Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Back in London, the production of test-tube babies, the manipulation of class-consciousness, and the clock work efficiency of the new world is once again pictured. Everyone is busy and content when the Director enters the Fertilizing Room with Foster. He has gone forward with the plans to take action against Bernard for attempting to rebel against the society.
When Bernard enters the room, he is most unceremoniously named for being a non-conformist. To make an example of him and to deter others from following suit, the Director announces Bernard's transfer to remote Iceland, a location where his influence will be non-existent. Almost rhetorically, he asks Bernard if he has any defense to offer. Surprisingly, Bernard assures him that he does and produces Linda and John. The Director is exposed when Linda is presented as a mother. John worsens matters by addressing him as father. The witnesses to this dramatic development burst out in disbelieving laughter. Tomakin, totally humiliated, rushes out of the room.
This brief chapter is exciting, for it puts the pompous Tomakin in his proper place. When Bernard enters the Fertilizing Room, the Director treats him most rudely, calling him a non-conformist and informing him that he will be exiled to Iceland where he can have no negative influence on the new world. There is irony in the Director's choice of the Fertilizing Room as the most "upper-caste" place to degrade Bernard; but his callused conniving boomerangs on him, for a sudden and dramatic reversal of fortunes immediately takes place. When the Director asks Bernard if he has any defense for himself, he casually produces John and Linda. When Linda reveals that she is a mother and John calls Tomakin father, the others in the room cannot contain their laughter over the Director's hypocrisy. Tomakin rushes out of the room in total humiliation. Even though the readers are delighted that the Director has been revealed for what he is, they are made to feel sympathetic for Linda and John, who have become victims in Bernard's plot to undercut the Director.
The real irony of the chapter lies in the fact that the total control and conditioning of this brave new world is not as perfect as it appears; Linda and John are the living proof that not everything is scientifically controlled and that things still go awry. Additionally, the chapter points out that in this totalitarian culture of the new world, it seems perfectly acceptable to sacrifice the individual on the altar of society. The chapter ends on a note of tension; the reader is made to wonder what will happen to John and Linda.