Brave New World

Brave New World Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Henry Foster invites Lenina to a feely, but she refuses him, feeling irritable, sad, and preoccupied with John. She’s so distracted she even fails to properly inoculate an embryo at work, leading to that human’s death 22 years later. In the changing room, Fanny is baffled by Lenina’s emotions, finally advising her to just go and “take” John, no matter how he feels about it.
Where once Lenina would have readily agreed to a date with Henry, now she can’t dismiss him fast enough. Her mistake with the embryo is an example of exactly what the World State seeks to avoid—strong emotions compromising productivity. Unable to comprehend Lenina’s dilemma, Fanny can only view things in World State terms: if you want something, take it. Make yourself happy.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Industrialism and Consumption Theme Icon
The Savage, having expected Helmholtz, is stunned when Lenina shows up at his apartment. He finally falls to his knees before her, praising her beauty and trying to explain that he’d wanted to do something noble in order to prove himself worthy of her. Lenina is irritated, just trying to kiss him, while he rambles incoherently about lions and vacuum cleaners, groping for a metaphor to describe how much he’s willing to do for her.
In the World State, where everyone is conditioned to be happy and always get what they want, the ideas of virtue and nobility have no meaning. That’s why Lenina is baffled and annoyed by the Savage’s desire to demonstrate his worthiness before declaring his love. His awkward rambling amusingly illustrates the degree of disconnect between them.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
The Savage finally declares his love for Lenina, explaining to her that in Malpais, people get married. Lenina is delighted by his declaration, but shocked and horrified by the mention of marriage. But it doesn’t stop her from embracing John, and they kiss. When she begins undressing, though, answering his Shakespeare quotes with a pop song called, “Hug me till you drug me,” he retreats against the wall.
In the World State, love and commitment have been divorced from mere happiness, so John’s mention of marriage doesn’t make sense to Lenina. The chasm between their views is further brought out by the bizarre exchange of lyrics, as well as the physical distance between them.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Related Quotes
The Savage suddenly shouts at Lenina, calling her “Whore!” and “Impudent strumpet!” He pushes her away forcefully, and Lenina grows frightened, hiding in the bathroom and examining the wound from the slap with which John propelled her there. He paces up and down the room, reciting Shakespeare. He gives Lenina her clothes through the vent over the door, but before Lenina can make up her mind to flee the apartment, the Savage receives a phone call and himself leaves in a panic.
The Savage distances himself from Lenina with quotes from Othello (“Impudent strumpet!”) and uses Shakespeare to bolster his self-control. At this point, the novel refers to John almost exclusively as "the Savage”—ironic, since it's now clear that John has self-restraint and mature emotions, while the citizens of the World State are conditioned not to exhibit these characteristics.
Themes
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
Get the entire Brave New World LitChart as a printable PDF.
Brave new world.pdf.medium