Brave New World Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis
by Aldous Huxley

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Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis

The Deputy Sub-Bursar arrives with a black cash box full of the day's soma ration arrives at the hospital and asks all of the children to line up neatly for the distribution. John, realizing that this drug killed his mother, decides to free the children by getting rid of the soma. While John has his fit, the Deputy calls Hemholtz, whom he knows to be a friend of John's. Helmholtz and Bernard rush to the hospital, where John begins throwing the soma out the window. Helmholtz joins him, but Bernard doesn't, and the children and hospital staff look on, thinking them all mad.


Insects. In Chapter 4, Huxley compared a group of lower caste workers to "aphides and ants," suggesting that they're small and easily crushed. Here, we find that insects have become a motif in the novel and that groups of people are repeatedly compared to mindless creatures in order to emphasize a lack of individuality and identity.


Soma. This drug means different things to different characters. Linda and Lenina use it as an escape, the children respond to it almost like it's candy, and John sees it as a corrupting force, something that must be destroyed. He proceeds to do so by throwing the soma rations out the window (which, it should be noted, does not actually destroy the pills, but merely displaces them).

The Voice. Once again, Huxley positions "the Voice" as a godlike figure, with its commanding yet soothing message playing all around them, as if to hypnotize them. The Voice thus becomes a symbol of the conditioning that the children have gone through and of their subservience to the desires of the Voice (and, thus, the World Controllers).

(The entire section is 427 words.)