How does Lenina demonstrate her hypnopaedic prejudices?Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several instances in Brave New World in which Lenina demonstrates the effects of her hypnopaedic prejudices, but perhaps the most salient ones are in Chapter 4 as Lenina goes on a date with Bernard Marx. Here are some:

Everyone belongs to everyone else

When Bernard invites Lenina to the New Mexico reservation, she tells him she would be delighted "if you still want to have me."  With her words, Bernard flushes and becomes uncomfortable, asking if they should not talk about their future sexual encounter somewhere else.  Lenina thinks to herself, "As though I'd been saying something shocking."

Disdain for nature / Desire for consumption

After she and Bernard arrive on the roof of the building, Bernard draws a deep breath, looks up at the sky and around at the blue horizon:  "Isn't it beautiful?" he asks with a voice trembling with the emotion of the glory of nature.  Instead, Lenina notices nothing except that the weather is favorable for a game one pays for:  "'Simply perfect for Obstacle Golf,' she answered rapturously."

Later, when Bernard wants to be together with only Lenina by the sea and moon, Lenina is disturbed. 

In later chapters in which John has come to the New World, Lenina offers herself to him, and he is repulsed, calling her a strumpet--she does not understand why when she had been conditioned to think that promiscuity is the norm.

Class consciousness

As Bernard and Lenina in the helicopter to fly over a field that is "green was maggoty with fore-shortened life."  Then, they see two thousand Beta-Minus mixed doubles playing Riemann-surface tennis:

"'What a hideous colour khaki is,' remarked Lenina, voicing the hypnopaedic prejudices of her caste."

Disgust with the old world, its ways and values 

When Bernard acts out of the norm for an Alpha, Lenina is disturbed.  Uncomfortale with his emotion, she suggests that he take soma.  Then, when she asks if Bernard enjoyed having her, she is perplexed by his lack of enthusiasm: 

He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense.  Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and then a phrase would insist on becoming audible. " try the effect of arresting my impulses," she heard him say.  The words seemed to touch a spring in her mind.

"Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today," she said gravely.

"Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and a half," was all his comment.

At the Reservation, Lenina is revolted by the idea that John has a mother.  In fact, when "Lenina was left to face the horrors of Malpais unaided" by her soma, she is very distraught.  On the other hand, Bernard finds the mother/son relationship "wonderfully intimate."

Believing that "Civilization is Sterilization,"  Lenina is also disgusted by the unsanitary conditions of the reservation.

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Brave New World

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