Chapter 1

In the year 632, the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning in Central London gives a group of students a tour of a factory that produces human beings and conditions them for their predestined roles in the World State. The Director goes on to explain the five castes, as well as the Bokanovsky Process, which facilitates social stability, and the Podsnap’s Technique, which speeds up the ripening process of eggs within a single ovary. The students are introduced to Lenina Crowne, and when Henry Foster proposes showing the students the conditioning of Alpha Plus Intellectual fetuses, the Director suggests moving on to show the students the Nurseries.

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Chapter 2

The students are led through the Nurseries, where the Director explains how the different castes of children are conditioned to become loyal World State citizens that will serve the interests of production and the interests of the whole economy and society.

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Chapter 3

The Director leads the students to the garden and explains that the children are encouraged to participate in erotic play because, in the past, sexual repression led to negative effects. Mustapha Mond, the Resident Controller for Western Europe and one of only ten World Controllers, describes to the children the time before the World State began its policy of tight control over reproduction, child-rearing, and social relations. In the changing room at the end of the workday, Bernard Marx overhears Henry talking with the Assistant Predestinator about Lenina and is disgusted by the conversation. Meanwhile, Lenina chats with Fanny Crowne and decides to accept Bernard’s invitation to visit the Savage Reservation.

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Chapter 4

Lenina embarrasses Bernard by accepting his invitation in front of a big group of co-workers and then goes off on a date with Henry. Bernard visits his friend Helmholtz Watson, a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering, who shares Bernard’s mutual dissatisfaction with the status quo and the inclination to view himself as an individual.

Chapter 5

Henry and Lenina play a game of Obstacle Gold, head to the Westminster Abbey Cabaret, and go back to Henry’s apartment, all the while taking soma, which makes them oblivious to the world around them. Every Thursday, the narrative explains, Bernard takes part in Solidarity Service at the Fordson Community Singery, where a sex orgy occurs at the end, but this leaves Bernard feeling more alienated than before.

Chapter 6

On their return trip to a wrestling match, Lenina convinces Bernard to take soma and have sex. Bernard is able to get the Director’s permission to visit the Reservation, but is criticized for his antisocial behavior and is threatened to be exiled if his impropriety persists. While at the Reservation, Bernard remembers having left the scent tap on in his apartment, forcing him to call Helmholtz to turn it off for him, but when he calls Helmholtz informs him that the Director is planning to carry out Bernard’s exile, sending Bernard into a panic as a result.

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Chapter 7

Bernard and Lenina meet a handsome blond boy in Indian dress named John who explains how his mother came to stay at the Reservation from the Other Place, and when he mentions his father “Tomakin,” Bernard realizes that John’s father is actually the Director. John introduces Lenina and Bernard to his mother Linda, who explains how after starting her new life in the Indian village, she slept with any man she pleased, much to the displeasure of the some of the other women.

Chapter 8

John continues to describe his upbringing on the Reservation and his feelings of alienation as the village never accepted him. John says that one of his mother’s lovers, Popé, brought home The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and that he read it avidly enough to quote the passages by heart. Bernard, hoping to embarrass the Director by revealing John to be his son, invites John to return to London with him, which John excitedly agrees to as long as Linda is allowed to go with him.

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Chapter 9

Bernard calls Mustapha Mond, who agrees that John and Linda are a matter of scientific interest to the world state and further instructs Bernard to pick up the orders that will release John and Linda into Bernard’s care. Meanwhile, John, worried that Bernard and Linda have left, sneaks into the cabin, finding Lenina passed out on soma. John wishes to touch her, but holds himself back, not wanting to defile her.

Chapter 10

When Bernard returns to the Hatchery, the Director informs Bernard that he is being transferred to Iceland. Bernard subsequently presents John and Linda to the Director who, after being accused by Linda of making her have a baby and John crying at his feet, flees the room.

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Chapter 11

Bernard is able to keep his job after the Director resigns, and he garners popularity as the appointed guardian of John, now known as “the Savage.” Bernard’s popularity leads him to believe that he can flaunt his unorthodox behavior, even going as far as writing an heretical letter to Mond who does not take it well. Lenina, meanwhile, takes John to a feely and attempts to have sex with him, but to her surprise, he refuses her.

Chapter 12

Bernard returns to his melancholia after unsuccessfully giving a party to a large group of important people hoping to see John, but John refused to come out of his room. Bernard becomes jealous after John and Helmholtz meet and are amicable toward one another. However, after Helmholtz bursts out laughing at the absurdity of a passage from Romeo and Juliet that John reads to him, John is insulted and locks his book away.

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Chapter 13

Lenina declines Henry’s invitation to go to a feely because she only has feelings for John. Lenina takes some soma and visits John, who quotes Shakespeare to her and declares his love for her. John becomes furious, however, when Lenina begins stripping and putting her body against his.

Chapter 14

John receives a call from the hospital and rushes to his mother’s side, where the nurse laughs at him for using the word mother and is further upset by a troop of Bokanovsky boys who gather around Linda calling her fat and ugly. John attempts to call a nurse to ask for help as Linda begins to choke, but Linda is dead by the time the nurses arrive. When one boy asks if Linda is dead, John pushes the boy and leaves the ward.

Chapter 15

In the hospital vestibule, John cries out to a group of Deltas to stop taking soma, and instead to choose freedom, but he draws the attention of a man, who calls Bernard. By the time Helmholtz and Bernard arrive, John is being attacked by a group of Deltas, and while Helmholtz jumps into the fray immediately to defend John, Bernard hesitates, worrying that he might die in the process. The police arrive on the scene, spray soma vapor into the air, subduing the crowd, and capture Bernard as he tries to escape the scene.

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Chapter 16

Bernard, Helmhotz, and John are left in Mond’s office, where John and Mond have a heated intellectual discussion, in which Mond elaborates why Shakespeare and are are superfluous in the World State, why consumerism is vital to the longevity of the World State, the importance of the caste system for social stability, and the reasoning behind why science must be suppressed. Mond declares that Helmholtz and Bernard will be exiled, telling them that exile is a reward and they will meet interesting people there. Helmholtz says he would prefer to go to an island with a bad climate so that it might help with his writing, and Mond agrees, suggesting he go to the Falkland Islands.

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Chapter 17

John and Mond continue their conversation, turning over to the topic of religion and religious experience. Mond asserts that in the World State, where society is prosperous and youthful, there is no need for religion. Instead, if something bad happens, there is always soma to take away the pain. John, on the other hand, contends that he would rather live in a world of God, poetry, real danger, freedom, goodness, and sin, even if it will lead to unhappiness.

Chapter 18

After Bernard and Helmholtz are taken away, John secludes himself in an abandoned lighthouse in the wilderness where he whips himself in order to purge himself the contamination of civilization. When a group of reporters witness and film John whipping himself, they produce a feely that draws the attention of visitors. These visitors include Lenina, whom John then whips, leading the frenzied crown to mimic his actions and participate in an Orgy-porgy. The following day, John remembers the events of the previous night with horror, and when a swarm of visitors arrive to see John, they find that he has hanged himself.

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