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In Chapter 1 of Brave New World, what tone is established in the opening two paragraphs?

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notaznasia | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM via web

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In Chapter 1 of Brave New World, what tone is established in the opening two paragraphs?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM (Answer #1)

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The first two paragraphs of this excellent book give rather a bleak, ironic tone to the opening of this novel. I would argue that partly this is the result of the discrepancy between the World State's motto of "COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY" and the way that the Hatchery room is shown to be depicted as a cold and harsh place. Note the way it is described:

Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness.

Note the way in which the motto, which is apparently such a positive statement affirming concepts that we would all believe in, is then undercut through its juxtaposition to the reality of the wintery nature of the hatchery room. The coldness of this location of course ironically corresponds to the coldness of this "brave new world" where conditioning has robbed humanity of its warmth and distinguishing features.

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