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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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CHAPTER TWELVE

The characters and their ideas come into conflict again in this chapter. First Bernard invites important guests to meet the Savage, but John refuses to leave his room. The guests immediately start to feel contempt for Bernard, whom they had pretended to like only to meet John. Bernard again becomes a victim of the system, and again suffers the feeling of being different that plagued him before.


John likes Bernard better that way, and so does Helmholtz, who has become John's friend. Helmholtz recites verses he wrote about solitude, a sin against the Utopian system; John responds with some of Shakespeare's verses on the self. Helmholtz is entranced, and is annoyed when Bernard equates a Shakespearean metaphor with orgy-porgy. But Helmholtz himself is a creature of Utopia. He thinks it absurdly comical that Juliet has a mother and that she wants to give herself to one man but not to another. He says a poet in the modern world must find some other pain, some other madness to write well. Actually, he says a "propaganda technician" must find these feelings, seeing no difference between that label and "poet." The chapter ends with his wondering what madness and violence he can find-a signal that Huxley wants you to wonder, too, and to suspect that the answer will soon become plain.

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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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