A cluster of three chapters: 8, 9 and 10 as they all go together quite well, and I’m a bit over the book at this point.
In chapter 8 we get to learn all about John’s past: how he is an outsider in the reserve, but doesn’t really agree with Linda’s morals either, leaving him in a sort of limb which he solves by adopting Shakespeare’s morals from reading The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, a book he got through Popé (one of Linda’s savage lovers).
And, at the end of the chapter Bernard offers John to take him to the civilized world, here’s where the name of the book becomes significant as John quotes Miranda from the Tempest:
But the young man had evidently not heard the question. “O wonder!” he was saying; and his eyes shone, his face was brightly flushed. “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!” The flush suddenly deepened; he was thinking of Lenina, of an angel in bottle-green viscose, lustrous with youth and skin food, plump, benevolently smiling. His voice faltered. “O brave new world,” he began, then-suddenly interrupted himself; the blood had left his cheeks; he was as pale as paper.
In chapter 9 Linda gets herself high on soma, Bernard jets to organize John’s trip to London, and John falls in love with Lenina.
There’s nothing about her in particular to make him fall in love, other than she is beautiful and he has idealized women from the World State thanks to his mum’s stories while he was growing up.
Also in this chapter is Mustapha Mond accepting to take on John. A thing that seems very strange for the World State where it is all about stability, bringing someone who obviously doesn’t belong to that society is going to shake things up, and Mond as one of the big bosses shouldn’t allow that. Ever.
In chapter 10, Bernard humiliates the Director by publicly telling the story of Linda and John, while at the same time avoiding being sent to Iceland due to his unconformity with society.
With his behaviour in this chapter we really get to see what Bernard is all about: he wants to think of himself as a higher person, someone who is better than the rest by being truly an individual, when in reality what he wants is to fit in. Given the first chance to stand out from the crowd he goes for it, even when it means destroying someone else’s life.
Opinion so far
So, Bernard and Lenina are still around but John is taking more of a central role, which is actually good, he is a whole lot more interesting than the other two.
I know I should be feeling sorry for John and how he doesn’t belong anywhere, but for some reason I’m not really connecting to the guy. I guess all the funny Shakespearian talk doesn’t really help. Though that is exactly one of the things that makes the book so great and interesting. I’m a bit decided when it comes to that.
The storyline is moving quite fast now, which is also good, as all the descriptions were starting to get annoying.