Brave New World

by: Aldous Huxley

Lenina Crowe

Lenina is introduced as a normal and happy citizen of the World State. Chapter 3 contrasts Lenina with Bernard Marx. While Bernard is in the men’s changing rooms, feeling discontent with all the pleasures available in the World State, Lenina is in the ladies’ changing rooms enjoying a “vibro-vacuum massage,” the “Synthetic Music machine” and the eau-de-Cologne taps. However, through her conversation with her friend Fanny, we learn that Lenina has one anti-social trait: she has begun to lose interest in promiscuity. However, when Bernard tries to involve Lenina in other anti-social behaviors, like enjoying being alone, she is frightened and decides to stop listening to him: “‘I don’t understand anything,’ she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact.”Lenina has to fight to remain a good citizen of the World State.

Lenina’s proclivity for longer-term sexual bonds becomes a more serious problem when she finds herself attracted to John. Due to his Reservation upbringing John believes in monogamy. He wants to “do something” to prove himself worthy of Lenina’s love. For the first time in her life, Lenina desires someone she can’t have. Her response demonstrates why the World State tries to prevent people from ever having unfulfilled desires. Her feelings for John cause her to make a serious mistake at work: “Then ‘My Ford,’ she wondered, “have I given this one its sleeping-sickness injection, or haven’t I?’”. When Lenina tries to seduce John, he attacks her. Lenina’s development as a character shows the reader how the unstable and unpredictable emotions incited by sexual desire and love threaten the stability of the World State.