Suggested Essay Topics

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1668

Chapter 1
1. Describe the attitude of the Director toward his new students, and toward Henry Foster.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Brave New World Study Guide

Subscribe Now

2. Compare the production of humans with the assembly-line process as it is used for products of the present time.

Chapter 2
1. Why is it necessary, in A.F. 632, that words referring to family relationships have been made words of ridicule and pornography? How has this shaping of language been an aid to the conditioning process?

2. Hypnopaedia and/or hypnotic suggestion is used today to help people overcome problems (smoking, weight loss, self-esteem). Create a situation where someone who is open to suggestion receiving this type of treatment could be misdirected into deviant behavior.

Chapter 3
1. Why does Mustapha Mond keep referring to the past pre-modern lives of families? Show how this is really a form of counter-conditioning and not just sensational.

2. Aldous Huxley uses the literary technique of moving across parallel scenes that change more quickly as the chapter progresses. Show how this technique allows examples of the pre-modern and modern world to be illustrated and how it also works as a device to move the novel from scientific explanation into plot movement.

3. Demonstrate how the intertwining of Ford and Freud blend the mechanical and psychological aspects of the New World.

Chapter 4
1. Explain the differences between Bernard’s and Lenina’s reactions to the sky when they are on the roof. From what you know of these characters so far, how do their differing views of the sky reflect their differing views of life?

2. Bernard overcompensates for his non-Alpha looks by being a bully with the lower castes. Why does he do this? Can you relate this to someone you know personally?

3. “Words can be like x-rays, if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything.” What does Helmholtz Watson mean? How has this statement often proven true in our own history? Is this why tyrants burn books?

Chapter 5
1. In the song “Bottle of Mine” that is performed by Calvin Stopes and his Sixteen Sexophones at the nightclub, what is the double reference with the word bottle and how does it apply to life in this New World?

2. Explain how the Solidarity Group meeting is designed to follow church ritual from various religions. Why do you think this was necessary?

Chapter 6
1. Bernard rationalizes the Director’s actions toward him. How does he turn his own feelings of inadequacy into anger against the Director? How does he blame the Director for his own mistakes?

2. Why do you think Lenina is drawn to Bernard, even though she calls him so very odd?

3. Is Bernard’s action over the Channel: (a) to truly enjoy the night sea, (b) to deliberately frighten Lenina, and/or (c) to punish Lenina for making him take her to Amsterdam and socialize? Explain your choice.

Chapter 7
1. How is the whipping of the boy and the ceremony of sacrifice a blending of Christian and pagan rites into a new mythology?

2. Imagine you are Lenina listening to Linda ramble on. What is going through your mind? What are your emotions?

Chapter 8
1. Discuss John’s affection for and defense of Linda, despite the fact of her abuse and neglect of him and her continual drunkenness.

2. How does John blend Linda’s stories and the tribal mythology to create his own religion? Why does he feel he must have his own initiation?

3. Compare Miranda’s speech as quoted in the Analysis with John’s use of her words. What kind of world does each imagine?

Chapter 9
1. Explain why you think Bernard called Mond directly, and what the plan is that he devised during his sleepless night.

2. Detail how Linda’s stories of her world have created the fantasy that causes John’s adoration of Lenina.

Chapter 10
1. Compare the first four paragraphs in this chapter to the structure and society of a beehive. You will need to include a short explanation of a real beehive to make your comparison.

2. After Linda’s entrance, the Director can only sputter a few phrases. Create an interior monologue of what could be going through his mind.

Chapter 11
1. In The Merchant of Venice (II, vii, 1-10) the three caskets, or small jewel boxes, are described. The man who wins Portia in marriage must choose the correct one. Each is engraved with a message and is of a different metal:

Gold - “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.”
Silver - “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”
Lead - “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”

The gold and silver ones contain messages which berate the chooser as one who judges by surface value only. The lead one contains Portia’s portrait and a verse commending the chooser for seeing below the surface. How does this compare to the Savage’s use of the word “caskets” for the containers of soma being handed out to the workers? How are these the gold and silver caskets, not the lead?

2. Put yourself in the Savage’s place at the feelies and imagine how he must have felt about the whole experience adding to his conflict of emotions over Lenina.

3. Bernard’s importance is from his association with the Savage, not for what he actually is. Describe someone you know who is important because of who he/she knows, not what he/she is. What is your opinion of this person?

Chapter 12
1. How does the Savage compare his situation to Romeo and romantically view Lenina as Juliet?

2. There have been many historical instances of leaders burning books in an attempt to keep socially rebellious ideas from spreading into society. One is Hitler’s burning of books. A modern novel based on this idea is Fahrenheit 451. Why and how are words dangerous?

3. How has Bernard become a double outcast by his society? By Helmholtz and the Savage?

Chapter 13
1. In Greek mythology, the sculptor Pygmalion creates a statue of the perfect woman, then falls in love with her. He prays to Venus to send him love. When he returns from the temple, his beautiful statue has become his beautiful and loving wife. Compare and contrast this myth and its outcome to the woman John wants Lenina to be and its probable outcome.

2. Is Lenina wrong in her approach to John in light of the society in which she has grown up? How has this led to her misunderstanding of him?

Chapter 14
1. Keeping Linda in her soma dreams even though it will bring about her death more quickly raises ethical questions about patient treatment. Is it ethical to do what makes a dying patient comfortable, even if it hastens that person’s death?

2. Compare and contrast the Savage’s attitude about Linda’s dying with that of the nurse and the children. Keep in mind this is not a question of right or wrong, but of a difference of cultures.

3. Discuss how Linda’s lack of recognition of her own son leads to his further feeling of rejection.

Chapter 15
1. Discuss why the words of the Savage have no effect on the Delta twins. What is the only thing that moves them to action, and why is his, “Throw it away!” such a powerful statement for them? Remember the conditioning scene in chapter II.

2. “‘O brave new world!’ It was a challenge, a command.” What is the Savage’s challenge?

3. In Chapter X, the Director had called the Hatchery a “hive of industry.” In this chapter, the Savage calls the Deltas a group of maggots climbing over Linda’s body. Compare and contrast the two statements.

Chapter 16
1. Mond states, “and you can’t make tragedies without social instability.” What does he mean? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

2. The Cyprus experiment failed and ended in civil war. Early experiments in social communism failed because the groups were all intellectuals and no one wanted to work. Use the problems Mond described in the Cyprus experiment and show how these are typical problems in an intellectual, and therefore unstable, society.

3. Society at the end of the twentieth century seems to be more unstable and unproductive than earlier in the century. Could this lead to a Brave New World society?

4. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”—John Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

“Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t.”— Mustapha Mond

John Keats’ quote is a romantic view of the world; Mond’s is a realistic one. Compare and contrast the two. Is there a happy medium?

Chapter 17
1. At Malpais, the Savage suffered as an outcast from the pueblo. In the civilized world, he suffers from never being alone. Show how the need to be with others and the need to be alone are part of being human, but must be kept in balance.

2. Mond says that in this world there are no losses to compensate for; youthful desires never fail, minds and bodies continue to delight in activity, and soma takes care of any problems. While this may sound like paradise, is it truly the best way to live? Can a man really know that he is happy if he has never been unhappy? Include the Savage’s statement, “Nothing costs enough here.”

3. “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want Poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” Why does the Savage choose this even though he witnessed all this his first 25 years of life and thought he wanted to be done with it?

Chapter 18
1. Mustapha Mond told the Savage that he wanted to go on with the experiment and would not exile him to an island. Using this as a basis for argument, how could the major events that occur during John’s exile have been engineered by Mond to bring about what he knew would be the end?

2. Explain how the Savage uses physical punishment as a way to try to cleanse and purify himself of both societies that he has known.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial

Ideas for Group Discussions


Topics for Further Study