Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
This chapter provides a brief interlude before the story returns to the new world. Lenina, exhausted by her strange experiences on the Reservation, takes soma in order to embark on an eighteen hour "lunar eternity"--a state of happy oblivion. Bernard uses this time to fly to Santa Fe, contact the new world, and win the Controller's permission to bring Linda and John back with him as a "scientific interest." Bernard arranges for the necessary papers before flying back to Malpais.
On the reservation, John goes to the rest house and, for a moment, panics at the thought that the visitors had perhaps returned without him and his mother. Once inside, he spies Lenina's suitcase and feels relieved. He reverently examines her things, feeling close to her person. Although his senses are aroused, there is nothing sensual about his response. He explores further and comes across the sleeping Lenina. Taking care not to disturb her, he gazes adoringly at her and recollects Shakespeare's description of Juliet. He drives out "impure" thoughts about her, claiming they are outrageous to her "vestal modesty." When he hears the arrival of a plane, John jumps out of the window and goes to meet Bernard.
In this chapter the different reactions of Lenina and Bernard to the reservation are depicted. Exhausted by her discoveries, Lenina takes soma and goes into a deep, oblivious eighteen-hour sleep. In contrast, Bernard is a bundle of excitement; he rushes off to Santa Fe to gain permission to bring John and Linda back to London with him. In total hypocrisy, he convinces the controller that it will be in the interest of science to return them to the new world. In truth, he is delighted that he will be able to shame the Director who has insulted him.
During the chapter, John plays the role of a love-struck, romantic hero. As he touches Lenina's possessions and gazes at her sleeping form, he is sensitive, chivalrous, idolizing, and idealizing. It is ironic that a "savage" should be so sensitive and should cherish Lenina's "purity." His pure motives are an intended and sharp contrast to Bernard's hypocrisy and cunning, traits not encountered in the old world. John also takes time to linger and enjoy his emotions. In contrast, the super-efficiency of the new world is stressed in Huxley's description of the speed with which Bernard achieves his purpose. Between his landing on the roof of the Santa Fe post-office and his conversation with the controller, exactly thirteen minutes elapse (from 10:34 to 10:47).