Study Guide

Brave New World Chapter 6: Part 1

By Aldous Huxley

Chapter 6: Part 1

  • Lenina has decided Bernard is definitely odd; she wonders if she should go on vacation with him after all.
  • But she concludes that she'd rather go to America with him than the North Pole with Benito Hoover. So that's that.
  • Bernard, we discover, is an Alpha-Plus psychologist, which is why he has permission to visit the Savage Reservation in New Mexico.
  • Apparently Lenina discussed Bernard while in bed with Henry. (Messed up.) Henry said Bernard was like a rhinoceros, which is to say that he couldn't be conditioned very well at all.
  • Then we get to see their first date. Bernard vetoes all her suggestions as being "a waste of time." He wants to go for walks, to be alone, to talk.
  • He also refuses to take soma, on the grounds that he'd rather be miserable as himself than jolly as somebody else.
  • On the way home from watching some wrestling (Lenina clearly won out in deciding to waste time), Bernard hovers their helicopter in the air by the open ocean, forcing them to look out over the grayness and vastness of the waves.
  • Lenina finds the panorama to be horrible, empty, and dark. She turns on the radio, which sings about (what else) blue skies and happiness.
  • But Bernard switches it off again. He likes looking at the ocean because it reminds him that he is more than "just a cell in a social body." He wishes he were free from the enslavement of his social conditioning.
  • Lenina cries, shocked at his blasphemy. She doesn't know what he means by "free."
  • On the way home, Bernard starts to laugh and then feels up Lenina (in the "breasts" sense of the term "feels up").
  • She's glad to see he's feeling better.
  • When they get back to Bernard's rooms, he has to take four soma tablets in order to have sex with her.
  • The next day, they meet again on the roof. Lenina congratulates herself on being pneumatic. (As we say elsewhere, we take this to mean curvy, busty, and possibly also full of empty air.)
  • Bernard inwardly berates her for being "like meat." He then tells her that, as much fun as it was last night, he wishes they hadn't gone to bed together. He would rather have waited, seen what it was like to delay the impulse.
  • This is all new to Lenina.
  • He says he wants to know what passion is. He wants to feel something strongly. He wishes he could be an adult all the time, whereas immediately giving in to desires makes him like an infant.
  • Lenina tells this all to Fanny, concluding that she wishes he weren't so odd, since she really likes his hands and "the way he moves his shoulders."

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