Chapter 6

Lenina convinces Bernard to attend a wrestling match. He behaves gloomily the entire afternoon and, despite Lenina’s urging, refuses to take soma. During the return trip, he stops his helicopter and hovers over the Channel. She begs him to take her away from the rushing emptiness of the water after he tells her that the silence makes him feel like an individual. Eventually he takes a large dose of soma, and has sex with her.
The next day, Bernard tells Lenina that he did not really want to have sex with her the first night; he would have preferred to act like an adult instead. Then he goes to get the Director’s permission to visit the Reservation. He braces himself for the Director’s disapproval of his unusual behavior. When the Director presents the permit, he mentions that he took a trip there with a woman twenty years before. She was lost during a storm and has not been seen since. When Bernard says that he must have suffered a terrible shock, the Director immediately realizes that he has been revealing too much of his personal life. He criticizes Bernard for his antisocial behavior and threatens to exile him to Iceland if his impropriety persists. Bernard leaves the office feeling proud of being considered a rebel.
Lenina and Bernard travel to the Reservation. When they present themselves to the Warden to get his signature on the permit, he launches into a long series of facts about the place. Bernard suddenly remembers that he left the scent tap on at his apartment, an oversight that could end up being extremely expensive. He endures the Warden’s seemingly endless speech and then hurries to phone Helmholtz to ask him to turn off the tap for him. Helmholtz has bad news: he tells Bernard that the Director is planning to carry out his threat of exiling him to Iceland. Bernard is no longer proud and rebellious now that the Director’s threat has become a reality. Instead, the news crushes and frightens him. Lenina persuades him to take soma.


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