Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
Mustapha Mond Timeline and Summary
- Mustapha Mond shows up at the naked-children-filled schoolyard while the Director is showing his group of students the works. He's obviously a big cheese.
- Mustapha surprises everyone by talking to the students about the past, which is generally not allowed. He explains all about "mothers" and "fathers" and "homes," which everyone finds generally disgusting.
- He also covers monogamy, which he considers bad because it only allows one outlet for all that passion. (This is where the not-so-vaguely sexual metaphor of the gushing water pipe comes in.) His point: monogamy is bad for stability.
- Mustapha moves on to the topic of Christianity, which he says got in the way when they first introduced contemporary methods of pacification.
- Democracy, he says, is equally stupid, because it's based on the notion that men are equal, which to him is ridiculous.
- Next comes a history lesson. Mustapha narrates the Nine Years' War, an international conflict that brought devastating chemical and biological warfare and basically messed up the world. A lot. After that, he says, people were perfectly fine sacrificing their liberties for happiness and stability.
- This raises an interesting discussion (and by discussion we mean more lecturing) on the nature of power. The Controller explains that power isn't a matter of force—it's much easier to condition people to want to be controlled.
- So how do you make that happen? Glad you asked. Mustapha explains that two big important science guys came up with great propaganda and even greater mind-control mechanisms. Then they erased the past.
- Then there was soma, he continues, which is the greatest drug ever. He explains how religion was replaced by all things Ford.
- He explains that old age was conquered next. Retirement was discovered to be a dangerous time of life because it allowed for so much thinking.
- Mustapha reads one of Bernard's reports regarding John's adjustment to the new world. He finds it condescending, preachy, and presumptuous, so he declares that Bernard ought to be taught a lesson.
- Mustapha reads a new scientific paper that discusses the nature of purpose, but he discards it as unpublishable and potentially subversive.
- After the hospital riot, Mustapha has the three problematic agents (Bernard, John, and Helmholtz) comes to his office. Amazingly, he doesn't seem angry at all. Instead, he talks calmly about Shakespeare with John, since he's read it himself.
- He explains to John that Shakespeare wouldn't work in this world, since people couldn't understand what it meant.
- Mustapha concedes, however, that the feelies do, in fact, suck completely. But, he says, you have to make sacrifices, like abolishing high art, for happiness.
- He goes on to explain why they don't have a society comprised of all Alpha Males: you need Epsilons to do Epsilon work, and besides, the dumber castes are actually the happiest ones.
- Mustapha then discusses science. Real science, he says, doesn't exist anymore. They've put a muzzle on it because it's so dangerous. He himself used to be a physicist, and was almost sent to an island.
- When Bernard starts freaking out about getting exiled, Mustapha has him sent away and sedated.
- It is at this point that he reveals that, actually, going to an island is a great thing; you get to meet the world's greatest, smartest individuals. He even claims to envy Helmholtz, in a way.
- Mustapha gives a bit of his background. He chose to be a World Controller instead of a scientist, a choice he still regrets sometimes because happiness is such a difficult master to serve.
- He covers more of the details he gave the students in the earliest part of the novel, particularly concerning the Nine Years' War. Threatened with chaos, he reinforces, everyone was all too willing to give up his or her liberties.
- Mustapha then sums everything up by saying that he once suffered for being too interested in truth, just as Helmholtz is suffering for being too interested in beauty.
- He asks Helmholtz where he wants to be exiled, and admires the man's spirit for choosing a bad climate.
- Once Helmholtz leaves, Mustapha discusses religion with John. He's always been interested in God, he says, but he thinks God is incompatible with machinery and the modern day.
- Mustapha shares with John some religious and philosophical writings. He reads two passages, the first claiming that man is God's property, not an independent entity, and the second explaining that man turns to God in old age not because of a fear of death, but because his mind is finally clear enough to see and accept God.
- Mustapha is certain that, since they no longer have suffering, they no longer need to take solace in notions of God. Even though he himself believes in God, he thinks that "Providence takes its cue from men."
- He adds that there's no need for God, for self-denial, or for people to prove themselves in a world where notions of nobility or heroism have no meaning. Happiness makes everything else irrelevant.
- Mustapha then delivers his famous line, that soma is Christianity without the tears.
- He agrees with John that people have some innate need to live dangerous and passionate lives, but insists that the V.P.S. ("Violent Passion Surrogate") takes care of that just fine.
- When John declares that he wants suffering, or at least the right to suffer, Mustapha replies that he's welcome to it.
- He must have been lying, though, because the next thing we know John isn't allowed to go to the island with Helmholtz because Mustapha insists on continuing his social experiment.