or her time all of the time, to live without fear of personal expression, we are very much shackled.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at February 10, 2016 02:08 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
10 February 2016

“Then aloud, and more warmly than ever, ‘I’d simply love to come with you for a week in July,’ she went on” (Chapter 4: Brave New World, page 39, paragraph 4, Huxley translation)

Question: Does it seem as though Lenina demonstrates all the same characteristics as everyone else within her class in the World State?

Answer: To a certain extent, I believe she does demonstrate most of the same characteristics as the others within her class. For example, as she is flying with Henry to play Obstacle Golf on their date, Lenina makes the comment “I’m glad I’m not a Gamma” (Huxley 42). Through this, it can be seen that she does not really see a problem with the class structures, and she almost looks down on those who are in a lower class then herself. However, when she is approaches Bernard to ask about the potential date, she thinks to herself that she “was publicly proving her unfaithfulness to Henry. Fanny ought to be pleased, even though it was Bernard” (Huxley 39). I believe that this potentially demonstrates that she does not display all the same characteristics as the rest of those within her class because she knows that Bernard is not the best match for her, and she knows that some might look down on her for it, but she still decides to go on a date with him anyway.

Posted by: Dominique Bauer at February 10, 2016 02:37 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

“In the nurseries, the Elementary Class Consciousness lesson was over, the voices were adapting future demand to future industrial supply. ‘I do love flying,’ they whispered, ‘I do love flying, I do love having new clothes, I do love…’” (Chapter 3, page 48, par. 9, Aldous Huxley)

Question: This passage describes an instance when lessons are recorded and repeatedly played to the children while they sleep. Explain the impact of this particular lesson, and compare or contrast it to what society instills in us today.

Answer: Hypnopaedia is used in this lesson to teach the people that they should continuously demand and buy more products, to support industry and production. Throughout the lesson they connect the idea of a rich and prosperous society (and individual) with the people buying new instead of recycling, “Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; the more stitches…” (Huxley 49) As a result, people are trained to buy, which creates an extremely inefficient society, but one that is also prosperous due to the industrial growth. In modern times, we have had similar beliefs especially during the industrial revolution, or even today during daily commercials and shopping seasons that urge consumers to buy. Americans have centered holidays such as Black Friday and Christmas on the theme of shopping! On the other hand, there are also many environmentally conservative consumers that are encouraging people to buy, recycle, and consume efficiently because a society with an increasing demand is not sustainable.

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at February 10, 2016 03:15 PM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016
Question: Based on your knowledge of Socrates and The Republic, would the philosopher endorse the “planetary motto” spoken by the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning in Chapter One of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Why or why not?
Answer: According to the Director, the planetary motto is: “Community, Identity, Stability” (Huxley 7). The motto could be applied to Kallipolis, the ideal state formulated by Socrates in The Republic, for a strong sense of community builds loyalty to the State. As for identity, the three classes of the State define one’s purpose, for the producers have specific tasks that align with their stance in society, it is the same for the guardians and the rulers; no one questions their identity because one’s destiny is decided by their birthright,“Liking what you’ve got to do,” according to the Director, “is the secret of happiness and virtue” (Huxley 16). This notion is the primary reason behind Socrates’s division of class within the State, for everyone has their duty to uphold, and because of their predestined role, they will have a sense of fulfillment. Stability and moderation, a cardinal virtue according to Socrates, are synonymous with balance, which is the epitome of a just society.Therefore, Socrates would support the planetary motto within Brave New World.

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at February 10, 2016 03:21 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

“Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. But there were also husbands, wives, lovers. There were also monogamy and Romance ‘Though you probably don’t know what those are.’” (Chapter 3, page 40)

Question: How are personal relationships perceived in the world state? What is the ideology behind this view?

Answer: Developing enduring personal relationships of any sort are discouraged and seen as taboo or grotesque by the society. This is apparent Mustapha Mond gives the group of boys an overview of life before the Nine Years War in which he characterizes family life and describes a home. His description alone is enough to make some of the boys in the group physically ill. In his description, he likens the home to a dark, disease-ridden prison. Additionally, these homes were “reeking with emotion.” as family members obsessed over each other. Not only are family connections seen as abnormal but they are also viewed as dangerous, “What suffocating intimacies, what dangerous, insane, obscene relationships between the members of the family group!” (Huxley 37) The aversion for forming long lasting personal relationships is also apparent when Lenina is shamed by her friend Fanny. When Lenina admits that she has continued to exclusively go out with Henry Ford for four months she is met by astonishment. Fanny insists that Lenina must see other men and that she “ought to be a little more promiscuous.” Although Lenina has not been “very keen on promiscuity lately” she must make an effort in order to adhere to the standards and values of society. (Huxley 43)
Stability is what is deeply valued within society, and these exclusive relationships in opposition to this stability. Strong family ties, monogamous relationships, and exclusiveness all induce extreme emotions. (Huxley 39) When these emotions are channeled into single impulses, it is like “water under pressure in a pipe.” Rather than having a large “jet” it is better to have “twenty piddling fountains.” (Huxley 41) As a result “everyone belongs to everyone else,” promiscuity and detachment from family is encouraged as a way to maintain order and limit experiences of extreme emotion. (Huxley 40 - 42)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 10, 2016 03:30 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

“Henry spoke with a happy pride, rejoicing wholeheartedly in the achievement, as though it had been his own” (Chapter 5: part 1, page 73, par. 3, Harper Perennial Translation).

Question for Chapter 5 Part 1: This passage reiterates the way how Henry felt about the Crematorium. Then, later in part 1 of the chapter Lenina expressed her opinion about the Crematorium. What are Lenina and Henry’s attitude and views towards the Crematorium?

Henry thought of the Crematorium as something pleasant (Huxley 73). He did not give a sad attitude towards it as he saw it as a place of hope and joy. According to Henry, “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we are dead. Making plants grow” (Huxley 73). This highlights that the body is sound both when one is alive and dead. In this sense when the body cremates, the ashes can be used as a form of nutrient and fertilizer as a result of the phosphorus in it to aid the plants to grow efficiently.

Lenina thought it was cool to see the “switchback” rising in the air from the crematorium (Huxley 75). However, Henry made sure to reassure her that it was not that fascinating as it is the gases of someone’s human remains burning. Then, he concluded that everyone, in the end, is happy whoever died was happy when he was living, and the plants are now happy for the nutrients from the individual's dead remains (Huxley 75).

Translation Used: Brave New World, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, by Aldous Huxley.

Posted by: Revision-Melissa Bryan at February 10, 2016 04:17 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

QUESTION: “I am I, and I wish I wasn’t” (Chapter 4, Part 2, Huxley 64) How do Bernard’s insecurities dictate the way he interacts with his peers and subordinates?
ANSWER: Bernard in Huxley’s Brave New World is the preverbal misfit in a ‘highly esteemed” caste. His dilemma is attributed to him being under the required height for his case by 8 cm. Subsequently, he and is jeered and branded as an outlier in the caste. Consequently, he over asserts himself, indicative, “of one who does not feel… too secure in his superiority” (Huxley 64), in the process alienating himself. Additionally, characteristic of his loner behavior he tends to a degree of paranoia as he feels always discussed which is sadly true.

Translation Used
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Harper Collins Publishers

Posted by: Ashlee English at February 10, 2016 04:19 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
15 February 2016

QUESTION: “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.” (Chapter 8, Huxley 137), John, Linda’s son said this to Bernard. What similarities can be assumed about the new world and the savage reservation based on the treatment of John and Bernard?

ANSWER: In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, we encounter social outliers in the new world and savage reservation. These social outliers are John and Bernard. John is excluded from general society due to his appearance as well as the actions of his mother. Bernard, on the other hand, is marginalized due to his inability to conform to the act of society, which he deems to be misleading. Although, both worlds are starkly different concerning sterility, civilization, and societal norms, they ironically treat outliers the same way. The outliers are either removed from society or barred from all social activities. In Bernard’s case, he is being sent to Iceland after his return from the savage reservation. For John he was treated a bit more brutally, “the man struck him… he was all alone.” (Huxley 136) because of his birth and mother’s actions. Ultimately, if you take away sterility and civilization, the new world is no better than the Savage Reservation.

Translation Used
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Harper Collins Publishers

Posted by: Ashlee English at February 15, 2016 07:31 AM

Michael Barbee
Hon 351 - Contemporary World View CA02
Dr. Hobbs
14 February 2016

Chapter 13 Question
"You silly boy!" she was saying. "I wanted you so much. And if you wanted me too, why didn't you? ..." (Huxley 145)

Question: Discuss the changes in Lenina’s ideas of love and desire as they were before and after meeting and developing feelings for John.

Answer: During Bernard and Lenina’s encounter in Chapter 6 Bernard is pushing to spend time alone with Lenina to explore the idea of having feelings and being alone. To which Lenina responds with seemingly mindless quotes
"I don't understand anything," she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. "Nothing. Least of all," she continued in another tone "why you don't take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. (Huxley 68).
However, after encountering John on the reservation, Lenina falls in love with him and is willing to commit to being with him. That being said, Lenina is not totally free from her previous ways as she continues to try and have sex with John, which drives John away since his soul desire is to get married.







Posted by: Michael Barbee at February 15, 2016 02:02 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
10 February 2016
Brave New World: Chapter 12, 2nd half
“‘The author’s mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous, and potentially subversive. Not to be published’” (Huxley 177).
Question: This excerpt is from when Mustapha Mond is reading over a student’s paper. Why does Mond decide that the paper cannot be published?
Answer: As one of the top “World Controllers” Mustapha Mond is in charge of making such decisions as what the citizens are allowed to know about. The society in Brave New World came to be this way because the world was becoming overwhelmed with their problems and collectively the population threw their arms up and asked that their liberties and individuality be taken away in the name of stability. Now there is no war, no sadness, no individuality, no literature, no families, no emotional ties to others, and no religion. People are encouraged to consume a lot, and to induce themselves into artificial happiness through a drug called soma as soon as life becomes the slightest bit of a challenge to bear.
Mond decides that the paper cannot be published because it is too intellectually challenging and may stir people’s minds, making them question the order of things. Through this censorship, Mond gains power over the thoughts, and therefore actions of his citizens. In Mond’s mind, he justifies this action through the reasoning that he is ensuring the happiness of his citizens, by forgoing them the stress of having to think about their happiness. Mond expresses his jealousy of citizens who have this luxury provided to them in his saying, “What fun it would be, if one didn’t have to think about happiness,” (Huxley 177).

Posted by: Grace Lederer at February 15, 2016 02:25 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
15 February

"Linda, "he cried out. "Oh, mother don't!" I'm not your mother. I won't be your mother." "Having young ones like an animal... If it hadn't been for you, I might have gone to the Inspector, I might have got away. But not with a baby. That would have been too shameful." (Huxley 127)

Question: Why does Linda get so upset when she is referred to as a mother? Why is this so bad in the society?

Answer: Having babies is so taboo in this society that has been created that it is a very archaic thought to want to have a kid. It has gone so far that having a kid is going against the social norm, and they can be looked upon horribly if this occurs. Linda only wanted to live a normal simple life like everyone else in the society, but John has changed this whole dynamic for her. This organization has pressed on Linda her entire life that a son is the worst thing that can happen to a person because of all the new technology. She believes that she is nothing more than a normal animal now rather than a human being. The society has brainwashed Linda into the belief of now thinking she is worthless with John as her natural born child. She now has the feeling of worthlessness which has to be unconditioned, so she can accept John as her son.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at February 15, 2016 02:33 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
15 February 2016

Chapter 9 Question: How is the element of desire incorporated and influenced within this chapter?

This chapter illustrates John’s desire for Lenina in so much that he has to implement his strong sense of self control to keep himself composed. “Then suddenly he found himself reflecting that he had only to take hold of the zipper at her neck and give one long, strong pull. He shut his eyes, he shook his head with the gesture of a dog shaking its ears as it emerges from the water. Detestable thought! He was ashamed of himself. Pure and vestal modesty.” (Huxley 98) He even goes so far as to quote Shakespeare and to go through Lenina’s luggage to smell her things.

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at February 15, 2016 02:33 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
15 February 2016

“'You made me have a baby,' she screamed above the uproar. There was a sudden and appalling hush; eyes floated uncomfortably, not knowing where to look” (Chapter 10: Brave New World, page 102, par. 2, Huxley translation)

Question: How does Bernard’s use of John and Linda effect the actions of the Director? How does the crowd’s reaction make the Director feel? What does this say about Bernard’s character?

Answer: In the World State, having children naturally is frowned upon. The fact that Linda and the Director (Tomakin) have a child together, or at least appear to have a child together, will negatively affect how he is viewed in society. Because Bernard brings this issue up right as the Director is exiling him to Iceland, it seems as though Bernard will not be being exiled.
The effect that the crowd’s reactions have on the Director indicates how important it is to be accepted in the World State. The fact that he had an “expression of petrified disgust” (Huxley 101) indicates how much he did not want to be associated with Linda now that she does not conform with the ideals of society. Furthermore, when “he put his hands over his ears and rushed out of the room” (Huxley 101), it again demonstrates how embarrassed he was by the crowd’s nonstop laugher on the subject matter.
What this passage demonstrates about Bernard’s character is that he is more than willing to take advantage of someone else to ensure that he will be able to stay safe in society. While he may feel like an outcast, he does not want to be punished for it.

Posted by: Dominique Bauer at February 15, 2016 03:05 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
15 February 2016

“We can generate a new [individual] with the greatest ease – as many as we like.” (Chapter 10, page 148)

Question: What is the value of the individual in the World State?

Answer: It is widely stated today that one person can make the difference. The Director’s take on this is that one individual, with their unusual behavior, has the power to corrupt an entire society. He states “no offence is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behavior” equating it with being worse than murder as “murder only kills the individual,” whereas unorthodoxy kills societal norms. (Huxley 148) Everyone has a duty to act accordingly for the benefit of society. It seems that in the World State individuals are only valued for what they do as a collective group. As soon as one begins to stray from the group they become expendable. Also, the Director’s statements only focus the negative impact that individual’s actions can potentially have, completely disregarding that possibility for a positive effect. This line of thinking suggests that the evil an individual can do outweighs the good.

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 15, 2016 03:21 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …"
The Director pushed back the switch. The voice was silent. Only its thin ghost continued to mutter from beneath the eighty pillows.
"They'll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. A hundred and twenty times three times a week for thirty months. After which they go on to a more advanced lesson."
(Huxley 27-8, chapter 2, Harper ed.)

Question: How are the children conditioned in the State Conditioning Centres? What do they learn?

Answer: The children are conditioned with a mix of “Neo-Pavlovian” techniques and hypnopaedia. In the Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms, books and bowls of roses are placed in front of the children. When the children try to touch them, an earsplitting alarm goes off. The negative association is further reinforced with an electric shock. In this way, the children are conditioned to avoid books and flowers: “Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks–already in the infant mind these couples were compromisingly linked; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder” (Huxley 21-2, chapter 2, Harper ed.). The children are taught to avoid books because they put dangerous ideas in their heads. They’re taught to dislike flowers because love of nature isn’t profitable.

The infants are also conditioned by hypnopaedia, or sleep suggestion. An audio track is repeated over and over as the children sleep until they subconsciously learn the lesson. In the above passage, children are taught about social classes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The children in the room are taught to be glad they are part of their own social class, Beta, and not a different class. The track says, “I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas” (Huxley 27, chapter 2, Harper ed.). What’s remarkable is how effective this method of conditioning truly is. The Director comments, "The child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too–all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides–made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions!" (Huxley 29, chapter 2, Harper ed.). The children think they have naturally come to these conclusions, but really their viewpoints have been manufactured by the State.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at February 15, 2016 03:43 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

"The Savage," wrote Bernard, "refuses to take soma, and seems much distressed because of the woman Linda, his m–––, remains permanently on holiday. It is worthy of note that, in spite of his m–––'s senility and the extreme repulsiveness of her appearance, the Savage frequently goes to see her and appears to be much attached to her–an interesting example of the way in which early conditioning can be made to modify and even run counter to natural impulses (in this case, the impulse to recoil from an unpleasant object)." (Huxley 160-1, chapter 11, Harper ed.)

Question: How is the above passage ironic? What does it reveal about the society in which Bernard lives?

Answer: The above passage is ironic in a number of ways. Bernard censors the word “mother” as if it is profanity. In Bernard’s London, reproduction does not occur naturally. Instead, children are made in test tubes and genetically modified. Natural reproduction is a danger to the artificial class system. Therefore, members of society have been conditioned to view natural reproduction as abhorrent. As a result, “mother” has become the worst sort of profanity, even though it is more natural than the artificial reproduction in Bernard’s society.

Bernard’s view of John’s loyalty to his mother is also ironic. Bernard finds Linda disgusting because she is fat and wrinkly from age and stress. John, however, continues to see her. Bernard cannot understand John’s devotion to his mother. He believes that his opinion is natural and John’s is the result of conditioning, when in reality it is the opposite. Bernard calls John’s respect “an interesting example of the way in which early conditioning can be made to modify and even run counter to natural impulses” (Huxley 161, chapter 11, Harper ed.). Bernard assumes that hatred of ugly things is more natural than love of one’s mother. This is ironic because it is Bernard that is the result of artificial early conditioning, not John.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at February 15, 2016 03:45 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

“Henry spoke with a happy pride, rejoicing wholeheartedly in the achievement, as though it had been his own” (Chapter 5: part 1, page 73, par. 3, Harper Perennial Translation).

Question for Chapter 5 Part 1: This passage reiterates the way how Henry felt about the Crematorium. Then, later in part 1 of the chapter Lenina expressed her views about the Crematorium. What are Lenina and Henry’s attitude and views towards the Crematorium?

Answer: Henry thought of the Crematorium as something pleasant (Huxley 73). He did not give a sad attitude towards it as he viewed it as a place of hope and joy. According to Henry, “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we are dead. Making plants grow” (Huxley 73). This highlights that the body is good both when one is alive and dead. In this sense when the body cremates, the ashes can be used as a form of nutrient and fertilizer as a result of the phosphorus in it to aid the plants to grow efficiently.
Lenina thought it was cool to see the “switchback” rising in the air from the crematorium (Huxley 75). However, Henry made sure to reassure her that it was not that fascinating as it is the gases of someone’s human remains burning. Then, he concluded that everyone, in the end, is happy whoever died was happy when he was living, and the plants are now happy for the nutrients from the individual's dead remains (Huxley 75).

Translation Used: Brave New World, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, by Aldous Huxley.

Posted by: Revised-chpt5-Melissa Bryan at February 15, 2016 09:48 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
15 February 2016

"I ventured to think," stammered Bernard, "that your fordship might find the matter of sufficient scientific interest…" (Chapter 9: part 1, page 141, par. 2, Harper Perennial Translation).

Question for Chapter 9 Part 1: This passage is about Bernard trying to use science as a means to persuade the Mustapha, the World Controller. What kind of person does Bernard portray to be?

Answer: Bernard tries to convince Mustapha that it is a matter of “scientific interest” to bring John and Linda back to London (Huxley 141). Then, Mustapha states, “Yes, I do find it sufficient scientific interests” (Huxley 141). That makes Bernard feel like he has a good relationship with Mustapha. Essentially, Bernard got what he desires by being a smart mouth and conniving person. He portrays a character that is selfish as he uses science as a means to not get himself deported. Hence, he is an opportunist as he is seeking revenge at the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning.

Translation Used: Brave New World, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, by Aldous Huxley.

Posted by: Revision-Melissa Bryan at February 15, 2016 09:56 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

After all, it was not to sing and enjoy himself that he had come here. It was to escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life; it was to be purified and made good; it was actively to make amends. He realized to his dismay that, absorbed in the whittling of his bow, he had forgotten what he had sworn to himself he would constantly remember–poor Linda, and his own murderous unkindness to her. […] Half an hour later, three Delta-Minus landworkers […] were astonished to see a young man standing outside the abandoned lighthouse stripped to the waist and hitting himself with a whip of knotted cords. His back was horizontally streaked with crimson, and from weal to weal ran thin trickles of blood. […] One, two three–they counted the strokes. After the eighth, the young man interrupted his self-punishment to run to the wood's edge and there be violently sick. When he had finished, he picked up the whip and began hitting himself again. Nine, ten, eleven, twelve… (Huxley 247-8, chapter 18, Harper ed.).

Question: Why does John physically harm himself? What is he trying to achieve?

Answer: John engages in self-punishment in order to “escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life” and “make amends” (Huxley 247, chapter 18, Harper ed.). John’s worldview has been informed by Shakespeare and the Indians on the Savage Reservation. He has been taught to deny the sins of the flesh. Lust in particular is repulsive to him. He seeks the courtly, chaste love he finds in Shakespeare’s plays. By extension, he hates his mother’s affairs and Lenina’s willingness to have sex. Despite his attraction to Lenina, he refuses her sexual advances and calls her an “impudent strumpet” (Huxley 194, chapter 13, Harper ed.). John therefore views the shallowness, focus on pleasure, and promiscuity of the “brave new world” as sinful and disgusting.

After spending so long in London, John feels that he needs to harm himself in order to cleanse his soul of filth. Historically, men used self-flagellation in order to beat the flesh into submission. We saw this in our previous text, The Last Temptation of Christ, when Jesus whipped himself for his lustful thoughts. The “brave new world” over-indulges in the desires of the flesh. John seeks to “be purified and made good” by destroying the flesh altogether (Huxley 247, chapter 18, Harper ed.). This is a false dichotomy: deny the flesh or indulge in it; self-flagellation or orgies. There are many options in between, such as monogamy or moderation.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at February 16, 2016 06:28 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
16 February 2016

“It hasn’t been very good for truth, of course. But it has been very good for happiness. One can’t have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for.” (Chapter 16, Huxley 228)

QUESTION: Mustapha Mond says the above quote to Helmholtz Watson at the close of chapter 16. How does this statement illuminate the decisions and standards of the civilized world? What does this statement do to the moral views of Mr. Savage?

ANSWER: To have a stable society there has to be a tradeoff. In the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Mustapha explains this to Mr. Savage and Helmholtz the necessity of this tradeoff. Mustapha states that, “every change is a menace to stability” (Huxley 224-225) as change brings about ideas. These ideas challenge conformity and as such create the possibility of civil unrest. Therefore, ‘old’ ideas like the ones Mr. Savage holds to are too ‘revolutionary’. Moreover, his ideas instill (Based on the works of Shakespeare) passion and independence, which on their own were problematic.
Consequently, Mr. Savage faces a moral dilemma as all his ideas coming from Lina of the ‘new world’ combined with his teachings royally clash. In addition, his idolization of the new world crumbles, as the values of the world are baser than his own. The result for Mr. Savage is a disconnect due to the disparity in morals and values.


Translation Used
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Harper Collins Publishers

Posted by: Ashlee English at February 16, 2016 11:40 PM

Grace Lederer (Scribe)
Ashley Reynolds (Spokesperson)
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
18 February 2016
Brave New World Chapters 3 & 4

Question: What new characters appear in this chapter?

Answer: Hemholtz Watson—Bernard’s friend, lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering that is also discontent with the state of society due to his intelligence being beyond his conditioning

Fanny-Lenina’s friend who scolds her for acting strangely by leaning towards monogamous relationships.

Henry Foster—Lenina’s other boyfriend that she had been seeing for four months before switching to Bernard.

The Director—man in charge of the London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre

Mustafa Mond—one of the world’s top ten controllers, rumored to have a safe full of old forbidden books in his safe

Question: Who are the primary players for these chapters?

Answer: The primary players for these chapters are Bernard, Lenina, Mustafa Mond, and The Director.

Question: What are the conflicts/problems in these chapters? What is the main conflict?

One conflict in these chapters is that Mustapha Mond, one of the top world controllers, shows up at the London Hatchery by surprise and begins to interject into the children’s tour, bringing up bits of history as he does. It makes the Director greatly uncomfortable and Mond assures him, “in a tone faint of derision, ‘It’s al right…I won’t corrupt them,’” (Huxley 35). He then

Another conflict in these chapters is that Fanny has taken notice of Lenina’s strange behavior in leaning towards a monogamous relationship and encourages her to see someone besides Henry.

Another conflict lies between Bernard and Lenina being that they want to date each other, but have very different views of what a satisfying date experience would be. Bernard is actively trying to break away from his conditioning while Lenina is offended by the deviation from her familiar, engineered social interactions.

Bernard also struggles with the internal conflict that he is insecure about his physical stature as his height does not match the rest of his caste.

Finally, as Bernard and Helmholtz are trying to have an intelligent conversation about how they wish they could express more emotion, Bernard bursts into tears after expressing the pressure he feels of being under suspicion from authority figures.

Question: What are the dichotomies? Even if false? Which is the preferred or privileged side? Which is marginalized?

Conditioned vs. unconditioned. Conditioned is the privileged side. Unconditioned is the marginalized side. This is a false dichotomy because it is better to have true control over ones’ mind.

Stability vs. chaos with stability being the privileged side as the society has chosen stability in order to avoid problem. They chose order over freedom.

Polyamory vs. monogamy, polyamory as privileged. Monogamy is seen as a malfunction in this society.

Natural vs. manufactured, natural as marginalized. People shutter at the primitive thoughts of family life, and instead think being born out of a test tube is normal.

New vs. old, new privileged. People are encouraged to consume, to buy new clothes instead of mending old ones.

Privacy vs. public disclosure. Public is privileged, and Lenina shows this when she loudly talks about her date plans with Bernard in an elevator full of people and embarrasses him.

Outcast vs. conformists, clearly conformity is privileged as it adds to the stability of society.

Sex for pleasure vs. sex for reproduction, with sex for pleasure as the favored because, once again, family life is considered disgusting.

Intoxication vs. sobriety, with intoxication being favored as people readily have Soma to offer at the slightest sign of discontent.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at February 17, 2016 06:37 AM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
10 February 2016

“You really know where you are. For the first time in history.” He quoted the planetary motto. “Community, Identity, Stability.” (Chapter 1, page 7).

Question: Based on your knowledge of Socrates and The Republic, would the philosopher endorse the “planetary motto” spoken by the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning? Why or why not?

Answer: According to the Director, the planetary motto is: “Community, Identity, Stability” (Huxley 7). The motto could be applied to Kallipolis, the ideal state formulated by Socrates in The Republic. A strong sense of community builds stability in the State, for a State “ordered with a view to the good of the whole” is the happiest and most ideal (Plato 89). As for identity, the three classes of the State define one’s purpose, for the producers have specific tasks that align with their stance in society, it is the same for the guardians and the rulers; no one questions their identity because one’s destiny is decided by their birthright. As a result, Socrates believes “the whole State will grow up in a noble order, and the several classes will receive the proportion of happiness which nature assigns to them” (Plato 90). Similarly, the Director states: “liking what you’ve got to do is the secret of happiness and virtue” (Huxley 16). This notion is the primary reason behind Socrates’s division of class within the State, for everyone has their duty to uphold, and because of their predestined role, they will have a sense of fulfillment. A statement of Socrates parallels the Director’s justification of the motto: “We must infer that all things are produced more plentifully and easily and of a better quality when one man does one thing which is natural to him” (Plato 41). Stability and moderation, a cardinal virtue according to Socrates, are synonymous with balance, which is the epitome of a just society. Therefore, Socrates would support the planetary motto within Brave New World.

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona Revised at February 17, 2016 08:57 AM

Kaelyn Cardona and Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

Question 1: Who are the primary players for chapters 9 and 10?

Answer: Chapters 9 and 10 of Brave New World revolve around the following characters: Bernard Marx, John and Linda, the Director, and Lenina.


Question 2: What is the conflict or problem? Identify all that is the main conflict.

Answer: The ongoing conflict in chapters 9 and 10 of Brave New World is the unending battle between the role of the family and the prevalence of the state. The society Huxley built in his novel prioritizes the elimination of parenthood for familial loyalty to the state. The conflict between them is exemplified by Linda’s reunion with the Director in chapter 10, for she reveals they conceived John. The concept of having a baby in a monogamous relationship was laughable if not shocking to the masses. Father, or mother, is thought to be “not so much obscene as—with its connotation of something at one remove from the loathsomeness and moral obliquity of child-bearing—merely gross, a scatological rather than pornographic impropriety” (Huxley 151). The idea of bearing a child, though possible, was so farfetched in this society that it was a cruel joke. However, it is still possible, and its occurrence was taboo enough to shake the pillars of a state supported by the predestination of manufactured offspring, which resulted in the Director’s inevitable resignation.


Question 3: What are the dichotomies, and which of them are preferred, which of them are false?

Answer: The dichotomies of chapters 9 and 10 are as follows: science and nature, monogamy and polygamy, and lust and love. Firstly, with science and nature, science is preferred. For instance, the process of bokanovskification is the ideal form of producing, for it is capable of causing the egg to “bud” into ninety-six batches of identical twins (Huxley 8). In contrast, nature hindered progress, for it would take “thirty years for two hundred eggs to reach maturity,” and instead of ninety-six beings created from one egg, there would only be one (Huxley 6-8).
Also, there are the false dichotomies of monogamy and polygamy, and lust and love. Ideally, there should be a balance between them. However, polygamy and lust are favored over monogamy and love. They are related because the individual is encouraged to have sexual relations with as many people as they desire, for there is no consequence of childbirth with free sexuality. Should one develop love for one person and desire a relationship of strict devotion to them, they are condemned by society in Brave New World. For example, John’s feelings for Linda gave rise to his obsession with her, and as a result, he abstains from surrendering to his sexual impulses out of overwhelming sentimentality for her “pure and vestal modesty” (Huxley 145).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at February 17, 2016 10:33 AM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

“His punishment is really a reward. He’s being sent to an island. That’s to say, he’s being sent to a place where he’ll meet the most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in the world. All the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self-consciously individual to fit into community-life” (Chapter 16 page 227).


Question, Chapter 16 part 2: Identify the symbolism of the island. How does individuality hinder happiness?

Answer: The destination of Bernard, Helmholtz, and John in exile is Iceland, an island populated by men and women deemed unfit to function in the mainstream society of the state. The Western train of thought that divides what is preferred and what is not comes to light in the punishment the men receive in Brave New World. Western society’s perspective is an overbearing hegemony that deems what is good and what is bad without considering a balance between them. Therefore, the island is the symbol of what becomes of those in a society that do not follow the norm. They are rejected, removed from the majority and admired for their individuality from afar. In Brave New World, Mustapha Mond is fascinated by the banished individuals on the island, calling them “interesting” for preferring to maintain their individuality instead of pursuing happiness in society (Huxley 227).
Their unorthodoxy prevents them from being “happy” according to the World State’s definition: “universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t” (Huxley 228). There is a parallel to the World State and the Garden of Eden, for the inhabitants of both live in “comfort and happiness,” which cannot be obtained when one possesses knowledge and truth, and desires beauty (Huxley 228). The dichotomy of happiness and knowledge is emphasized once more, and when one has a mind of their own that deviates from the state, they are cast out of paradise.

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at February 17, 2016 11:07 AM

Karra and Dominique
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
15 February 2016

Questions: For chapters 7-8: what new characters are introduced? Who are the primary players? What are the conflicts/problems? What is the main conflict? Are there any dichotomies seen? If so, which is preferred/priviliedged? Which is not? What is marginalized?
Answers: The new characters that are introduced in these chapters of Brave New World are Linda and John. John is introduced into the story after the sacrifice. While Lenin and Bernard are talking to John, Linda is introduced (Huxley 116-118). In these two chapters the primary players are Bernard, Linda, and John. In chapter 7, Lenina plays some part, but for the majority of the two chapters, it is just Bernard, Linda, and John.
The conflicts seen in these chapters are that John wants to fit in with the Reserve, but part of his raising does not allow him to assimilate into that society. Also, in chapter 7, Lenina struggles to wrap her mind around the differences in society from the Reserve and the World State. The main conflict is that John doesn’t fit in with the Reserve. Another conflict that can be seen is that Bernard wants to fit into society, but he does not share everyone’s ideals, so he has a hard time fitting in.
The major dichotomy that can be seen in these chapters is individualism vs. conformity. The one that is preferred in this world is definitely conformity. Individualism is not preferred in this society.

Posted by: Karra and Dominique at February 17, 2016 01:18 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
17 February 2016

"Despite the initial tepid response, Brave New World struck an extraordinary chord with the public, and over the subsequent six decades it has been reread and interpreted by generations of readers." (P.S. 10)

Question: What caused the shift in the view of Huxley's Brave New World.

Answer: The critics hated the novel after they finished reading it and no one had a decent comment to write about it at first. It was written off as being a terrible book. The disdain occurred because it challenged the ideas of where the world was headed and at the time people found that very disturbing. People didn't want to believe that a hellish dystopia was in their future. It was though that Huxley was leaning toward fascist ideals based on the novel (P.S. 8). Society started to make a turn towards accepting the book, once the world ended World War II. "After World War II, Huxley added a foreword to the book in which he assessed the radical changes in the world situation since its first publication." (P.S. 10). This update recognizes that the world was starting to head in the wrong direction towards the dystopia, and Huxley warns everyone that a change needs to occur, so this horror isn't reached.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at February 17, 2016 01:51 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” (Huxley 163)

Chapter 17.2 Question: In comparison to the elements within Plato’s Kallipolis how do the wants of John the Savage agree or disagree with Plato?

Plato was against works that mentioned the Gods and their falsehoods so they did not affect the education of the guardians. Therefore, Plato would be against the idea of God being reintroduced into society like the Savage wants. “But if you know about God, why don’t you tell them?” asked the Savage indignantly. “Why don’t you give them these books about God?” “For the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.” (Huxley 157-58) In this case, Mustapha Mond would also agree with Plato that the usage of a God or Gods is useless to society because of the falsehoods that they state.

However, Plato would agree with the Savage in the case of that there be goodness and poetry within the modern society. Plato wanted poetry as a way to teach the guardians and placate their soul. John the Savage wanted poetry as a way to feel a certain type of passion through words. This is especially evident in his constant use of Shakespearian quotes. In addition, a big concept that is introduced within The Republic is the element of the ‘good.’ As a result, he would agree with the Savage that the element of what is good should be placed within society.

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at February 17, 2016 02:38 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
17 February 2016

“Urged by a sudden impulse, ran forward to help them; then thought better of it and halted; then, ashamed, stepped forward again; then again thought better of it, and was standing in an agony of humiliated indecision – thinking that they might be killed if he didn’t help them, and the me might be killed if he did” (Chapter 15: Brave New World, page 214, par. 1, Aldous Huxley translation)
Question: What does Bernard’s hesitation to help Helmholtz and John say about his character? Are there any dichotomies presented in this situation?
Answer: Throughout Brave New World, the reader has seen Bernard struggle with fitting in. At this point, the reader sees Bernard want to help, but he does not really want to get hurt from it. The reader sees this again when “he shouted “Help!” several times, more and more so as to give himself the illusion of helping” (Huxley 214). What this demonstrates is that Bernard just wants to appear as though he is actually helping because he is more afraid of what could happen to him, then he is about what could potentially happen to his “friends.”
There is one dichotomy that presents itself here for certain: the debate between stepping up and conforming. Bernard seems to struggle slightly with this, but he ultimately wants to fit in with the World State, so for the most part, he decides to conform. This is again seen after the police come to break up the riot when he “had chosen [. . .] to move as inconspicuously as he could towards the door” (Huxley 216). This action shows how important it is in the World State to conform – people often times would rather betray their friends then go against the social norms.

Posted by: Dominique Bauer at February 17, 2016 02:45 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
15 February 2016

“So the best people were quite determined not to see Linda. And Linda, for her part, had no desire to see them. The return to civilization was for her the return to soma…” (Chapter 11, page 153-154, par. 1, Aldous Huxley)

Question: Discuss the nature of Linda’s reentry into the society, and explain the similarities or differences between how society and Linda are reacting.

Answer: Linda is in a very odd standing within the society because although she lived with the savages she was “hatched out of a bottle and conditioned like any one else;” but yet she is obviously not an ideal member of the society due to her having a son, her appearance, and condition (Huxley 153). Therefore instead of the people jumping at the chance to meet her like they are her “savage” son, they are disgusted by her and prefer to hide her away. The doctor has even resorted to fulfilling her demands for large demands for soma, “for on soma-holiday Linda was most conveniently out of the way,” and Linda also preferred not to endure the pains of reality (Huxley 154). Society has a bothered attitude towards Linda’s presence and prefers for her to overuse soma and die earlier while being on holiday in her room than to be interacting with people and constantly demand more soma. Linda is similarly avoiding the situation by remaining on holiday in her own little world, instead of attempting to assimilate back into society, or think about her hard life as a savage.

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at February 17, 2016 02:49 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

“’But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man—that it is an unnatural state—will do for a while, but will no carry us on safely to the end…’” (Chapter 17, page 232)

Question: How do Mustapha Mond and John’s views of Independence differ?

Answer: Mustapha views independence as freedom from religion and ultimately freedom from unhappiness. He quotes as passage in which it’s stated that religious conviction often emerges in old age, as passions become less exciting and pleasurable. (Huxley 233) He retorts, “Well now we’ve got youth and prosperity up to the end.” and as a result “there aren’t any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous.” (Huxley 233) In contrast John believe that lack of religion makes individuals a slave to their vices. When freed from vices by practicing what are considered moral values such as self-denial and chastity individuals are free to pursue “every thing noble and fine and heroic.” (Huxley 237) While constant happiness and indulgence allows for one to escape the burden of loss and overwhelming emotion, it comes at a cost; the loss of danger, freedom, and goodness. (Huxley 240)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 17, 2016 03:21 PM

Jasmine Daniels, Michael Barbee
Hon 351 - Contemporary World View
Dr. Hobbs
15 February 2016


Group Discussion: Chapters 5 & 6
In class, we discussed the ideas of chapters 5 and 6 regarding the introduction of new characters, dichotomy, conflicts, and major players in the section. The key players in the conflict from these two chapters were Bernard and Lenina. The main conflict within these chapters involve Bernard’s desire to break away from societal norms and spend time in solitude with Lenina just speaking and enjoying some form of serenity. The dichotomy that was brought up was Conformity vs. Personal freedom, stemming from the conversation Bernard was having with Lenina.
“Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?”
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”(Huxley 68)
This quotation shows the difference between Bernard’s idea of freedom and Lenina’s. Lenina believes that she is free as she lives the life society expects, whereas Bernard has a desire to explore things not typical of their culture.

Posted by: Michael Barbee, Jasmine Daniels at February 17, 2016 03:22 PM

Melissa Bryan and Ashlee English
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
18 February 2016

1. What new characters are they?

- Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning
- Henry Foster
- Lenina
- Alpha
- Beta
- Gamma
- Delta
- Epsilon
- Group of observing students
- Nurses

2. Who are the primary players for these chapters?

Chapter 1
- D.H.C
- Mr. Foster
- Group of students

Chapt 2
- Fertilization room nurse
- Mr.Foster
- Group of students
- DHC

3. Which are dichotomic? Even if false

Natural vs. Artificial
Identical vs. Non-identical
Order vs. Chaos
Silence vs. Noise
Altered Condition vs. Unaltered Condition
Love of nature vs. Hate of nature
Smut vs. Pure science

4. Which is preferred/ privileged?

- The caste of civilization.
- Alphas are the smartest.

5. Which is not? What is marginalized?
- Individuality and old ideas

Posted by: Melissa Bryan & Ashlee English at February 17, 2016 03:47 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
17 February 2016

"The loss of sight was an ‘event,’" Huxley later wrote, ‘which prevented me from becoming a complete public school English-gentleman” (About the Author: A life of the mind part 1, page 4, par. 2, Harper Perennial Translation).

Question for About the Author: This passage is about Huxley losing his sight at the age of sixteen and how it affected his career goal. How Huxley losing his sight for a two years changed his career dreams?

Answer: Huxley was blind for two years after acquiring a disease (Huxley 4). This ended his first dream of becoming a lawyer. He ended up switching from science to literature. However, he was always a scientific thinker. Aldous Huxley’s mind thinks, “The more science discovers and the more comprehension it gives us of the mechanisms of existence, the more clearly does the mystery of existence itself stand out” (Huxley 4). Therefore, instead of pursuing a full career in practicing science, Huxley decided to write about it. He said, “The loss of sight was an ‘event’ […] which prevented me from becoming a complete public school English-gentleman” (Huxley 4). I believe that he did become a good English-gentleman as his poetries, essays, and novels were phenomenal.

Translation Used: Brave New World, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, by Aldous Huxley.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at February 17, 2016 03:55 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
21 February 2016

QUESTION #4:

What are Mustapha Mond’s arguments against freedom? Is there any validity to them? Do you think there is a “winner” of his debate with John?


ANSWER:

Mustapha Mond in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is the embodiment of the term ‘do as I say but not as I do.’ Consequently, his arguments against freedom are flawed and paralleled with arguments for happiness. The basis of Mustapha’s argument is that, if an individual is to have happiness, their freedom has to be sacrificed, “One can’t have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for.” (Huxley 228). In essence, Mond gives the impression that the sacrifice of freedom (free will) is the payment for happiness. He claims to have also paid the price for happiness yet; he is allowed the indulgence of reading old books. Mond also refers to them as a “collection of pornographic old books… God in the safe and Ford on the shelves” (Huxley 231) alluding to their taboo nature. Consequently, it makes his stance about the attraction of new versus old highly hypocritical. “we don’t want people to be attracted to by old things. We want them to like new ones.” (Huxley 219) as he is attached to his old books.
Based on Mond’s relation of the Alpha island devastation, his iceberg model of the ideal society is plausible. However, John’s question of if everyone is happy questions the status quo. Are people happy or just drug induced to be happy? John’s question also coincides with a statement Mustapha said, “he’s being sent … ideas of their own” (Huxley 227) alluding to the fact that everyone in the civilized world is not happy. The masses are happy because of soma and the unhappy ones are slaves to their ‘enlightened state’. In the end, John won this ‘debate’ as he has the choice of free will. He points out indirectly it is the inconveniences that civilized world avoids that provide freedom and happiness because “nothing costs enough” (Huxley 239) to be truly appreciated. As a result, real freedom and actual happiness are subpar in the civilized world.


Translation Used
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Harper Collins Publishers

Posted by: Ashlee English at February 21, 2016 06:30 PM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question: Discuss the relationship between science, religion, and political power in the World State.

Answer: In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the connection between science, religion, and political power is embodied by Mustapha Mond. As one of the ten world leaders, his role in the World State is more powerful than the majority of the population; the political power of the World State revolves exclusively around him and the other chosen leaders, and with their global jurisdiction, one could compare them to God. Huxley also calls Mustapha Mond the Controller in the novel, harkening his absolute power. As for God, “he manifests himself as an absence,” according to Mustapha Mond (Huxley 234).
The power of human ingenuity, or science, is likened to divinity in World State society as well. The replacement of God for Ford exemplifies the importance placed on scientific progress in the World State. There is no religion in the World State, for Huxley designed a dichotomy between it and science: “God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine” (Huxley 234). The capability of man and science substituted the role of religion and God in society. Mustapha Mond argued, “people believe in God because they’ve been conditioned to believe in God” (Huxley 235). Without God, a man was free to assume the role as the creator, the Controller. Bokanovsky’s Process is an example of this, for science achieved the ability to control and manufacture life (Huxley 6). What used to be a gift of God, childbirth, is now an “instrument of social stability” because his designs humans for their predestined line of work (Huxley 7). There is no divine intervention or destiny, for man created it all in Hatcheries.

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at February 22, 2016 10:01 AM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question: Discuss Huxley's use of satire to make his point in the novel. Choose either the scene describing the Solidarity Service that Bernard attends or John's visit to the feelies as the focus for your argument.

Answer: Huxley’s depiction of the feelies is a satire of the relatively new “talkie” films of the period in which the novel was written. In the book Huxley describes the film as “extremely simple”, yet the entire theater is hypnotically enthralled. (Huxley 168 -167) Mindless manipulation of the masses by pop culture and media is what Huxley foresaw for future generations. (Prophecies Fulfilled, 1958) As a result of a highly regulated emotional experience, individuals depend on the feelies, like a drug, to give them an emotional rush. The drug-like quality is best exhibited in Lenina’s lingering response “the moth did not completely die. Even after the lights had gone up, while they were shuffling slowly along with the crowd towards the lifts, its ghost still fluttered against her lips, still traced fine shuddering roads of anxiety and pleasure across her skin.” (Huxley 169) Not only are their sensations and perceptions being dictated but they are also being indoctrinated with propaganda. The male protagonist suffers a head injury and becomes monogamously obsessed with the female lead, in the end, she is rescued by three Alpha males who each take her as a lover and the male protagonist is sent to reconditioning resulting in a happy ending for all. (Huxley 168 – 169) It primarily occurs in a much more moderate way, but it is not uncommon today for media to be utilized to reinforce societal ideals. John describes the experience as “base” and “ignoble”, language I believe that Huxley would have also associated with cinema and pop culture. (Prophecies Fulfilled, 1958)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 22, 2016 10:28 AM

Andrew Thriffiley and Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Chapters 9-10
Question: Who are the primary players for these chapters? Conflict/problem? Identify all. What is the main conflict? Which are dichotic? Which is preferred/privileged and which is not?

Answer: The main characters in chapter nine are Bernard, Lenina, and John. The conflicts that occur in this section includes Bernard trying to convince Mustapha Mond to let him bring back Linda and John to the Central London. also, while this is going on John is attempting to connect with Lenina even though she is in a soma coma, so she has no idea of what is happening. The leads to one of the dichotomies in the chapter with self-gratification vs. self-control. "Then suddenly he found himself reflecting that he had only to take hold of the zipper at her neck and give one long, strong pull... He shut his eyes, and he shook his head with the gesture of a dog shaking its ears... He was ashamed. Pure and vestal modesty." (Huxley 144-145). This shows that John wanted so bad to do things with Lenina, but he was raised better to control is feelings till the time was right. The self-gratification is certainly more sought after in this society, but John sees it differently where self-control is far better to have than gratification.
In chapter ten the main characters are the Director, Bernard, Linda and John. The conflict is between Bernard and the Director because the Director wants to exile Bernard, in the end, Bernard turns the table on the Director. Bernard calls out John as being the son of the Director, which leads to a big commotion in itself. The dichotomy in this chapter is state vs. family even though it is a fall dichotomy. "Yes, a baby-and I was its mother.She flung the obscenity like a challenge into outraged silence; then, suddenly breaking away from him, ashamed, ashamed, covered her face with her hands, sobbing."(Huxley 151) The quote shows how terrible it is looked at to have a child in this society because Linda is so ashamed of it, at first, soon she comes to accept it. The Director also references in the chapter how society is hurt by families, and they are dangerous to how the society is wanting to run. Obviously, in this society family is marginalized because it is a terrible way to live, and the state is privileged because there are perks to being able to run the organization and comply with it.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley and Jasmine Daniels at February 22, 2016 12:19 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question #6: It seems undeniable that most World State members are happy, though people like John, Bernard, and Helmholtz might criticize the quality of their lives. What, then, is wrong with World State society? Discuss the relationship between truth and happiness, and the use of soma?

The relationship between truth and happiness is that those who discover the truth or those who are enlightened are unhappy. Soma creates a fake sense of ‘happiness’ by subjecting individuals into a deep sleep that gives them good dreams. The happiness provided by soma is not true happiness, but those who take it are not aware of this. As a result, they take more soma to feel that happiness. In turn, the more people that are taking soma equals the more people that are unaware of the truth and the less people who are pursuing the truth. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly,” she repeated and smiled. (Huxley 123) In this quote Lenina is trying to tell Bernard that he needs to take soma because his ideas are not normal for society and that he should not be thinking outside of the box. This supports that soma is used so individuals do not pursue another way of thinking or the truth.

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at February 22, 2016 01:54 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 315 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
22 February 2016

Question 8: Is John really more free than the World State members? How is he conditioned in his own way?
Answer: To an extent, John is more free than the World State members, but he is not significantly more free than they are. One way in which he is freer is because of his knowledge of the fact that there is more to life than what the rulers of the World State allow. This can be seen by his exchange with Mustapha Mond after the incident at the hospital though his comment but I do not want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin” (Huxley 240). This shows that he is freer because he understands that there is more out there than just want the rulers tell him. He realizes that people can experience so much more than just being told what to do.
However, he is not significantly more free than everyone else is. John is conditioned in his own way through the teachings and readings he had when he was growing up. The culture that John grew up in was drastically different from that of the World State. His mother, Linda, describes how on the Reserve, “nobody’s supposed to belong to more than one person” (Huxley 121). This, coupled with his understanding of Shakespeare, make it extremely difficult for him to fit into the World State. This demonstrates how he is not truly free and is conditioned in his own way because he is still living the way his upbringing led him. If he were truly free, he would be able to do whatever he wanted, and pursue any of his desires without hesitation. This is seen most clearly through his relationship with Lenina. John is infatuated with Lenina, but he does not allow himself to pursue her because of his raising. However, if he were a truly free individual, he would have allowed her advances.

Posted by: Dominique Bauer at February 22, 2016 02:08 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question: In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley discusses the modern world's resemblance to his dystopia. Make your own case for or against his prophecies. Is modern life really a version of the brave new world? Be specific in your answer, referring to social, political, and economic trends. If modern life is a brave new world, what solutions can you offer?

Answer: It can be easily argued that the world that Huxley described is a version of our world today. One example of today is consumerism. The people in A Brave New World worship Ford as their god. In society, people always want the best brands, and in a sense worshiping those brands as being what they live for exactly like the people living for Ford. Another example would be the way in which babies are made in the book. The Hatcheries are similar to parents going in today and picking the genes they want their kids to have. The idea of choosing how a child will come out has become far less taboo, and it is accepted by many people now. Family in a way has also lost the shine it used to have. "The laughter drowned her voice. You made me had a baby,". (Huxley 151). This quote shows how bad it is in the society to have a kid, and this can be somewhat said for today as well. Families have started to break apart more often now with the divorce rate, and this seems to be similar to how the family is looked at in Central London. Also, drugs are becoming more of a factor in today's society, as in A Brave New World. A soma coma can easily relate to taking to much of any drug. Society today is ok with just using drugs to get away from their problems, and this can indeed lead to people becoming worrying less about actual problems in turning to drugs. The solutions that can be made are people thinking for themselves. People today are fine with having others think for them and when this happens people lose their voice in the world. Laziness has started to form in our society, and it cannot be fixed without people taking a stand for themselves and caring about things that affect them. A perfect example is the presidential elections. People don't think how the ideals of candidates will affect the country because they only worry about which one sounds the best or who they know best. The answer is for people to believe in who they are and make a difference.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at February 22, 2016 02:43 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
22 February 2016

Question: In some ways, Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of the brave new world. How does the experience of each character challenge the assumptions of the dystopia? Do you think Huxley takes these women characters as seriously as he does the men? Why or why not?

Answer:
The experiences of both Lenina and Linda challenge the assumptions of the dystopia, each in opposite ways. Lenina wants to break away from the conditioning of the “brave, new world” while Linda wants to do anything to get back to her old life of consumption, polyamory, and soma-induced happiness. Both women have difficulty reconciling their desires with the rigid societal demands of what is acceptable on either side. Fanny reprimands Lenina when she isn’t being “promiscuous enough” for a girl her age, while people are repulsed by Linda’s aging appearance and the fact that she gave birth to a child.

I think Huxley does take the female characters as seriously as the male characters in their development—the women just happen to play different roles in the plot because of how the storyline is set up. Lenina is a dynamic character in the story; if Huxley were to leave her unchanged throughout the book, it would have shown a lack of interest in developing the women as characters. However, Huxley does address the complicated feelings Lenina has to reconcile with in breaking further and further away from her conditioning throughout the book, showing his awareness of developing the women of the story. When John proposes that he and Lenina should get married Lenina is outraged by the idea exclaiming, “For Ford’s sake John, talk sense,” (Huxley 190).

One could possibly interpret that Linda was not taken seriously due to her inability to break away from her conditioning and the nature of her life’s disarray but I regard Huxley’s formation of her character as a way to illustrate just how powerful and destructive the society of the brave, new world was to the human condition. Huxley later shows the reverse-side of this issue through John’s suicide due to not being able to avoid the temptations of the engineered society despite being staunchly against its practices.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at February 22, 2016 03:11 PM

Jamee, Melissa, and Dominique
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary Worldview CA02
17 February 2016

Questions: For chapters 15-17: what new characters are introduced? Who are the primary players? What are the conflicts/problems? What is the main conflict? Are there any dichotomies seen? If so, which is preferred/privileged? Which is not? What is marginalized?
Answers: The new characters introduced are the police (Huxley 214) and Deputy Sub-Bursar (Huxley 208). In these chapters, the key players are Bernard, John, Helmholtz, and Mustapha Mond.
Within these chapters, there are several conflicts. First, there is the issue of John lashing out on the people in the World State for the way they all live; he feels as though no one is free (Huxley 211-215). Another conflict presented in this section is Bernard’s internal conflict over whether or not to help John and Helmholtz, demonstrated by him “thinking that they might be killed if he didn’t help them, and that he might be killed if he did” (Huxley 214). In addition, because of the event at the hospital, Mustapha Mond punishes Bernard, Helmholtz, and John for going against the ideals of the World State. Helmholtz and Bernard are both banished, and Bernard has a difficult time accepting this. However, John is not banished. But this leads to the final conflict presented. Mustapha Mond and John argue about how society works. John makes his point clear through his comments “but I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” (Huxley 240). The main conflict is at the hospital, as it prompts the following conflicts.
There are several dichotomies presented in this chapter range. The main dichotomy found is between social stability and social instability. This dichotomy can be seen through the Controller’s comment “because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel-and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get” (Huxley 220). In this case, social stability is favored, while social instability is not favored. A few other dichotomies were happiness vs. high art (Huxley 230) in which happiness is preferred and high are is not, religion vs. science (Huxley 230) in which science is preferred and religion is not, conform vs stand up in which conform is the preferred, and conditioned vs individualism in which conditioned is the preferred and individualism is not.

Posted by: Jamee, Melissa, and Dominique at February 22, 2016 03:11 PM

Karra and Kaelyn
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question: What new characters? Who are the primary players for these chapters? Conflict/Problem? Identify all. What is the main conflict? Which are dichotomic? Which is preferred/privileged and which is not?

Answer:

Chapter 13
The Primary characters are John and Lenina. The main conflict is due to a misunderstanding between Lenina and John; both feel attraction to the other but wish to express their attractions in different ways. John expresses that he wants to make sacrifices in order to show his love and that he is worthy of Lenina. In response Lenina, misunderstanding John’s intentions, states that John just simply needed to say so as she begins to undress. Frustrated by her misunderstanding and immorality John soon loses his temper and begins to lash out at her. We identified several dichotomies; lust vs. love, sensation of emotion vs. physical expression of emotion, monogamy vs. polyamory, and sobriety vs. intoxication. Lenina and the World State prefer physical expression of attraction, whereas emotional sensation would be marginalized but preferred by John and other savages. Following the same token, lust and polyamory are privileged in society while love and monogamy are marginalized and considered strange. Intoxication is preferred over sobriety, exhibited as Lenina doses herself with soma in order to confront John and deal with her worries

Chapter 14
The primary characters are John the Savage and Linda. The biggest conflict revolves around Linda’s impending and eventual death. John is clearly distraught by his mother’s condition, which is perceived by those around him as an unnecessary and odd display. John is angered by the presence of the children and what he perceives as their blatant disrespect of his mothers last moments. There is also an additional conflict between John in his mother, in which he is trying to come to terms with her death but she angers him by mistaking him for Popé and reminding him of his rough upbringing. We identified two dichotomies, nostalgia vs. reality and empathy vs. detachment. Detachment is definitely preferred while empathy or emotional displays would be marginalized. Nostalgia vs. reality is more of a false dichotomy, but in the context of the scene John prefers the nostalgia of his childhood to the reality.

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 22, 2016 03:17 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
22 February 2016

Question: Although they were raised very differently, Bernard Marx and John the Savage are both dissatisfied with the society of the brave new world. What qualities do the characters have in common? How are they different? Compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Answer: Both Bernard and John have difficulty fitting into the World State society, although for different reasons. Bernard has an inferior body type and build compared to the other alphas, and this makes his social interactions and sexual encounters stressed and even less frequent. This is the route of his discontent with the society, in addition to his rather odds beliefs in different areas; whereas John is completely out of sink with society because he was raised with the savages. Just has an argument with Mustapha Mond about what a society should be and John says, “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness.” (Huxley240). Therefore, he is a lot more vocal and outgoing about his discontent; whereas Bernard tries to have enlightening conversations with people that always fail. But ultimately, John gives in to his discontent and hangs himself and Bernard strives to find a way to get by in this society.

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at February 22, 2016 03:25 PM

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