Brave New World

Brave New World Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back in London, the Hatchery is abuzz with work, as eggs are fertilized, embryos’ destinies are decided, infants are fed, napping children hear hypnopaedic teaching, and older children engage in erotic play. All the workers are cheerful. The Director, however, looks grim.
The cheerful “buzzing” of the Hatchery both portrays it as a mass-producing “hive” and highlights the success of World State conditioning—the workers are loving what they do. The Director’s grave appearance, however, portends something darker by contrast.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
The Director tells Henry Foster that Bernard is meeting him in this room shortly, because there are so many high-caste workers present. Bernard’s intellect, he explains, brings moral responsibilities, and his unorthodox behavior risks corrupting others, so it must be stopped. He adds that, while the State can create more human beings, unorthodoxy threatens the State itself.
The Director wants to make a public example of Bernard. His explanation to Foster of Bernard’s transgressions is a chilling demonstration of the World State mentality: the individual is disposable, even dangerous, while Society must be preserved at any cost.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
Related Quotes
When a nervous Bernard arrives, the Director announces to the assembled workers that Bernard has betrayed and imperiled Society with his heretical views about sports, soma, and sex—he subverts civilization itself. He will now dismiss Bernard with dishonor, sending him to the most remote Sub-Centre possible, in Iceland, where he can’t continue corrupting others with his “unfordly” example. He asks if Bernard has anything to say for himself. To his surprise, Bernard says yes.
Bernard is a heretic in the view of the World State because he resists all those activities that the State sanctions in order to keep people blandly happy and thus compliant. His individuality is “unfordly” because it subverts the industrialized, mass-production mindset of the State, where the good of Society far outweighs that of the replaceable person.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
Industrialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
Bernard summons Linda into the room, and the perpetually youthful workers are horrified by her sagging, middle-aged appearance. Linda embraces the humiliated Director, and soon the room’s laughter turns to embarrassed silence as Linda tells him that he’s the father of her son. John enters and falls to his knees in front of the Director, saying, “My father!” The room erupts with laughter again at this “smutty” word. Soon the Director covers his ears and flees the room.
Bernard's revenge is complete. The Director is humiliated because he did not conform to the conditioning and World State morality he has just been reprimanding Bernard for resisting—in fact, his transgressions have been more egregious by far (fatherhood is viewed as obscenely disgusting). John, meanwhile, is overwhelmed with emotion to meet a father who looks upon him as a stain on his reputation.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
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