Brave New World Questions and Answers
by Aldous Huxley

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What is the purpose of the Solidarity Service, and why does Bernard feel more alone afterwards?

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Aldous Huxley's Solidarity Service in Chapter Five is a parody of the "feel-good" emotive services that some churches hold to promote religious "experiences": 

  • During this service, the congregation of higher-caste New Worlders sing hymns that emphasize that they are part of a greater whole in a parody of Christian hymns have as their theme the universality of men. 
  • The solidarity participants have a "communion," but they take the drug soma instead.
  • They perform a dance while beating on the buttocks of the people before them parodying the actions of the congregation of the "feel-good" churches in which people beat tambourines and dance and jump.
  • The frenzy becomes so great that the soma-drugged people channel their actions into the "orgy-porgy."  This parodies the people who "feel the spirit of the Lord" and fall down writhing on the floor. 

There is such a falseness to these soma-generated mock-religious activities, that once people come down from this drugged-induced communion of carnal pleasure, like Don Juan coming down from his moments of ecstacy, they feel isolated and alone again, if they are thinking people [and they are higher-caste].  So, the quest for satisfaction of the spirit goes on as it does, for example, with one who has the Don Juan complex, one who searches constantly for an end to one's emptiness through sexual acts. but is left alone and bereft afterwards.  But, only Bernard understands the twisted and absurd values of such activities; the others merely return to the ironically named Solidarity Service:

He was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began--more...

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fransico | Student

In the Brave New World, how many people attend the Solidarity Service?