Brave New World Chapter 11 Summary

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and extensive experience working in the business world as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a financial advice firm.

This lesson will give a brief summary of Chapter 11 of Brave New World. We'll see what is happening with Bernard, John, Linda and Lenina. Read the lesson, then test yourself with the quiz!

Introduction to Chapter 11

In Chapter 11 of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World, Bernard Marx seems to finally be getting what he has always wanted: acceptance and acclaim. Everyone else seems to be unsure of how they feel. John is struggling with this new life and the fact that his mother is hooked on drugs. Meanwhile, Lenina is unsure of her relationship with John and doesn't know if he even wants to be with her anymore.

Lucky Bernard

The life of Bernard Marx has definitely changed by the time that Chapter 11 of Brave New World opens. Once openly mocked for being stunted in stature, he now finds no problem achieving what he wants more than anything, the company of any woman he desires. This is because he has recently returned from the Reservation with an amazing find. Not only did his boss leave a lover behind for more than twenty years but he also had a son! In the society of Brave New World, this is quite the scandal.

He openly brags about his conquests to his friend Helmholtz Watson, but Helmholtz is clearly in another place. When Bernard asks what is going on with him, Helmholtz just responds that he is sad. Bernard decides to ignore Helmholtz. After all, he doesn't need his oldest friend. He has the success of being the discoverer of John Savage and is far too busy sneaking kisses from random women than worrying about the only person to stand by him through it all.

This is especially true on a tour of Eton, then as now a place where only the best are educated. On top of it all, his reports to Mustapha Mond are full of ego, and we learn that the World Controller spends some time wondering just who Bernard thinks that he is.

Linda Finds Peace

John may be the talk of the town, but the only person he truly cares about is in another place entirely. His mother Linda is locked in a room in Bernard's apartment, going on bender after bender of soma. The doctor assures everyone that such heavy doses of the drug will kill her in a matter of weeks, which leaves John distraught. However, everyone else accepts this. After all, she is not productive in society. No one except for John really wants to spend time with her, and she seems happier lost in a soma cloud than she ever was sober. While she wastes away, John tries to adjust to society.

Lenina's Date to the Feelies

Lenina Crowne has also found that her life has changed since meeting John and Linda. She too is now more desirable than ever, but she can't answer the one question everyone wants to have answered - what is it like to sleep with John.

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