Study Guide

Brave New World Chapter 5: Part 1

By Aldous Huxley

Chapter 5: Part 1

  • Darkness falls around 8pm, so Lenina and Henry finish their game of golf and get back into the helicopter. Below them we see the "Internal and External Secretions Factory," the "Lower Caste barracks," and the "Slough Crematorium."
  • Apparently, adult corpses are burned without ritual, and phosphorus is recovered from burnt remains to help make plants grow.
  • Foster reminds Lenina that all men are equal physio-chemically, so even Epsilons are useful.
  • This triggers a strange memory of Lenina's. Once, when she was young, she woke up in the middle of the night and heard a strange voice whispering the hypnopaedic lessons over and over in the darkness. She was scared by it at first, but the soothing noise quickly put her back to sleep.
  • She concludes that she's glad she's not an Epsilon, but Henry reminds her that, if she were, she'd be happy about it.
  • They pass over the crematorium and are shot up into the air by a rush of fumes coming from a smokestack. Marvelous, Lenina thinks, which is cute, until you remember that the rush of fumes was caused by the remains of a dead person.
  • At Henry's apartment building, he and Lenina eat dinner, drink coffee, and take several soma tablets. They then walk through Westminster Abbey to partake in such lively nighttime entertainments as "Calvin Stopes and His Sixteen Sexophonists."
  • The music is, of course, sexually charged, as the musicians play as though experiencing "the little death" (an orgasm). Their song is (ostensibly) called "Little Bottle of Mine," and expressed a desire to have, we guess, never left the bottle of sterile, pre-natal growth.
  • Henry and Lenina are having a grand old time, which very likely has something to do with the fact that they're very high on the soma they just took. They might as well be two twin embryos stuck in a bottle, the text says. (What a disturbing image.)
  • They take some more soma, which the text claims renders them "bottled" (meaning they are just as good as inside a bottle when they're high).
  • Still, although she's high, Lenina remembers to use contraception when she and Henry have sex. She only does so because she's been conditioned this way since youth, so it isn't so much a decision as a forced habit.
  • We end the chapter with Lenina asking Henry, on Fanny's behalf, where he bought the lovely belt of contraceptives he gave her.