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Quotes

Quote #25

Then suddenly he found himself reflecting that he had only to take hold of the zipper at her neck and give one long, strong pull… He shut his eyes, he shook his head with the gesture of a dog shaking its ears as it emerges from the water. Detestable thought! He was ashamed of himself. Pure and vestal modesty… (9.33)

John feels the way he does about sex because he escaped hypnopaedic sleep conditioning. Instead of thinking promiscuity is acceptable, he has values chastity and monogamy. But…wait a minute…from where did he get his values? Well, Shakespeare, and the religion of Malpais. That's not pre-conditioning. OR IS IT? If you think about it, it's probably more natural for John to have sex with Lenina right at this very moment than it is for him to hold off. Thus we have to ask the question…isn't everything just conditioning, in one form or another? And what, at the end of the day, is natural?

Quote #26

From behind a door in the corridor leading to the Beta-Minus geography room, a ringing soprano voice called, "One, two, three, four," and then, with a weary impatience, "As you were."

"Malthusian Drill," explained the Head Mistress. "Most of our girls are freemartins, of course. I'm a freemartin myself." She smiled at Bernard. "But we have about eight hundred unsterilized ones who need constant drilling." (11.52-3)

We don't even want to know what they're doing in that room.

Quote #27

In the cinematographic twilight, Bernard risked a gesture which, in the past, even total darkness would hardly have emboldened him to make. Strong in his new importance, he put his arm around the Head Mistress's waist. It yielded, willowily. He was just about to snatch a kiss or two and perhaps a gentle pinch, when the shutters clicked open again. (11.56)

Compare this to Bernard's earlier concerns that Lenina was being treated as nothing but meat. Fame seems to have gone to his head.

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