Study Guide

Brave New World Chapter 5: Part 2

By Aldous Huxley

Chapter 5: Part 2

  • On Thursday, Bernard heads dutifully for his biweekly "Solidarity Service day" at the Fordon Community Singery, adorned with lighted "T" signs and emanating synthetic music.
  • He looks up at the clock—"Big Henry." (London's famous clock is actually called "Big Ben," but they clearly changed the name to honor Henry Ford.)
  • As the clock strikes nine, it bellows out "Ford, Ford, Ford" nine times.
  • Apparently this building has seven thousand rooms used for whatever it is Bernard is about to take part in.
  • Bernard arrives late, and takes his seat (one of twelve) around a circular table next to a woman named Morgana Rothschild, who has a unibrow and is apparently no fun to sit next to.
  • When the last member arrives, he is reprimanded by the President of the Group for being late.
  • The circle around the table alternates male-female. What follows is a disturbing, ritualistic ceremony with lots of pounding music, soma, signs of the T, and the creepy words, "I drink to my annihilation." They chant a song (twelve times, that seems to be the magic number) that negates individuality and declares allegiance to greater society.
  • A Voice from above repeats "Oh, Ford, Ford" and everyone is convinced Ford is coming.
  • Everything's rather sexual, so the repetition of the word "coming" isn't accidental.
  • Bernard can't get into it—even though he's taken the soma with everyone else. But he pretends; he jumps up and shouts with the rest of the sheep. Er, people.
  • The group sings a song called "Orgy-porgy."
  • Next thing you know they're all post-coital-esque on the roof.
  • One of the women present, Fifi Bradlaugh, is described as in "the calm ecstasy of achieved consummation." She is full, happy, perfect.
  • Bernard agrees with her that "it was wonderful," but he's even more miserable now than he was before, even more isolated. It's quite possible he ended up having sex with Morgana (and others?) during the "orgy-porgy," but all he can think about now is her unibrow.

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