We get to see the savages in this chapter. Finally!
They live in exactly the same way Europeans described savages to be living during their 19th century expeditions into the untamed lands. This particular reservation is in New Mexico, so I guess that similarity makes sense, especially if we consider that the novel is from 1932.
The savage land is controlled by superstition. The book doesn’t go over government, but there doesn’t seem to be a unified system, we only read of isolated pueblos.
I didn’t expect the savages to be so savage. I expected them to be more like us (that us being the generic Western society of the 30’s). I understand that they don’t really have access to science, but that doesn’t mean that all common knowledge should have been lost. No need for 40-year-old to be decrepit, old, fat and toothless.
Huxley makes the parallelisms between the savages and the civilized quite obvious through Lenina:
The top of the mesa was a flat deck of stone. “Like the Charing-T Tower,” was Lenina’s comment.
It reminded her reassuringly of the synthetic noises made at Solidarity Services and Ford’s Day celebrations. “Orgy-porgy,” she whispered to herself. These drums beat out just the same rhythms.
Which for a character with two grams of brain would be proof of how both cultures are inherently the same. But that would be too much to ask from Lenina.
We also meet Linda and John. Linda happens to be the woman the director casually mentioned to Bernard (I never saw that coming!), and John happens to be Linda’s and the director’s son. I actually did not see that one coming, props to Huxley for putting me back in my place.
Opinion so far
Thank you Huxley for giving us Linda and John! Characters that are actually likable and you can connect with because their sadness and feelings of inadequacy come from somewhere other than their own navel-staring.
They are both victims of circumstances they could not control and which have defied the ways their lives go.
John talks in an interesting way, but I can see that getting boring in two or three chapters. But, hey, I’m finally getting interested in the characters (and I’ve only read half the book).