In chapter 5 Bernard tries to be the better, mature and responsible person but ends up showing that he is just like everyone else around.
Half an hour later they were back in his rooms. Bernard swallowed four tablets of soma at a gulp, turned on the radio and television and began to undress.
At the very beginning of the chapter Lenina and Bernard are flying and suddenly Bernard stops:
“Look,” he commanded.
“But it’s horrible,” said Lenina, shrinking back from the window. She was appalled by the rushing emptiness of the night, by the black foam-flecked water heaving beneath them, by the pale face of the moon, so haggard and distracted among the hastening clouds. “Let’s turn on the radio. Quick!” She reached for the dialling knob on the dash-board and turned it at random.
It’s quite interesting to see how one wants peace and quiet to be able to think and have a nice conversation, whereas the other just wants an easy distraction so that she doesn’t need to use her brain. Television, Play Station, xBox, Big Brother. And those didn’t even exist when the book was written!
Somewhere down the chapter the director half-mindedly lets slip a dark point of his personal history to the main character, someone who he doesn’t particularly like and is indeed trying to get rid off. As far as writing techniques go, this one made me get annoyed at Huxley. Such a disconnected piece of information will be important for the future development of the storyline. I just hoped it would have been more of a hidden hint. I guess J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, and Diana Gabaldon have spoilt me.
Nothing extremely exciting happens for the rest of the chapter. We do get a bit more character development, and we get to know them better.
My favourite part of this chapter is:
For Bernard left the room with a swagger, exulting, as he banged the door behind him, in the thought that he stood alone, embattled against the order of things
I just loved seeing the word swagger (or should I write swaga?) used in an intellectual classic piece of literature. If Jay-Z fans knew about this, they wouldn’t consider themselves so cool, hip and rebellious anymore.
Opinion so far
Bernard and Lenina just keep getting more and more annoying. If I had them around I would probably hit them. Hard. At this point I keep reading just to see if they will suffer or end up dead or with missing limbs. Sadly, I don’t think that will happen.
The writing is still brilliant. Huxley certainly knew how to write in a way that is easy to read and keeps you coming back for more.