Chapter 8


John tells Bernard that he grew up listening to Linda’s fabulous stories about the Other Place. But he also felt isolated and rejected, partly because his mother slept with so many men and partly because the people of the village never accepted him and especially not his mother. In addition to that, Linda had a lover, Popé, who brought her an alcoholic drink called mescal. She began drinking heavily(as a substitute for soma that she misses). Meanwhile, despite being forbidden from taking part in the Indian’s rituals, John absorbed the culture around him. Nevertheless, he is very lonely and needs to find other ways to keep himself busy. Linda taught him to read, at first by drawing on the wall and later using a guide for Beta Embryo-Store Workers that she had happened to bring with her. He asked her questions about the World State, but she could only tell him very little about how it worked. One day, Popé brought The Complete Works of Shakespeare to Linda’s house. John read it avidly until he could quote passages by heart. The plays gave voice to all of his repressed emotions.
Bernard asks John if he would like to go to London with him. He has an ulterior motive that he keeps to himself: he wants to embarrass the Director by exposing him as John’s father. John accepts the proposal, but insists that Linda is allowed to go with him. Bernard promises to seek permission to take both of them. John quotes a line from The Tempest to express his feelings of joy at finally getting to see the Other World that he had heard about as a child: “O brave new world that has such people in it(p.120,l.5f).” Blushing, he asks if Bernard is married to Lenina. Bernard laughs and tells him that he certainly is not. He also cautions John to wait until he sees the World State before he becomes enraptured with it.

Topics for analysis:

- relation between John and Bernard
- relation between John and Lenina (why does John feel so attracted to Lenina?)
- Why do the people of the pueblo refuse to accept John within their society?
- What does Shakespeare give John, why is he so fascinated by the dramas?
- Linda’s problems (new surrounding, new people…)


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