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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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CHAPTER TEN

The scene indeed shifts abruptly-back to the London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. The novel's first climax is about to occur: John and Linda's plunge into the brave new Utopia, the thrusting of unorthodox, emotional humans into the world of orthodox, emotionless clones.

The Director, as the chapter opens, is working to maintain orthodoxy. He is going to make a public announcement of Bernard's transfer to Iceland as punishment for the "scandalous unorthodoxy" of his sex life, his refusal to behave like a baby and seek instant gratification. As far as the Director is concerned, Bernard's emotional sins are all the greater because of his intellectual eminence.

The Director doesn't know he is about to be confronted with a much greater unorthodoxy from his own past. In the presence of all the high-caste workers of the Fertilizing Room, he announces the transfer and gives Bernard what is meant to be a purely formal opportunity to make a plea for himself. Bernard replies by bringing in Linda, "a strange and terrifying monster of middle-agedness," who recognizes the Director as her lover of a generation earlier and greets him with affection.


When he responds with disgust, her face twists "grotesquely into the grimace of extreme grief," an emotion that of course is completely foreign to civilized people in this world. She screams, "You made me have a baby," which fills the Director and all the others there with real horror.

Linda calls in John, who enters, falls on his knees in front of the Director, and says, "My father!" That turns the horror into a comic obscenity. The Director is humiliated. He puts his hands over his ears to protect them from the obscene word-"father"and rushes out of the room. The listeners, almost hysterical, upset tube after tube of spermatozoa, another example of Huxley's grimly appropriate jokes.

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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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