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Brave New World Chapter 10 Summary

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby
In this lesson, we'll discuss chapter 10 of Brave New World, the dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley, published in 1932. Read on for a summary of this chapter, and test yourself with the quiz!

The Director's Trap

In contrast to the preceding chapters, chapter 10 of Brave New World sees us return to the rather sanitary environment of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Here, we find the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning speaking with Henry Foster about the necessity of the public shaming he is on the verge of committing. The Director says that the strange antics of our protagonist Bernard Marx (his inability to socialize and adhere to social norms) have simply gone too far. The Director feels that it is for the best--especially for society--that Bernard is exiled.

As Bernard enters, the Director makes a big deal out of criticizing Bernard for his actions and habits, suggesting that he should be transferred to the most undesirable place possible: Iceland. Through it all, Bernard is smug. Finally, the Director asks if Bernard has anything that he'd like to offer as a defense.

Bernard's Reaction

To everyone's shock, Bernard responds by calling for Linda, a woman we were introduced to during Bernard and Lenina's trip to the Reservation. Linda herself was a World State citizen who was stranded at the Reservation during a visit and became impregnated by another visitor--the Director. The woman has waited twenty years for the moment to confront the Director and gives him a piece of her mind. Meanwhile, everyone is laughing at the Director, who is not pleased with the proceedings. The Director demands to know what is behind this, as Linda throws her arms around him and declares that he made her have a baby.

Silence takes over the room. Everyone's jaws drop as they hear this strange woman describe how the contraceptives failed and that the Director, who she calls Tomakin, is the reason she has a son. She sobs into her hands, ashamed of the very word, proclaiming that she did everything to keep it from happening and saying that at least her son was a small comfort to her. Linda proceeds to call for her son John.

Brave New World cover
Brave New World cover

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