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Free Study Guide-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley-Free Booknotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 15

Summary

On his way out of Park Lane Hospital, John is caught in a crowd of Deltas waiting for their day's ration of soma. He is suddenly struck by the gap between the real and the ideal. He had believed that his mother's civilized new world would by like Miranda's "brave new world" in The Tempest. The reality, however, is a far cry from it. Suddenly, he can no longer tolerate the gap; he decides he must convert the Deltas and convince them of the dangers of their menial situation. Believing himself to be their Messiah, he grabs their ration of soma and throws it out the window. When the Alpha in charge hurries away to get help, the Deltas surround John ominously.

Bernard and Helmholtz have been wondering about John's whereabouts. When they learn of Linda's serious condition, they rush to the hospital. They arrive in time to see John's efforts to help the Deltas. Helmholtz, stimulated by the general air of revolt, joins the effort of the Savage. Bernard, however, remains a distant onlooker. In the end, the police are called; the Deltas are reconditioned to be their docile selves. John and Helmholtz are taken away, along with a reluctant Bernard.


Notes

The Savage, obviously reaching the end of his tether, tries to seize control of the pitiful Deltas. He sees himself as a Messiah, trying to save this brave new world. The hopelessness of the task is evident, for John is powerless against the state. But his act of aggression frightens the authorities and proves that even in this utopian society, rebellion is possible, and law and order have to be vigilantly kept. Helmholtz is excited by John's rebellion and courageously joins his cause. In contrast, Bernard stands aside, again revealing his basic cowardice.

In portraying John's rebellion and its quick control, Huxley is obviously referencing the situation in the totalitarian countries of the 1930s. Years of dictatorship were being resisted with rebellion; but any threat to the dictatorial leadership was quickly controlled by the government before it crumbled into chaos.

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