Election Day is November 3rd! Make sure your voice is heard

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Chapters 13–15

Summary Chapters 13–15

Summary: Chapter 13

Henry invites Lenina to a feely, but she declines. He notices that she is upset and suggests that she might need a “Violent Passion Surrogate,” or V.P.S. Later she complains to Fanny that she still does not know what it is like to sleep with a savage. Fanny warns her that it is unseemly to become obsessed over one man, and that she should find someone else to take her mind off of him. Lenina replies that she wants only John. Other men simply cannot distract her.

Lenina takes soma and visits John, intending to seduce him. She remarks that he does not seem pleased to see her. John falls to his knees and begins quoting Shakespeare to express his adoration. He speaks about marriage and declares his love for her. She asks why he had not said anything if he had wanted her all along. However, his talk about lifelong commitments and growing old together horrifies her.

Lenina presses her body against his and begins to remove her clothes. John becomes furious and terrified. He calls her a whore and slaps her. She locks herself in the bathroom while John reenacts King Lear’s disgusted tirade against womankind and biological generation (King Lear, IV.vi.120-127). The phone rings and he answers it. Lenina hears him leave the apartment.

Summary: Chapter 14

John hurries to the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying. He whispers impatiently to a nurse that he wants to see his mother. Blushing furiously at his use of the word mother, she leads him to Linda’s bed. John sits next to her in tears, trying to remember the good times they had together. A troop of eight-year-old Bokanovsky boys gathers around Linda, asking why she is so fat and ugly. John angers the nurse when he strikes one particularly offensive child. She criticizes him for interfering with the children’s death conditioning and leads them away.

Linda mistakes John for Popé. He shakes her angrily, demanding that she recognize him as her son. She says his name, starts to recite a hypnopaedic phrase from her childhood, and then begins to choke. He rushes to the nurse in a fit of grief to ask for help, but Linda is dead by the time they get to her ward. John sobs uncontrollably while the nurse worries about the damage done to the children’s death-conditioning. She hands out chocolate éclairs to the Bokanovsky twins. One twin points to Linda’s body and asks John, “Is she dead?” John pushes him to the floor and rushes out of the ward.

Summary: Chapter 15

In the hospital vestibule, John encounters two Bokanovsky groups of Delta twins picking up their soma rations after their shift. With bitter irony he recalls the lines, “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world.” With “O brave new world” echoing in his head, John cries out for them to stop taking the soma rations. He tells them that it is a poison meant to enslave them and asks them to choose freedom. The man distributing the soma calls Bernard at home. Helmholtz answers the phone and relays the news about John’s statements to Bernard. They rush to the hospital together.