Brave New World

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Brave New World Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On their date, after Obstacle Golf, Lenina and Henry fly past the Crematorium and discuss how nice it is that the elements in dead human bodies are recycled. At Henry's building, they eat in the dining hall and have soma with their coffee. Then they go dancing and take more soma. They go up to Henry's room. Lenina goes through her Malthusian Drill (contraception precautions) before they "have" each other.
Lenina and Henry's date is an example of conditioning at work. They consume goods, they don't fear death, soma keeps them happy, and they make sure not to have any children and thereby avoid any emotional entanglements or responsibilities.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Bernard goes to his Solidarity Service. He's late and sits in the first empty chair he sees. Only later does he realize he's sat next to Morgana Rothschild, who has a unibrow. Bernard wishes he were sitting next to Fifi and Joanna, who are much better looking.
Like most individuals, Bernard is always stuck in his mind. In contrast, all of the other people at the Solidarity Service barely think of themselves at all. In other words, they're happy.
Themes
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
The leader of the group starts the meeting by making the sign of the T. Everyone has soma and begins to chant solidarity chants designed to melt the twelve separate identities in the room into a single being. The chants do their work. The people call out in ecstasy to the coming "Great Being." Only Bernard hears nothing. He fakes his excitement. Loudspeakers start to chant "orgy-porgy," and an orgy starts.
The Solidarity Service is designed to further eliminate the individual in everyone. It turns a group of individuals into a kind of mob, and at the same time ensures that no one goes without sexual satisfaction for too long.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
Later, the members of Bernard's solidarity group talk about how great the session was, how it had made them all "more than merely themselves." Only Bernard feels left out and self-conscious. He can't stop thinking about Morgana's unibrow.
But for Bernard, already an individual, the experience of watching others lose their meager individuality only makes him feel more alone.
Themes
Individuality Theme Icon
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