Brave New World
Dissatisfaction Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
"Lenina Crowne?" said Henry Foster, echoing the Assistant Predestinator's question as he zipped up his trousers. "Oh, she's a splendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I'm surprised you haven't had her."
"I can't think how it is I haven't," said the Assistant Predestinator. "I certainly will. At the first opportunity."
From his place on the opposite side of the changing-room aisle, Bernard Marx overheard what they were saying and turned pale. (3.118-20)
Bernard's dissatisfaction with the status quo stems first from emotions: he feels things that others simply don't.
"And to tell the truth," said Lenina, "I'm beginning to get just a tiny bit bored with nothing but Henry every day." She pulled on her left stocking. "Do you know Bernard Marx?" she asked in a tone whose excessive casualness was evidently forced. (3.121)
For Lenina, monogamy leaves something to be desired. Is this the result of her conditioning or of a natural urge to have different sexual partners?
Yes, a little too able; they were right. A mental excess had produced in Helmholtz Watson effects very similar to those which, in Bernard Marx, were the result of a physical defect. Too little bone and brawn had isolated Bernard from his fellow men, and the sense of this apartness, being, by all the current standards, a mental excess, became in its turn a cause of wider separation. That which had made Helmholtz so uncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability. What the two men shared was the knowledge that they were individuals. But whereas the physically defective Bernard had suffered all his life from the consciousness of being separate, it was only quite recently that, grown aware of his mental excess, Helmholtz Watson had also become aware of his difference from the people who surrounded him. This Escalator-Squash champion, this indefatigable lover (it was said that he had had six hundred and forty different girls in under four years), this admirable committee man and best mixer had realized quite suddenly that sport, women, communal activities were only, so far as he was concerned, second bests. Really, and at the bottom, he was interested in something else. But in what? In what? That was the problem which Bernard had come to discuss with him. (4.2.15)
Bernard and Helmholtz are similar in their isolation from others, but also in their yearning for more. Clearly, these two are related, although which is cause and which is effect is subject to debate.