Study Guide

Brave New World Sex

By Aldous Huxley


Chapter 1
The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning

"Charming, charming," murmured the Director and, giving [Lenina] two or three little pats, received in exchange a rather deferential smile for himself. (1.93)

Huxley hints at the rampant promiscuity in this society even before we get to see the whole picture. As readers, we feel more and more uneasy as we go.

Chapter 2

"We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes," she answered. "But now it's switched over to Elementary Class Consciousness."

The Director walked slowly down the long line of cots. Rosy and relaxed with sleep, eighty little boys and girls lay softly breathing. (2.71-2)

Again, we get even more uncomfortable, this time with the notion of sexed-up little kids. And we haven't even gotten to "hunt-the-zipper" yet.

Chapter 3
Lenina Crowne

"Dr. Wells says that a three months' Pregnancy Substitute now will make all the difference to my health for the next three or four years."

"Well, I hope he's right," said Lenina. "But, Fanny, do you really mean to say that for the next three months you're not supposed to…"

"Oh no, dear. Only for a week or two, that's all. I shall spend the evening at the Club playing Musical Bridge." (3.77-9)

Lenina is talking about sex here. The thought of going three months without it is shocking to her.

Lenina shook her head. "Somehow," she mused, "I hadn't been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn't. Haven't you found that too, Fanny?"

Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. "But one's got to make the effort," she said, sententiously, "one's got to play the game. After all, every one belongs to every one else." (3.12-13)

Despite all their conditioning, Fanny and Lenina both admit to an innate inclination towards monogamy. In this way, all the sex conditioning in the world can't make up for the instinctive need to find a mate.

Nodding, "He patted me on the behind this afternoon," said Lenina.

"There, you see!" Fanny was triumphant. "That shows what he stands for. The strictest conventionality." (3.103-4)

This is the kind of shocking humor that pervades the novel—Huxley has directly reversed our own "strictest conventionalities." In this case, what is essentially sexual harassment is smiled upon. Also, we've been waiting since Chapter 1 to know just where he patted her. And now we know.

Henry Foster

"Lenina Crowne?" said Henry Foster, echoing the Assistant Predestinator's question as he zipped up his trousers. "Oh, she's a splendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I'm surprised you haven't had her."

"I can't think how it is I haven't," said the Assistant Predestinator. "I certainly will. At the first opportunity."

From his place on the opposite side of the changing-room aisle, Bernard Marx overheard what they were saying and turned pale. (3.118-20)

This is where we start to like Bernard. He seems to be the only character who shares our reaction to this shockingly promiscuous world.

"Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?" enquired the Assistant Predestinator. "I hear the new one at the Alhambra is first-rate. There's a love scene on a bearskin rug; they say it's marvellous. Every hair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects." (3.42)

Simulated sex helps to dehumanize the whole act. The aim is to eliminate all emotion from the act so that, as Mustapha will later explain, loyalty to the state is never in competition with loyalty to an individual. The more that sex pervades every aspect of culture, the less important it becomes, and the less emotion attached to it.

He let out the amazing truth. For a very long period before the time of Our Ford, and even for some generations afterwards, erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter); and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!): and had therefore been rigorously suppressed.


"In most cases, till they were over twenty years old."


"The results were terrible." (3.19-29)

Of course, this is commentary on our own world, or at least on Huxley's in the 1930s.

And round her waist she wore a silver-mounted green morocco-surrogate cartridge belt, bulging (for Lenina was not a freemartin) with the regulation supply of contraceptives. (3.185)

Wow, it's like she's wearing sex on her sleeve. Oh, wait… (Actually, we meant to say something scholarly about how Orwell's "Anti-sex sash" in 1984 is probably a nod to Huxley's Malthusian belt.)

Fanny Crowne

"Oh, she jolly well doesn't see why there should have been," Fanny repeated, as though to an invisible listener behind Lenina's left shoulder. Then, with a sudden change of tone, "But seriously," she said, "I really do think you ought to be careful. It's such horribly bad form to go on and on like this with one man. At forty, or thirty-five, it wouldn't be so bad. But at your age, Lenina! No, it really won't do. And you know how strongly the D.H.C. objects to anything intense or long-drawn. Four months of Henry Foster, without having another man—why, he'd be furious if he knew…" (3.93)

Fanny's aversion to monogamy is partly due to her desire to follow the rules, but also partly a reflection of her conditioning. She has been programmed, essentially, to have an innate, visceral aversion to monogamy.

Mustapha Mond

"Think of water under pressure in a pipe." They thought of it. "I pierce it once," said the Controller. "What a jet!"

He pierced it twenty times. There were twenty piddling little fountains.


Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn't allow them to take things easily, didn't allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? (3.94-9)

Here begins the connection between mother-child love and sexual love. In the eyes of Mustapha, both are condemnable because they lead to emotions, which lead to instability. But this Freudian stuff will have much larger implications in the novel, especially when it comes to John and Linda. Stay tuned. (And admire how sneakily Huxley got us thinking in that direction right off the bat.)

Chapter 4: Part 1

The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha Changing Rooms, and Lenina's entry was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them. (4.1.1)

Lenina's character is defined by her sexual appeal.

Lenina Crowne

Then aloud, and more warmly than ever, "I'd simply love to come with you for a week in July," she went on. (Anyhow, she was publicly proving her unfaithfulness to Henry. Fanny ought to be pleased, even though it was Bernard.) "That is," Lenina gave him her most deliciously significant smile, "if you still want to have me."

Bernard's pale face flushed. "What on earth for?" she wondered, astonished, but at the same time touched by this strange tribute to her power. (4.1.4-5)

Lenina and John are similar in the sexual power they hold over others.

Chapter 5: Part 1

They entered. The air seemed hot and somehow breathless with the scent of ambergris and sandalwood. On the domed ceiling of the hall, the colour organ had momentarily painted a tropical sunset. The Sixteen Sexophonists were playing an old favourite: "There ain't no Bottle in all the world like that dear little Bottle of mine." Four hundred couples were five-stepping round the polished floor. Lenina and Henry were soon the four hundred and first. The saxophones wailed like melodious cats under the moon, moaned in the alto and tenor registers as though the little death were upon them. Rich with a wealth of harmonics, their tremulous chorus mounted towards a climax, louder and ever louder—until at last, with a wave of his hand, the conductor let loose the final shattering note of ether-music and blew the sixteen merely human blowers clean out of existence. Thunder in A flat major. And then, in all but silence, in all but darkness, there followed a gradual deturgescence, a diminuendo sliding gradually, through quarter tones, down, down to a faintly whispered dominant chord that lingered on (while the five-four rhythms still pulsed below) charging the darkened seconds with an intense expectancy. And at last expectancy was fulfilled. There was a sudden explosive sunrise, and simultaneously, the Sixteen burst into song. (5.1.17)

Brave New World establishes a connection between music and sex, which begins here and is continued later on the orgy-porgy scene with Bernard and that unibrow woman, Morgana.

Five-stepping with the other four hundred round and round Westminster Abbey, Lenina and Henry were yet dancing in another worldthe warm, the richly coloured, the infinitely friendly world of soma-holiday. How kind, how good-looking, how delightfully amusing every one was! "Bottle of mine, it's you I've always wanted…" But Lenina and Henry had what they wanted… They were inside, here and now-safely inside with the fine weather, the perennially blue sky. And when, exhausted, the Sixteen had laid by their saxophones and the Synthetic Music apparatus was producing the very latest in slow Malthusian Blues, they might have been twin embryos gently rocking together on the waves of a bottled ocean of blood-surrogate.


Swallowing half an hour before closing time, that second dose of soma had raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds. Bottled, they crossed the street; bottled, they took the lift up to Henry's room on the twenty-eighth floor. (5.1.19-22)

Part of the reason the Controllers make sure sex happens ALL THE TIME in the World State is that it prevents solitude. As we see here with Lenina and Foster, downtime is far less likely to lead to something dangerouslike independent thoughtif the focus is on soma and sex.

Chapter 5: Part 2

If only he had given himself time to look around instead of scuttling for the nearest chair! He could have sat between Fifi Bradlaugh and Joanna Diesel. Instead of which he had gone and blindly planted himself next to Morgana. Morgana! Ford! Those black eyebrows of hersthat eyebrow, ratherfor they met above the nose. Ford! And on his right was Clara Deterding. True, Clara's eyebrows didn't meet. But she was really too pneumatic. Whereas Fifi and Joanna were absolutely right. Plump, blonde, not too large… And it was that great lout, Tom Kawaguchi, who now took the seat between them. (5.2.8)

This is more of Huxley's great delayed-disclosure narrative technique. We wonder why Bernard cares about who he's sitting next to, but we start to get suspicious by the time we get to his description of Fifi and Joanna. When we realize the men and women are alternating for a reason, our uneasy "wait a minute…" feeling is confirmed. This is an orgy. Porgy.

"Orgy-porgy," the dancers caught up the liturgical refrain, "Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun, kiss the girls…" And as they sang, the lights began slowly to fadeto fade and at the same time to grow warmer, richer, redder, until at last they were dancing in the crimson twilight of an Embryo Store. "Orgy-porgy…" In their blood-coloured and foetal darkness the dancers continued for a while to circulate, to beat and beat out the indefatigable rhythm. "Orgy-porgy…" Then the circle wavered, broke, fell in partial disintegration on the ring of couches which surroundedcircle enclosing circlethe table and its planetary chairs. "Orgy-porgy…" Tenderly the deep Voice crooned and cooed; in the red twilight it was as though some enormous n**** dove were hovering benevolently over the now prone or supine dancers. (5.2.31)

Here's that music/sex connection we were talking about. Red is an important color hereremember back to Chapter 1 when Foster declared that embryos, like photographic film, can only stand red light. It's no coincidence that these two scenes are related; the copulating adults are compared to little embryos inside their bottles. Why, you ask? Check out "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" for more.

Chapter 6: Part 1
Bernard Marx

"Adults intellectually and during working hours," he went on. "Infants where feeling and desire are concerned."


[…] "It suddenly struck me the other day," continued Bernard, "that it might be possible to be an adult all the time."

"I don't understand." Lenina's tone was firm.

"I know you don't. And that's why we went to bed together yesterday—like infantsinstead of being adults and waiting." (6.1.65-9)

Or, don't go to "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" and instead just let Bernard sum it up for you here.

Chapter 7
John the Savage

"Oh!" He gave a gasp and was silent, gaping. He had seen, for the first time in his life, the face of a girl whose cheeks were not the colour of chocolate or dogskin, whose hair was auburn and permanently waved, and whose expression (amazing novelty!) was one of benevolent interest. Lenina was smiling at him; such a nice-looking boy, she was thinking, and a really beautiful body. The blood rushed up into the young man's face; he dropped his eyes, raised them again for a moment only to find her still smiling at him, and was so much overcome that he had to turn away and pretend to be looking very hard at something on the other side of the square. (7.46)

So here's some insight into the otherwise difficult question of why someone with John's depth and principles would ever want someone as vapid (dull or flat) as Lenina. In a world where he has been forever different, she is someone who looks like him—that is, white and blue-eyed. John's immediate thought is companionship (check out his "Character Analysis" for more).


"For instance," she hoarsely whispered, "take the way they have one another here. Mad, I tell you, absolutely mad. Everybody belongs to every one else—don't they? don't they?" she insisted, tugging at Lenina's sleeve. Lenina nodded her averted head, let out the breath she had been holding and managed to draw another one, relatively untainted. "Well, here," the other went on, "nobody's supposed to belong to more than one person. And if you have people in the ordinary way, the others think you're wicked and anti-social. They hate and despise you. Once a lot of women came and made a scene because their men came to see me. Well, why not? And then they rushed at me… No, it was too awful. I can't tell you about it." (7.56)

Like Lenina, Linda is defined by her sexuality—the women are essentially mirror-images of each other, but they reflect the differences between their two worlds.

Chapter 8

In those other words he did not understand so well, she said to the man, "Not with John here." The man looked at him, then again at Linda, and said a few words in a soft voice. Linda said, "No." But the man bent over the bed towards him and his face was huge, terrible; the black ropes of hair touched the blanket. "No," Linda said again, and he felt her hand squeezing him more tightly. "No, no!" But the man took hold of one of his arms, and it hurt. He screamed. The man put up his other hand and lifted him up. Linda was still holding him, still saying, "No, no." The man said something short and angry, and suddenly her hands were gone. "Linda, Linda." He kicked and wriggled; but the man carried him across to the door, opened it, put him down on the floor in the middle of the other room, and went away, shutting the door behind him. He got up, he ran to the door. Standing on tiptoe he could just reach the big wooden latch. He lifted it and pushed; but the door wouldn't open. "Linda," he shouted. She didn't answer.


[…] He hated Popé. He hated them all—all the men who came to see Linda. (8.9-11)

Here we get our first glimpses of John's rage at Linda's promiscuity, which is probably related to his later anger at Lenina for being just promiscuous. This is Freudian, big-time.

One day, when he came in from playing, the door of the inner room was open, and he saw them lying together on the bed, asleep—white Linda and Popé almost black beside her, with one arm under her shoulders and the other dark hand on her breast, and one of the plaits of his long hair lying across her throat, like a black snake trying to strangle her. (8.42)

John's feeling that sex is dirty and violent begins here, in his childhood. He ascribes malevolence to Popé's relationship with his mother, and this is a great example of the way imagery is used in literature to convey emotion. We're talking about the contrast of white and darkness and, of course, about the snake.

The magic was on his side, the magic explained and gave orders. He stepped back in the outer room. "When he is drunk asleep…" The knife for the meat was lying on the floor near the fireplace. He picked it up and tiptoed to the door again. "When he is drunk asleep, drunk asleep…" He ran across the room and stabbed—oh, the blood! —stabbed again, as Popé heaved out of his sleep, lifted his hand to stab once more, but found his wrist caught, held and—oh, oh!— twisted. He couldn't move, he was trapped, and there were Popé's small black eyes, very close, staring into his own. He looked away. There were two cuts on Popé's left shoulder. "Oh, look at the blood!" Linda was crying. "Look at the blood!" (8.45)

We discuss this in depth in John's character analysis, but this is where we were really convinced of his "Oedipus complex"—the male desire to kill his father and sleep with his mother. John really does try to kill Popé here, who is as close to a father-figure as he has.

Chapter 9

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 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?

John the Savage

A moment later he was inside the room. He opened the green suit-case; and all at once he was breathing Lenina's perfume, filling his lungs with her essential being. His heart beat wildly; for a moment he was almost faint. Then, bending over the precious box, he touched, he lifted into the light, he examined. The zippers on Lenina's spare pair of viscose velveteen shorts were at first a puzzle, then solved, a delight. Zip, and then zip; zip, and then zip; he was enchanted. Her green slippers were the most beautiful things he had ever seen. He unfolded a pair of zippicamiknicks, blushed, put them hastily away again; but kissed a perfumed acetate handkerchief and wound a scarf round his neck. Opening a box, he spilt a cloud of scented powder. His hands were floury with the stuff. He wiped them on his chest, on his shoulders, on his bare arms. Delicious perfume! He shut his eyes; he rubbed his cheek against his own powdered arm. Touch of smooth skin against his face, scent in his nostrils of musky dust—her real presence. "Lenina," he whispered. "Lenina!" (9.25)

Compare this passage to the one in Chapter 13, when John refuses to have sex with Lenina and she ends up locking herself in the bathroom. These zippers come up again, and we get the same repetition of the words "Zip! Zip!" It's just that, by then, John is disgusted rather than fascinated—much the way his reaction to the new world changes.

Chapter 11

The concussion knocked all the n****'s conditioning into a cocked hat. He developed for the Beta blonde an exclusive and maniacal passion. She protested. He persisted. There were struggles, pursuits, an assault on a rival, finally a sensational kidnapping. The Beta blond was ravished away into the sky and kept there, hovering, for three weeks in a wildly anti-social tête-à-tête with the black madman. Finally, after a whole series of adventures and much aerial acrobacy three handsome young Alphas succeeded in rescuing her. The n**** was packed off to an Adult Re-conditioning Centre and the film ended happily and decorously, with the Beta blonde becoming the mistress of all her three rescuers. They interrupted themselves for a moment to sing a synthetic quartet, with full super-orchestral accompaniment and gardenias on the scent organ. Then the bearskin made a final appearance and, amid a blare of sexophones, the last stereoscopic kiss faded into darkness, the last electric titillation died on the lips like a dying moth that quivers, quivers, ever more feebly, ever more faintly, and at last is quiet, quite still. (11.102)

If you were feeling adventurous, you could probably think of this as some sort of vague foreshadowing of the climactic orgy scene at the end of the novel.

Those fiery letters, meanwhile, had disappeared; there were ten seconds of complete darkness; then suddenly, dazzling and incomparably more solid-looking than they would have seemed in actual flesh and blood, far more real than reality, there stood the stereoscopic images, locked in one another's arms, of a gigantic n**** and a golden-haired young brachycephalic Beta-Plus female.

The Savage started. That sensation on his lips! He lifted a hand to his mouth; the titillation ceased; let his hand fall back on the metal knob; it began again. The scent organ, meanwhile, breathed pure musk. Expiringly, a sound-track super-dove cooed "Oo-ooh"; and vibrating only thirty-two times a second, a deeper than African bass made answer: "Aa-aah." "Ooh-ah! Ooh-ah!" the stereoscopic lips came together again, and once more the facial erogenous zones of the six thousand spectators in the Alhambra tingled with almost intolerable galvanic pleasure. "Ooh…" (11.98-99)

Huxley does an interesting thing here by making his reader (of the 1930s, that is) feel a similar sense of taboo that the fictional characters feel watching the feely. To them, the idea of three weeks of monogamous sex is, well, smut. To 1930s English readers, the thought of a black man and a white woman would be similarly frowned upon. We're not sure if Huxley deserves this much credit, but it would be nice if the text were asking whether or not our own present-day taboos were as unreasonable as the idea that monogamy is wrong.

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.

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.

John the Savage

"It was base," he said indignantly, "it was ignoble." (11.105)

John's opinion on the feely is so confusing and painful for Lenina to hear because, in fact, it is a reflection of his opinion of her—or at least of her sexual escapades.

Lenina Crowne

"It's wonderful, of course. And yet in a way," she had confessed to Fanny, "I feel as though I were getting something on false pretences. Because, of course, the first thing they all want to know is what it's like to make love to a Savage. And I have to say I don't know." She shook her head. "Most of the men don't believe me, of course. But it's true. I wish it weren't," she added sadly and sighed. "He's terribly good-looking; don't you think so?" (11.84)

For the first time, Lenina experiences the gap between desire and consummation. But is this the only reason she likes John—the fact that she can't have him?

Chapter 13
Fanny Crowne

"Well, if that's the case," said Fanny, with decision, "why don't you just go and take him. Whether he wants it or no." (13.28)

Fanny just suggested rape, but we're thinking that, in a world where "everyone belongs to everyone else," they don't really have any notion of what this means.

John the Savage

"The murkiest den, the most opportune place" (the voice of conscience thundered poetically), "the strongest suggestion our worser genius can, shall never melt mine honour into lust. Never, never!" he resolved. (13.71)

John repeats his Shakespearean phases the same way Lenina, Fanny, and Henry recite their hypnopaedic teachings. Is this just another form of indoctrinated thought?

But her perfume still hung about him, his jacket was white with the powder that had scented her velvety body. "Impudent strumpet, impudent strumpet, impudent strumpet." The inexorable rhythm beat itself out. "Impudent…" (13.100)

Again we see the notions of rhythm and music tied up with violence and sex. This prepares us for the final orgy-porgy scene in which John repeats his saying in a rhythmic way while the people beat each other "in six-eight time."

"It's like that in Shakespeare too. 'If thou cost break her virgin knot before all sanctimonious ceremonies may with full and holy rite…'" (13.63)

John gets his notions of chastity and honor both from the Native Americans on the Reservation and from Shakespeare.

"But it's absurd to let yourself get into a state like this. Simply absurd," she repeated. "And what about? A man—one man."

"But he's the one I want."

"As though there weren't millions of other men in the world."

"But I don't want them."

"How can you know till you've tried?"

"I have tried." (13.12-7)

This makes it sound like Lenina's desire for John is a simple case of wanting what you can't have. If she really loved him, she probably wouldn't be sleeping with "dozens" of other men. (Although you could also argue that this is her conditioned way of dealing with emotion. Your pick.)

Chapter 17
Mustapha Mond

"[…] 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.

Chapter 18
John the Savage

"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 with her. In a novel with a very, very fine line between sex and violence, there's little difference between them.

It was after midnight when the last of the helicopters took its flight. Stupefied by soma, and exhausted by a long-drawn frenzy of sensuality, the Savage lay sleeping in the heather. The sun was already high when he awoke. He lay for a moment, blinking in owlish incomprehension at the light; then suddenly remembered— everything.

"Oh, my God, my God!" He covered his eyes with his hand. (18.101-2)

The little dash before "everything" leads us to believe that John did after all have sex with Lenina. It's possible he's just remembering the flogging, but as we said, in a book where sex and violence are so closely tied together, it's unlikely that the climax of violence could occur without the climax of sex. Also, it was an orgy—everyone else was doing it. And the line about him covering his eyes is important (think famous Greek tragedies). Read John's "Character Analysis" for more.

"Strumpet!" The Savage had rushed at her like a madman. "Fitchew!" Like a madman, he was slashing at her with his whip of small cords. (18.92)


Drawn by the fascination of the horror of pain and, from within, impelled by that habit of cooperation, that desire for unanimity and atonement, which their conditioning had so ineradicably implanted in them, they began to mime the frenzy of his gestures, striking at one another as the Savage struck at his own rebellious flesh, or at that plump incarnation of turpitude writhing in the heather at his feet.

"Kill it, kill it, kill it…" The Savage went on shouting.

Then suddenly somebody started singing "Orgy-porgy" and, in a moment, they had all caught up the refrain and, singing, had begun to dance. Orgy-porgy, round and round and round, beating one another in six-eight time. Orgy-porgy… (18.98-100)

Notice that John says to kill "it," not "her." Huxley himself calls Lenina "that plump incarnation of turpitude." While John is beating her up, he's really trying to beat up all the dirtiness and promiscuity of the new world.

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.