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Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Mond believes that the islands are a good thing to have around since dissidents like Helmholtz and Bernard would probably have to be killed if they could not be exiled. He asks Helmholtz if he would like to go to a tropical island. Helmholtz says that he would prefer an island with a bad climate since it might help him write. He accepts Mond’s suggestion that he go to the Falkland Islands.

Analysis: Chapter 16

The conversation between Mond and John is the intellectual heart of Brave New World. It is here that the issues implied by the rest of the novel are made explicit, and discussed in an abstract form.

The rationale that Mond provides for suppressing John’s beloved Shakespeare gives us a crucial key to understanding the rest of their conversation. The mere fact that Shakespeare is old means that he doesn’t contribute to consumer behavior. (Huxley, of course, ignores the fact that people purchase new editions of Shakespeare, Shakespeare college courses, SparkNotes, etc.) While this reason seems superficial in comparison with Mond’s more developed arguments, it draws our attention to the fact that consumerism is central to the world of Brave New World. Like other dystopias, this novel doesn’t simply show us a world that is different from our own, it shows us a world that is a mirror of ours, with the worst features of our world drawn out and exaggerated. One of the central facets of Huxley’s novel is directed against the ever-increasing value it places on consumerism.

By showing a world that suppresses institutions and experiences that are sacred in our own world in order to make way for the development of consumer values, Huxley demonstrates a conflict of values that exists in our own society. The “value” that drives the consumer is simply the gratification of appetites. In Brave New World, this one value has been developed to the point that people are “adults during worktime,” but infants in their leisure time and in their relationships. So Huxley’s first criticism of consumerism is that it is infantile—adults should be capable of other things.

If consumption is the “happiness” that Mond refers to in his description of the World State, the other value that his society is predicated on is “stability.” In Mond’s account, happiness and stability depend upon one another. The stability Mond is talking about is economic stability, the uninterrupted cycle of production and consumption. But emotional, psychological, and social stability are also important, because they all contribute to the first kind of stability.

Mond’s argument about the things that must be sacrificed to create a “stable and happy” society may be read, ironically, as an argument that our values are incompatible with consumer behavior and economic stability. The values that Mond sacrifices may be summarized as follows:

Test Your Understanding with the Chapter 16 Quiz

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How does Mond surprise John?
By refusing to see him
By quoting Shakespeare
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Chapter 16 QUIZ

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Our Ford

by AP-ness, July 29, 2012

Replacing the concept of a belief-based, non-verifiable being with Ford, a man who existed, eliminates all the wonder and mystery related to traditional religions.
Also eliminating all other belief systems with a single, inarguable "godhead" rids the World State citizens of anxiety and conflicts based on religious beliefs and orthodoxies.


144 out of 196 people found this helpful

Nowy wspaniały świat czytałem z wypiekami na twarzy

by sylwek9990, August 17, 2015

Czytałem to w trakcie studiów, absolutnie fantastyczna, choć bardzo przerażająca powieść. Kocham za trzeźwość spojrzenia i wizje, które mam nadzieję, że nie spełnią się. Piękna całość. Bardzo przyjemnie się czyta, wciąga. Polecam.


3 out of 6 people found this helpful

brave new world

by wings01, November 28, 2015

One might say that the novels Animal Farm and Brave New
World could give useful lessons on democracy to younger teenagers. Give your
opinion on the matter. Support your opinion with evidence from the two novels.


2 out of 15 people found this helpful

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Brave New World

Brave New World (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)