Brave New World: Chapter 6

Huxley’s sixth chapter begins with Lenina wondering about Bernard. Huxley admits, “she had wondered more than once whether she shouldn’t change her mind about the New Mexico holiday…” Yet eventually Lenina realizes that this is a chance of a lifetime— a chance to see an actual Reservation, a place where undeveloped humans live.Soon Lenina and Bernard meet again, and decide to go flying. Lenina wants Bernard to take soma to curtail his poor attitude, but he refuses, saying, “I’d rather be myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.” This again shows Bernard’s “odd” sense of individuality. Eventually Bernard begins to ask Lenina about her thoughts on freedom, yet she is too conditioned to understand him. He asks, “But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina?” She, however, feels uncomfortable when he speaks about individuality and wants to go home. Later, when Bernard regrets sleeping with her so easily, he calls her an adult intellectually but an infant “where feelings and desire are concerned.” Bernard feels frustrated that he can’t share his passion for life with anyone.Part two of the chapter details Bernard’s visit to the Director where he plans to get his permit to visit New Mexico signed. The Director willingly signs it, but then tells Bernard a seemingly unimportant story about how when he was younger he too went to Mexico with a woman. Unfortunately, the woman was lost there, and the Director had to return without her. Quickly embarrassed by his personal reminiscence, the Director warns Bernard that he will be sent to Iceland if he doesn’t stop misbehaving (being alone, and such). Yet Bernard doesn’t feel at all frightened by this reprimand, but elated. Huxley narrates, “He felt strong enough to meet and overcome affliction, strong enough to face even Iceland.”Part three marks the beginning of the trip to the New Mexico reservation. The Warden tries to warn Lenina about the wild Reservation, saying, “remember that, in the Reservation, children still are born, yes actually born, revolting as that may seem.” Unfortunately Lenina is too drugged with soma to comprehend what he’s saying and never heeds the warning. Bernard, however, is looking forward to their arrival in the Reservation and away from the world he loathes. Huxley admits, “he had even longed for affliction.”