Summary of Book
Brave New World is opened in London. It’s almost six hundred years into the future (after Ford). The majority of human life is now industrialized, controlled only by the few at the top.
First, we are shown a tour through a laboratory where humans are made and then conditioned in accordance with the society’s caste system. This establishes an antiseptic tone as well as the idea of dehumanized living. This world is filled with horrors, such as the natural process of death, aging and birth.
Alpha-Plus or high-caste psychologist Bernard Marx emerges as the discontented individual in an environment where physical and material pleasures — such as recreational sex and the drug soma — are all that matter. Although he is scoffed at by women, Bernard manages to attract the attention of Lenina Crowne (or high-caste psychologist) who offers to take him on a week of vacation in New Mexico’s remote Savage Reservation. This place, far removed from London, has a lot to offer.
His superior, D.H.C., reveals to Bernard that Bernard had visited the Savage Reservation long before him. He also confesses that he was sad that the woman who came with him that day died. The D.H.C. was embarrassed by Bernard’s disclosure of socially unacceptable emotions. Bernard is hounded by the D.H.C., who threatens him with exile for not participating in sex or soma.
Bernard is in the Savage Reservation, where Lenina meets Lenina. She’s a Londoner who had a child 20 years ago. He sees his chance to control the D.H.C. Bernard, the father of the child, brings Linda and John to London to present them to the D.H.C. who is about banish Bernard.
The D.H.C. was shocked and embarrassed by his shocking connection to natural birth. The D.H.C. flees terror. Bernard, once a social outcast was now enjoying great success due to his association with John, also known as “the Savage”.
John grew up on traditional methods of the Reservation as well as an older volume of Shakespeare’s poetry. He finds London confusing and even repelling. He quotes Miranda’s line in the Tempest. “O brave new land / It has such people” is his first expression of his admiration for “Other Place”, which his mother had told him about as a young child. The irony of the quote becomes apparent as John grows more disillusioned with the homosexuality, soma and the identical Londoners.
John is furious at Lenina for trying to seduce him. Linda’s death later adds fuel to his anger. John’s last attempt to stop a group of Deltas eating soma leads to riots and his arrest along with Bernard Watson and Helmholtz. He is an “emotional engineer”, who wants to become a poet.
They will be brought before Mustapha Mond as World Controller. He acknowledges that there are flaws in this new brave world but considers it a minor price for stability. Mond exiles Bernard Helmholtz and Helmholtz from the Falkland Islands, and orders that John remain in London.
John decides to retreat from the bustling city and make his friends go exile. He attempts to cleanse himself from civilization by performing ritual whippings, vomiting and other such acts.
John is captivated by his penances and reporters, crowds gather around him to get a better look. He becomes a curiosity, a human-sized animal at a zoo. John whips Lenina with fury when she appears among the crowd. John’s frenzy causes a frenzied reaction in the crowd. According to their social training, violence becomes a sexual orgy with John being drawn in less or more unwillingly.
John wakes up the next morning from the effects caused by the soma and realizes what he did. John hangs lifeless from the wooden beam of his lighthouse retreat, and this is how the novel ends.