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

John leaves Linda's deathbed and plunges into the midst of the daily distribution of soma to the Deltas who work in the hospital. He thinks again of Miranda's words-but mockingly this time-as he looks at the Deltas, and says, over and over again, "O brave new world." He feels a challenge in the words, a challenge to turn the nightmare into something noble, so he tries to stop the distribution of the soma, telling the Deltas that their precious drug is poison and imagining that he can urge them to freedom. John is still the Savage, and he has the savage idea that any person can be free; apparently he still can't imagine the real nature of conditioning.


Bernard and Helmholtz learn that John is going mad at the Hospital for the Dying. They rush to meet him and find they have to save him from the mob of Deltas, maddened and frustrated because he has thrown away their soma. The police restore order; although this new world is one in which everyone is happy and hardly anyone breaks the law, the police still come when they're needed. Like Bernard's suspicion of spies at the door in Chapter 4, this scene anticipates Orwell's 1984, though with a much gentler police state. Helmholtz, Bernard, and John are arrested. In every stage of this scene, Bernard seems to be trying to escape the consequences of the difference between himself and other Utopians that in other moments he is proud of.

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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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