Brave New World
Sex Quotes Page 13
How we cite our quotes:
"[…] chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passion and neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end of civilization. You can't have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices." (17.45)
Mustapha claims that promiscuity is necessary to avoid feelings of unfulfilled desire. John will later establish that such feelings are part of being a human. It follows, then, that in creating "lasting civilization," the World Controllers have destroyed humanity. If this is true, what they're running isn't exactly a "civilization" at all.
The weather was breathlessly hot, there was thunder in the air. He had dug all the morning and was resting, stretched out along the floor. And suddenly the thought of Lenina was a real presence, naked and tangible, saying "Sweet!" and "Put your arms round me!" – in shoes and socks, perfumed. Impudent strumpet! But oh, oh, her arms round his neck, the lifting of her breasts, her mouth! Eternity was in our lips and eyes. Lenina… No, no, no, no! He sprang to his feet and, half naked as he was, ran out of the house. At the edge of the heath stood a clump of hoary juniper bushes. He flung himself against them, he embraced, not the smooth body of his desires, but an armful of green spikes. Sharp, with a thousand points, they pricked him. He tried to think of poor Linda, breathless and dumb, with her clutching hands and the unutterable terror in her eyes. Poor Linda whom he had sworn to remember. But it was still the presence of Lenina that haunted him. (18.62)
Here's some more of that Freudian business; to stop himself from thinking dirty thoughts about Lenina, John tries to think about something else instead. This would be great and not at all worth discussing if that something else didn't happen to be HIS MOM. Whether he wants to admit it or not, John's mind is definitely making the connection between the two women in his life.
"Strumpet! Strumpet!" he shouted at every blow as though it were Lenina (and how frantically, without knowing it, he wished it were), white, warm, scented, infamous Lenina that he was dogging thus. "Strumpet!" And then, in a voice of despair, "Oh, Linda, forgive me. Forgive me, God. I'm bad. I'm wicked. I'm… No, no, you strumpet, you strumpet!" (18.64)
Take a look at this: John wishes that it was Lenina he were striking. Because she's a "strumpet"? OK, yes, but also because striking her with a whip is the closest he'll let himself get to having sex her. In a novel with a very, very fine line between sex and violence, there's little difference between them.