By Aldous Huxley
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Extra resources for Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited Notes (Cliffs Notes)
John tries to join the Indian boys' puberty ritual, but is ostracized. He tells of his solitary attempts to mortify his flesh. Bernard identifies his own loneliness with John's. He finally suggests that John and Linda return to London with him and Lenina. John is delighted. He inquires innocently as to whether Bernard or Lenina are married, and is overjoyed to hear that they are not. Commentary Despite other minor threads, the principal goal in this chapter is to describe the formative education of John and to build his image as the noble savage who would prefer death to the denial of rugged self-assertion.
He evidently has a hunch and is being arch about it. The reader cannot help but wonder what plan is forming in his mind. John and Linda have served as instruments to pit one world against the other. But Huxley plants his little Page 27 clues, and we can only suspect that the meeting with John and Linda is going to be more than merely accidental. Chapter VIII Summary Bernard is astounded at the discovery of John and Linda. He implores John to tell of his experiences from early childhood. John's reverie calls up a number of events, happy and unhappy: how he tried unsuccessfully to prevent a seduction of his mother; how the native women whipped him and Linda.
Once again, the superstition and ritual of a more primitive religion is contrasted with the reader's recollection of the religion of Ford. The filth and disorder of the Reservation stand in sharp contrast to the spotlessness and order of the brave new world. It is hard to say which world comes out ahead. Of course, both represent societies which are extremes from our point of view. The flagellation is too much for Lenina, and she displays an emotion out of all proportion to her background. Naturally, she has been forced to witness things totally alien to her, and can only appreciate the more what she holds to be the comparative superiority of Utopia.