What does Lenina think about the religious ceremony?

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Lenina is initially rather pleased by the ceremony she witnesses in Malpais. She enjoys the drums and thinks that, although the place is "queer," there is nothing particularly strange or unsettling about the ceremony itself, which she describes to Bernard as being like a "lower-caste Community Sing."

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Lenina is initially rather pleased by the ceremony she witnesses in Malpais. She enjoys the drums and thinks that, although the place is "queer," there is nothing particularly strange or unsettling about the ceremony itself, which she describes to Bernard as being like a "lower-caste Community Sing."

It is the appearance of the masked dancers and their shrieking and shouting which are soon re-echoed by the crowd that first upset Lenina. When the coyote-man begins to whip the boy, she can no longer bear to watch, and she buries her face in her hands, pleading for it to stop. By the end of the ceremony, she is sobbing and wishing that she had some soma with her. Bernard's attempts to console her are in vain.

As with Lenina's attitude to old age earlier in the chapter, Huxley is careful to show that her reaction is essentially reasonable and probably rather close to the way the reader might view the proceedings. The ceremony is shocking, violent, and upsetting. However, the strength of its effect on Lenina emphasizes how sheltered her life is and how far such visceral experiences are from anything she has ever had to experience. Now that Brave New World is almost ninety years old, we may find Huxley's satire rather blunted, as our own lives become very nearly as sheltered as those of the Alpha protagonists in the novel.

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