In the “Brave New World” of 632 A.
F. (After Ford), universal human happiness has been achieved. (Well, almost.) Control of reproduction, genetic engineering, conditioning–especially via repetitive messages delivered during sleep–and a perfect pleasure drug called “Soma” are the cornerstones of the new society. Reproduction has been removed from the womb and placed on the conveyor belt, where reproductive workers tinker with the embryos to produce various grades of human beings, ranging from the super-intelligent Alpha Pluses down to the shorter and dumber semi-moron Epsilons.
The story takes place in England where the new society lives. Due to a gigantic biological attack almost all of the world is destroyed except for england and parts of the U.S. In Brave New World civilization is controlled by conditioning and hatchery. Everyone is brought into civilization through a test tube, “the operation undergone voluntarily for the good of society.” The D.H.C. (the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning) decides which of the five castes in society the test tube babies will belong to. At a young age, the babies are conditioned to think and act certain ways depending on which caste they will belong to.
The beginning chapters describe this brave new world as the D.H.C (Director of hatcheries and conditioning.) gives a group of children a tour of the facility. The reader meets Lenina Crowne who had been dating Henry Foster for some time, and starts dating Bernard Marx to prove she is not engaging in courtship, which is unheard of in this civilization. Bernard and Lenina go on a vacation to the New Mexico reservations to meet linda and her son John. In these reservations are a society of people that are much like the people of today. They have morals and values but are considered to be savages.
At this point Bernard discovers that Linda was impregnated by the D.H.C., and thus John is his son. Upon finding this out Bernard decides to bring John and Linda back to civilization with them for research purposes. Bernard learns that the D.H.C. is about to exile him for his ‘uncivilized’ behavior when he and Lenina return to civilization.
“..He (Bernard) has proved himself an enemy of society, a subverter, … of all order and stability, a conspirator against civilization itself.” Bernard calls John and Linda from the next room, and they call upon the director as son and wife. Bernard is saved from exilation. Bernard becomes very popular in the civilization due to the connections he has with John the savage.
Bernard’s friend Helmholtz befriends John and they share literature with each other. John does not like the civilization, and becomes more disgusted with each day that goes by. Lenina grows an infatuated passion for John, and constantly seeks him out. John thinks of Lenina very highly until she makes advances at him that are against his morals. He gets extremely upset one evening when Lenina makes a sexual advance towards him.
“The savage pushed her away with such force that she staggered and fell.” John’s mother dies shortly after his violent confrontation with Lenina. This event set off a tick in John’s head, and he get’s crazed. He lectures the civilization during a soma distribution process. Some of his statements include: “Don’t you want to be free and man? Don’t you even understand what manhood and freedom are?” Helmholtz, Bernard, and John are called to Mustapha Mond’s study. Mustapha exiles Helmholtz and Bernard for their ‘uncivilized’ behavior. John is forced to stay so he can continue to be tested.
John flees to a deserted lighthouse near London. There he goes about purifying himself and practicing religion. “From time to time he stretched out his arms as though he were on the cross, and held them thus through long minutes of an ache that gradually increased till it became a tremulous and excruciating agony.” Spectators from civilization accidentally stumble upon John during one of his self-torture purifying acts for God. The word is spread around, and John is the craze of civilization. After a movie showing John whipping himself is released, numerous amounts of people show up to question John.
The crowd is mad to see John inflict pain upon himself. John eventually goes berserk and joins the crowd in it’s crazy antics. “Drawn by the fascination of the horror of pain, they (the crowd) began to mime the frenzy of his gestures, striking at one another as the savage struck at his own rebellious flesh…” John awakens the next day, after sleeping under the influence of soma. Realizing that he participated in the sins he was so dear against and seeing no hope for himself, he commits suicide.