that day, Lenina takes Bernard up on his invitation to go on holiday
to the Savage Reservation in New Mexico. He feels embarassed when
she talks about it in public and tries to avoid the subject.
at his behavior, she accepts a date with Henry Foster, and they
go on a helicopter trip where they enjoy a picturesque view of the
city and the outskirts of London. They go to the rocket station
at Charing-T (previously
Charing Cross, the cross being taboo and replaced).
The helicopter passes over playing fields and they decide to stop
and have a game of obstacle golf.
Bernard Marx is depressed and alone, and he waits for his friend Helmholtz
Watson. Bernard is slightly deformed due to an error that a nurse made in his decanting, and he feels resentment towards the state because of this mistake.
People have had to give up a lot in order to achieve a perfect state, but he feels the state has let him down.
Watson appears and the two commiserate with each other concerning the
inadequacies of their lives.
Bernard recognizes that Watson is too intelligent to swallow all the propaganda that supports Utopia, and Helmholtz knows that inside, he had the power to reveal the truth about the ridiculous philosophy of Utopia. Both of them, at this stage, lack the purpose to do anything about their feelings.
Huxley makes a point of destroying or devaluing important sites in London,
places that he obviously holds dear, but in the Brave New World all the history is lost and the citizens have no regard for its value.
One example is Charing Cross. Historically it was the site in London of the last of the stone crosses erected by Edward I in 1291, marking the resting points of the funeral procession of his wife, Queen Eleanor of Acquitane. Today it is a key railway station in London. In the Brave New World, it is Charing (Fordian) – T.
Up until now, the book has really been like a lecture where the philosophy
of Utopia has been explained for the reader, but the plot now begins with the unusual holiday to the Savage Reservation.
We also have an inkling that the programming does not work in every case,
especially for the upper castes, for we learn that both Bernard and Helmholtz have great reservations about this so-called perfect world, but as yet lack the spirit to do anything about changing the world in which
they live. At present, Bernard’s rebellion exists in thought only, and he is still obedient to the state.
One of the reasons for this apathy is the widespread use of narcotics which
Huxley calls ‘soma’.
Pharmacologists have developed ‘soma’, the perfect drug, which is a pleasant hallucinatory drug having no side effects, but producing a sense of drowsy well being, accompanied by pleasant illusions. Utopia uses the drug to prevent the people from thinking or feeling deeply.
In Huxley’s book, Island, he suggests that drugs could provide spiritual
understanding. Such a belief was obtained from his own experiments.
Helmholtz clearly shares the same enlightenment as Mond.
He knows that the Utopian philosophy is bunkum, and what frustrates him is that he cannot see any way to change it.