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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Bernard then takes Lenina to visit a Savage Reservation in North America. While signing his permit to go, the Director tells Bernard how he visited the same Reservation as a young man, taking a young woman from London who disappeared and was presumed dead. He then threatens Bernard with exile to Iceland because Bernard is a nonconformist: he doesn't gobble up pleasure in his leisure time like an infant.

At the Reservation, Bernard and Lenina meet John, a handsome young Savage who, Bernard soon realizes, is the son of the Director. Clearly, the woman the Director had taken to the Reservation long ago had become pregnant as the result of an accident that the citizens of Utopia would consider obscene. John has a fantasy picture of the Utopia from his mother's tales and a knowledge of Shakespeare that he mistakes for a guide to reality.

Bernard gets permission from the Controller to bring John and Linda, his mother, back to London. The Director had called a public meeting to announce Bernard's exile, but by greeting the Director as lover and father, respectively, Linda and John turn him into an obscene joke. Bernard stays and becomes the center of attention of all London because he is, in effect, John's guardian, and everybody wants to meet the Savage. Linda goes into a permanent soma trance after her years of exile on the Reservation. John is taken to see all the attractions of new world society and doesn't like them. But he enjoys arguing with Helmholtz about them, and about Shakespeare.

Lenina has become popular because she is thought to be sleeping with the Savage. Everyone envies her and wants to know what it's like. But, in fact, while she wants to sleep with John, he refuses because he, too, has fallen in love with her-and he has taken from Shakespeare the old-fashioned idea that lovers should be pure. Not understanding this, she finally comes to his apartment and takes her clothes off. He throws her out, calling her a prostitute because he thinks she's immoral, even though he wants her desperately.


John then learns that his mother is dying. The hospital illustrates the Utopia's approach to death, which includes trying to completely eliminate grief and pain. When John goes to visit Linda he is devastated; his display of grief frightens children being taught that death is a pleasant and natural process. John grows so angry that he tries to bring the Utopia back to what he considers sanity and morality by disrupting the daily distribution of soma to lower-caste Delta workers. That leads to a riot; John, Bernard, and Helmholtz are arrested.

The three then confront the Controller, who explains more of the Utopia's principles. Their conversation reveals that the Utopia achieves its happiness by giving up science, art, religion, and other things that we prize in the real world. The Controller sends Bernard to Iceland, after all, and Helmholtz to the Falkland Islands. He keeps John in England, but John finds a place where he can lead a hermit's life, complete with suffering. His solitude is invaded by Utopians who want to see him suffer, as though it were a sideshow spectacle; when Lenina joins the mob, he kills himself.

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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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