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Brave New World

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

Freedom and Confinement Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole." (3.138)

Mustapha describes this liberalist sentiment with ridicule – why would anyone want to be inefficient and miserable? But this is exactly the freedom John will later claim – the freedom to be unhappy.

Quote #2

"But, my dear chap, you're welcome, I assure you. You're welcome." Henry Foster patted the Assistant Predestinator on the shoulder. "Every one belongs to every one else, after all."

One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years, thought Bernard Marx, who was a specialist on hypnopædia. Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots! (3.149-50)

The hypnopaedic platitude "Every one belongs to every one else" is a great example of the sort of confinement we see in Brave New World. No one can be free because everyone is subject to the desires and urges of every other person. How can you have freedom when you're considered property? The fact that everyone is both master and slave is one of the horrifying, cyclical traps of this system.

Quote #3

Slowly, majestically, with a faint humming of machinery, the Conveyors moved forward, thirty-three centimeters an hour. In the red darkness glinted innumerable rubies. (3.242)

The bottles are another great reminder of the confinement that pervades the novel – embryos are literally bottled, but metaphorically the citizens are trapped inside boundaries set by the World Controllers.

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