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Quotes

Quote #1

Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miner and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of their bodies. "We condition them to thrive on heat," concluded Mr. Foster. "Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it."

"And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny." (1.87-8)

Right off the bat, we have to start questioning the way in which the Director and others define "happiness" in this world. Is being "content" the same as being "happy"? If you have no choice about it, if this emotion is the default, can we still think of it as true "happiness"?

Quote #2

Feeling lurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation. Shorten that interval, break down all those old unnecessary barriers.

"Fortunate boys!" said the Controller. "No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy – to preserve you, so far as that is possible, from having emotions at all." (3.115-6)

The Controller misses a key point here – that the consummation is made better by the waiting.

Quote #3

"Has any of you been compelled to live through a long time-interval between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfillment?"

[…]

"I once had to wait nearly four weeks before a girl I wanted would let me have her."

"And you felt a strong emotion in consequence?"

"Horrible!"

"Horrible; precisely," said the Controller. (3.132-8)

This passage raises the question, what happens to "happiness" when it is challenged, when it is earned?

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