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Free Study Guide-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley-Free Booknotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 5

Summary

The first part of this chapter centers on Lenina and Foster, who are returning from their game of golf. Once again a bird's eye-view of London is presented, this time at night. As they fly over the city, landmarks are singled out, one of which is the Slough Crematorium; the technology inside it is so advanced that they are able to recover phosphorus from the corpses. Lenina comments that in death all the castes become equal and useful. Foster reminds her that all people in the brave, new world are physically and chemically equal. The two of them then dutifully repeat the conditioned response, "Everybody's happy now." They land the helicopter on the roof of Foster's house and have dinner. Fortified by soma, Lenina and Foster dance all night in a warm haze.

In the same chapter, Bernard takes leave of Watson and heads toward the Fordson Community Surgery, which has a huge auditorium meant for Ford's Day celebrations and Community Sings. Bernard thinks about it being Solidarity Service day for him; he will meet in a group of twelve people whose purpose is to lose their separate identities and fuse together. The service is preceded by a sign of the T, followed by synthetic music.


Everyone present has some soma and sings to become "one." On every twelfth strain of the song, more soma is taken. Before long, they all seem to be on a high. They drink to his imminence, "His Coming," almost like the twelve apostles before the resurrection. Before long, they claim to sense Ford's presence; imagining that they hear his feet, they dance in a circular procession, as a version of Georgy-Porgie is sung in a litany. Before long, they fall into spine poses in a state of calm ecstasy; they believe that they have experienced rapture. Bernard pretends throughout the entire ceremony, never entering into the spirit of it all. Feeling totally alienated, he is self-conscious and miserable.

Notes

This chapter provides further glimpses into the lifestyles of the different castes, especially the Alphas. Life seems to be a programmed world of fun and frolic, where everything follows a set pattern with even the responses being rehearsed. The euphoric mood seems to be always soma-induced. Some of the descriptions ring frighteningly contemporary rather than futuristic; since the novel was published in 1932, the future depicted could really be the current past. In fact, the references to monorails, jet-hopping, drugged merriment, and community orgies are no longer fantasies.

Once again Bernard strikes a note of discord in this made-to-order world. Although he attends the Solidarity Service, meant to bring people together and to fuse them into oneness, Bernard only pretends to participate in it. Never really involved, he feels self- conscious and apart.

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