The Value of Education

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Aldous Huxley

[Note: some questions adapted from Guide18.html ]-Brave New World—Aldous Huxley
Explain the following terms and their significance in BRAVE NEW WORLD.
Alpha, Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon:
Bokanovsky’s process:
Study Questions - Chapter 1
1. Describe the setting for the opening chapter of Brave New World. In what city and year does this novel take place? Explain the meaning of the year's designation (A.F.).

2. What is the motto of the World State? After reading the whole novel, you should be able to explain the significance of each.

3. Explain what is happening at the Hatchery and Conditioning Center.

4. Describe Bokanovsky's process.

5.What are the five castes of the World State?
6.How is each significant? What is the purpose of having a caste system?
7.What three abstract ideas become paramount in the new world system?

Chapter 2
1.What two objects are the babies being conditioned to dislike? In what ways does this conditioning keep “castes” in their place?
2.What is the “greatest moralizing and socializing force in our time”? Explain.
3.What are the “major instruments of social stability”?
4.Why does the State condition the masses to dislike the country?
5.Explain how hypnopaedia works. What is the purpose of hypnopaedia?
6.Explain the developmental process of each caste system, from cradle to adulthood.
7.Explain the new state religion? To whom does each person pledge allegiance? Why? What purpose is served in combining a religious ceremony with group sex?

Chapter 3
The beginning pages of Chapter 3 presents a kaleidoscopic view of the State's way of life. Think of it as you would a rapid succession of TV images presented to make a single impression.

1.What is the requirement for any new games? Why is this so?
2.Explain the State's attitude toward sex. How does the State regard marriage?
3."Ending is better than mending." "The more stitches, the less riches." How do these sayings express the economic views of the State?

Chapter 4
1 Where do Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowe plan to visit?
2 Explain Bernard Marx's attitude toward the State.
3 What is Helmholz Watson's job?
4 Explain Watson's feeling toward the State.

Chapter 5
1. Compare the recreation and social activities of the lower castes with those of the upper castes.

Chapter 6
1. Over the stormy water of the English Channel, what desire does Bernard express to Lenina?

2. List three adjectives of phrases to describe Lenina's personality.

3. The Director (Tomakin) tells Bernard of a visit he made to the New Mexico Indian Reservation twenty years ago. What unusual thing happened there?

4. Bernard learns that he is going to be deported to Iceland. Why?

5. Rephrase Lenina's saying "Was and will make me ill. I take a gramme and only am."

Chapter 7
1 . List three conditions Lenina dislikes at the Reservation, How are these conditions contrary to what she has been taught and conditioned?

2. What is the purpose of the whipping ceremony that Bernard and Lenina witness?

3. John ("The Savage") reveals he was born on the Reservation. Who is his father and where is he now?

4. Linda describes ways in which she cannot reconcile her way of life in the Other Place with that of the Reservation. List ways that seem to trouble her most. Discuss their significance.

Chapter 8
1 . Why does Linda suffer dislike and rejection on the Reservation? Why do the women especially dislike her?

2. What is mescal and how does it help Linda?

3. From what sources has John obtained his education?

4. When John was sixteen, he went with the Indian boys to a puberty ceremony. Describe what happened and how it affected John. Why is this scene significant to the overall understanding of a state that has total control over the individual?

5. What do Bernard and John have in common? In what ways is Bernard changed by meeting John?

Chapter 9
1. Explain why Bernard wishes to take Linda and John to London.

2. List three adjectives or phrases to describe John's feelings when he discovers Lenina asleep on her soma holiday.

Chapter 10
1. Name three faults the D.H.C. finds with Bernard's behavior. How does Bernard react to the D.H.CVs accusations?

2. What "obscenity" does Linda fling at the D.H.C. (Tomakin)?

3. How do the workers react to John's calling the D.H.C. "My father"? Why?

Chapter 11
1. What happens to the D.H.C. after the scene in the Fertilizing Room?

2. Give three reasons why no one had the smallest desire to see Linda.

3. How does Dr. Shaw justify keeping Linda on a soma-holiday even though it will shorten her
life? Explain Bernard's sudden increased popularity.

4. Give two reasons the Savage (John) shows little astonishment or awe at civilized inventions.

5. Describe the Savage's reaction to the sight of work being done by single Bokanovsky groups.

6. Who is Ariel?

7. What do you think the phrase "civilized infantility" means?

8. In the Electrical Equipment Company, "each process is carried out, so far as possible by a single Bokanovsky group." Explain what this means.

9. The Savage views the factory, saying, "O brave new world that has such people in it." Explain how this statement can be considered the dramatic climax of the entire novel.

10. The libraries of the World State contain only reference books. Why is this so?

11. How is John affected by the feelies?

Chapter 12
1. Helmholtz, the propaganda writer, and John have become friends. When John reads to him from Romeo and Juliet, Helmholtz bursts into laughter. State three things that amuse him.

2. Helmholtz calls Shakespeare a "marvelous propaganda technician." How does he explain
Shakespeare's success?

Chapter 13
1 Explain the essential difference in the nature of John and Lenina.

Chapter 14
1. Explain the purpose and method of death conditioning. How does this fit into the overall emotional conditioning of the people? Why do you think that Huxley included this detail?

2. Why does John become angry at the children?

Chapter 15
1. What does John say he will teach the mob of hospital worker?

2. Describe John's actions at the hospital.

3. How do the people react to what John does?

4. Describe the actions taken by the World State Police.

Chapter 16
1. Give three reasons why Shakespeare is prohibited in the World State.

2. How does Mustapha Mond say he paid for being too much interested in truth?

Chapter 17
1. What two things does the Savage (John) say that the people have sacrificed for their happiness?

2. What third sacrifice does the Controller add?

3. Why do you think the people of the World State have no need of a god?

4. What does the Controller call "Christianity without tears"? Explain.

5. The Savage claims the "right to be unhappy." Explain this statement. Include some of the
specific instances of unhappiness that he says are his right.

Chapter 18
1. After Bernard and Helmholtz are exiled, the Savage runs away to be alone. Tell the conclusion of he novel in 6 to 8 sentences.

Entire Novel
1. John Savage and Mustapha Mond discuss civilization in chapter17. John says two startling things: “What you need is something with tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here” and “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” Take the side of Mond and Savage and clarify the points of view of each.

2.What does the division of persons from birth suggest about Huxley's own views of the “caste system”?
3.What is the significance of choosing Henry Ford as “God?”

3. The name John Savage could be considered ironic. Explain how.

4. Huxley’s brave new world has eliminated pain, suffering, disease, and and old age. What is lost in this effort to create a perfect world? Explain your position.

7.Knowing what you know about the HIV virus and the communicability of AIDS, discuss the impact it would have in Huxley’s society. Factor in exponential progression, time and psychological implications.
8.In many ways, both Brave New World and 1984 can be described as a satire on “utopia,” as either a prediction or warning of social change. Take a position and defend it with details from the novels.
9.In what ways does Brave New World support the “Malthusian Principle” and mock Darwinism?
10.If the reader considers Brave New World to be exaggeration/ satire, what do you find to be the author's true view of science as a social medicine? What does he suggest are the dangers of bio-engineering?
11.In both Brave New World and 1984, what is the danger in the loss of individualism?
12.Consider Brave New World a testament of science run amuck and 1984, a novel of technology used for the wrong purposes. Defend/explain this statement.
13.In a paragraph, explain the brave new world Huxley describes. What kind of world is it? Summarize, paraphrase, extend meanings to capture the total effect of the book.
14.Is either novel optimistic or pessimistic for the human species? Take a position and defend it.
15.Why are both books considered classic today? Why are they recommended for college-bound students?

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