Celina's Blog

January 20, 2015
by celinad
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Brave New World: Bernard (Chapter 10 and earlier)

Bernard is an interesting character, and I don’t quite understand him yet. At first, he’s portrayed as a sort of social outcast; he has a different view of the world and is physically weak. I think Bernard’s character is greatly affected by the fact that he works with the conditioning of babies on a daily basis, he knows exactly what everyone is forced to think as, throughout the majority of chapter 6, he would point out to himself whenever Lenina would state a hypnopaedic saying, mumbling how may times the line would’ve been repeated to them as infants.

I also think that he’s proud of the fact that he’s going against the system in tiny ways, even if he’s to cowardly to do anything drastic. In chapter 6 part 2, Bernard goes to see the Director to get a permit signed so that he and Lenina can go to the Savage Reservation. After allowing Bernard the trip, he threatens to transfer Bernard to a Sub-Centre in Iceland, expecting him to change his behaviour and conform to the normal infantile behaviour that Alphas are supposed to have. Instead, Bernard is almost proud of himself, and the fact that he’s not following the social norm to the point that he’s being called out on it, not taking the threat seriously at all. In chapter 6 part 1, and chapters 3 and 4, we see him refuse offers of soma multiple times, saying to Lenina instead that: ‘I’d rather be myself, Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.’

What confuses me, though, is whether or not Bernard actually disapproves of this system. While these previous things lead me to believe that he does disapprove, but on the other hand, he is determined to keep his social ranking. We see this when he brings John and Linda back to the Civilized World, effectively humiliating the Director and securing his job.

Bernard confuses me.

 

January 20, 2015
by celinad
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Brave New World: Chapters 6-10 Summary

Bernard and Lenina spent a day together, before heading to the savage reserve, in which they watch a Women’s Wrestling Championship and they have a meaningful conversation in front of the ocean (or something). The next day, we see Bernard and Lenina visit a Savage Reservation, where life is vastly different to what they’re used to. They watch a ceremony where an 18 year old boy walked around a pile of snakes and was whipped multiple times, before his blood was offered to the snakes. After the ceremony, they meet Linda and John. Linda was one of the DHC’s previous lovers who had gotten pregnant before she got lost in the reserve, and John is the son of Linda and the DHC. Linda spent most of her time in the reservation losing herself to a type of alcohol called mescal, which served as a form of replacement for soma. John’s personality was influenced by three main things: The culture of the Malpais, stories of the Civilized world(told to him by Linda), and a book called ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Thanks to these things, he has a very romanticized view of the world. He agrees to leaving the Savage Reservation with Bernard and Lenina and convinces Bernard to take Linda with them. Chapter 10 ends with Bernard bringing Linda and John from the reserve and humiliating the Director.

January 9, 2015
by celinad
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Brave New World: iSearch Project 1

Ford, in Brave New World, is almost a deity-like figure. We see the DHC say multiple times ‘Oh Ford…’ similarly to how we often say ‘Oh god…’ or ‘Oh my god…’, the word Ford is just generally used in the same sense that we would use the words ‘Lord’, ‘God’, or ‘Jesus’. Even the year that the story takes place implies this, taking place in 632 A.F. (After Ford). Ford seems to refer to Mustapha Mond, one of ten World Controllers (Specifically the World Controller in charge of Western Europe), as, when Mond is introduced, the DHC calls him ‘his fordship’. At this point in time, I seriously doubt that Mond is the original Ford but rather that he has taken up the position of Ford like a pope or other religious leader. Thinking about it, I have to wonder if all World Leaders are referred to as ‘their fordship’, or if only one World Leader holds the position…

The name  likely comes from Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and a sponsor of the development of mass production with assembly lines. He manufactured the first automobile that middle class Americans could actually afford, revolutionizing American industry, and is credited with ‘Fordism’, mass production of inexpensive goods with high wages for workers. It’s thanks to him that mass production is such a popular method of manufacturing products, using the assembly line system to make automobiles so easily.. It makes sense that the author chose the name Ford, seeing as mass production has been a pretty big theme in these first few chapters, with the way humans are created.

January 8, 2015
by celinad
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Brave New World: First Chapters

Currently, I have read five chapters of Brave New World, which mainly set the scene for the rest of the story. The first chapters start out with the Directors of Hatcheries and Conditioning giving a group of young students a tour around the Centre of Hatching and Conditioning. They explain various things about how humans of the different caste levels are made and how they are conditioned to like and dislike certain things. The book also explains the general setting of the story, along with a few details as to how humanity got to where it is. While this is taking place, we are also introduced to some of seemingly important characters: Mustapha Mond(One of ten World Controllers, his Fordship), Lenina Crowne(A nurse working at the Centre), Henry Foster(A scientist working at the Centre), Bernard Marx(A physically weak Alpha who doesn’t fit in), and Helmholtz Watson (A lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering). Bernard seems to be the protagonist so far, but it’s a bit early to tell for sure.

Some of the passages stood out to me more than others. For example, there was a scene in the first chapter where the DHC and Henry Foster were showing the students the Social predestination room.

“Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index,” said Mr. Foster with relish, as they entered.

“Containing all the relevant information,” added the Director.

“Brought up to date every morning.”

“And co-ordinated every afternoon.”

“On the basis of which they make their calculations.”

“So many individuals, of such and such quality,” said Mr. Foster.

“Distributed in such and such quantities.”

“The optimum Decanting Rate at any given moment.”

“Unforeseen wastages promptly made good.”

“Promptly,” repeated Mr. Foster.

I doubt the content of the dialogue itself is very relevant to the story, but I really liked how the two played off each other, how the phrases were split up amongst them like that. If it was just one character explaining the whole process, the scene wouldn’t have flowed as well as it did.

The only questions I had that weren’t answered as I kept reading AND that stuck with me throughout all five chapters is why is ‘his Fordship’ called Ford? Why did the author choose that name, rather than anything else? Is there any significant meaning behind it? Also, there’s a scene, in a room with red lighting, that described the workers as having “purple eyes and all the symptoms of lupus”. The purple eyes make sense, obviously all of their eyes are blue, but the ‘symptoms of lupus’ part? He seems to be implying that their skin has a reddish tint, because I seriously doubt that they haven’t wiped out the disease, but why describe it in that particular way?

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