What effect do the feelies have on John?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "feelies" have a profoundly negative effect on John the savage. John is appalled by nearly everything that occurs in the “civilized world,” and this includes the “feelies.” In chapter 11, John informs Bernard that the structure of the civilized world shows a level of laziness within society itself; this is evinced in the novel when he is exposed to the reality of the baby-making factory where he sees dozens of identical twins. John is exposed to Shakespeare’s poetry, and he bases most of his ideas about emotions and sex on the Bard's writings. John also refuses to take "soma," which further shows that he objects to the new world.

Lenina takes John to a "feely" (which is basically a pornographic film) titled Three Weeks in a Helicopter, where a black man takes a blond Beta-plus lady hostage for sexual enjoyment. John is very uncomfortable and completely hates the feely and all it stands for. The film does heighten his attraction to Lenina, but he still refuses to sleep with her.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like most things in the "civilized" world, the feelies pretty much leave John the Savage feeling disgusted.  This is especially true of the feelie he watches in Chapter 11 -- "Three Weeks in a Helicopter."

To John, this feelie is (in his words) "base" and "ignoble."  He thinks, basically, that the feelies are what we might call pornographic.  John's atttitudes towards love and sex have come out of his reading of Shakespeare.  So he sees women and love in a very romantic way.  To him, the promiscuous attitudes of the people are repellant.  So, of course, is a feelie that is based on sex and on the audience experiencing sexual feelings would be repellent as well.

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Brave New World

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