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Is it better to be happy or free?



Chapter 1:

The focus of this chapter is to set up how this world exists.

If you missed this chapter in class, you can read it or just read this summary of it.



BNW Study Guide Questions

Cast of Characters

The main characters

Lenina Crowne - A Beta Nurse in the Hatchery. Lenina adapts to her conditioning well; however, there are slight problems with her, like she is only sleeping with one man.

Bernard Marx - An Alpha-Plus expert in hypnopaedia. Bernard's issue is that he is too small (a mistake someone made while he was an embryo). He rebels against society but really just wants to be accepted and doesn't know how to do it.

Helmholtz Watson - An Alpha-Plus lecturer and writer for the College of Emotional Engineering. He is too smart and too able. He hangs out with Bernard because they are both different, but they do not really understand each other.

John the Savage - He is from the Savage Reservation and his contact with the civilized world will test whether or not this truly is a perfect society.

Secondary Characters

The Director - Also known as just the D.H.C. In charge of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. He hates Bernard and has a deep dark secret.

Mustapha Mond - One of ten World Controllers. Like Helmholtz, his intelligence is astounding. He is allowed to read the forbidden works of the past.

Henry Foster - An Alpha who works at the Centre. He only serves three purposes - to give someone for Bernard to be jealous of, to give Lenina companionship, and to spout facts and figures when needed.

Linda - John’s mother. She shows us what happens when a civilized person is removed from civilization.

Lesser Imporant Characters

Fanny Crowne - Lenina's friend. She serves as teh voice of (civilized) reason for Lenina.

Popé - Linda's savage lover. He abuses her and John, but also teaches John to be a man and introduces him to Shakespeare.

Minor Characters

Benito Hoover - An Alpha. Really good natured. Likes Lenina.

George Edzel - Another Alpha who likes Lenina.

The Warden - An Alpha-Minus. He is in charge of the Savage Reservation.

Mitsima - An Indian who tries to teach Indian skills to John.

Dr. Shaw - He supervises Linda’s care when she returns from the Reservation.

Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury - A big celebrity.

Nurse - She assists Dr. Shaw and does not understand John’s concern about Linda.

Reporter - Works for The Hourly Radio and hunts down John while he is in hiding.

Darwin Bonaparte - He creates Feelies. Wants to use images of John in his new film, The Savage of Surrey.

Morgana Rothschild - the unibrow woman in Bernard's solidarity service.

Quizlet for characters through chapter 6



Extra Credit Opportunity:

The title for Brave New World comes from a Shakespeare play called The Tempest. A character named Miranda has grown up on an island with only her father (Prospero) and an ugly servant named Caliban. When Prospero makes a storm to catch some people that betrayed him, he also catches Ferdinand. Miranda falls in love with him and upon learning that there are more people where he came from and that she can also go to see them, she says,

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in't.

Just as Miranda was excited about the new world of people, so is John the Savage in the book.

A simple prose translation of this Shakespeare play can be found at

Read this play and write a one page summary, a list of characters and their importance, and a half a page that details your opinion of the play. You may type it on a Google doc and share it with me.

Which Brave New World Caste Are You? Take this Quiz:

Caste Quiz

Which Brave New World Character Are You Most Like?

Character Personality Quiz

Extra Credit Opportunity:

Find seven Shakespeare quotes in Brave New World, write them out, and tell which play that it comes from, which character in the play said it,what it means, and what chapter of our book it is in. Worth a lot if you get a lot of them.

Brave New World Links:

Extra Credit Opportunity:

Each chapter has a book cover put beside it. Create a Google Doc, pick any five covers and explain what part of this book they show, how it symbolizes and represents the book, and your opinion of the effectiveness of the cover.




Some of Aldous Huxley's quotes:

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

Maybe this world is another planet's hell.

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

More Quotes can be found at:

Brave New World Revisited

Not exactly a sequel, but more like a fleshing out of Huxley's thoughts on the matter. If you are inspired by the set up of Huxley's uptopia and want to know his true feelings on the matter, try reading it by clicking here.

Utopia vs Dystopia


I need some content here. Be patient.








The question is, is A Brave New World a utopian or dystopian society?



For more on dystopia, see our 1984 page.

Ban This Book!

This book has had a tough history. Not everyone recognizes it as being great.

  • 1932 - banned in Ireland for beign anti-family and anti-religion
  • 1965, a school teacher in Maryland was fired for teaching this book.
  • 1967 - the book was banned in India for being pornographic
  • 1993 is was unsuccessfully challenged to be removed from classrooms, not because of the crazy drug use, but for being "centered around negative activity."

Everything is Awesome!

Extra Credit Opportunity - For a double quiz grade, write about three fourths of a Google Doc (Arial - 11 pt font) page about how the theme of Brave New World and The Lego Movie are similar.


Chapter 2:

In continuing to set up how this world exists, this chapter explains what happens to babies once they are decanted.


Chapter 3:

Background information -

Chapter 1 is all about how the babies are created.
Chapter 2 is all about how these babies are conditioned.
Chapter 4 through the end is the actual story of this book.

That leaves us with this chapter. Chapter 3 is transition from how this world works to the story. We are revolving around a few stories here, all happening at the same time, so we jump from person to person throughout this chapter. Here are the three main stories:

1. Mustapha Mond - new character. He is a world controller and he picks up telling the students things that the director would never dare to do.

2. Henry Foster and Bernard Marx - Henry is talking to his friend, the Assistant Predestinator, about Lenina. Bernard has some real issues. Try to figure out what is his problem.

3. Lenina Crowne - she is talking to her friend, Fanny, about her relationship issues. They are not your normal relationship issues.

4. The hypnopaedia lessons - they start to just pop up inbetween people's stories. These are what the little kids are listening to as they nap.

Answer these questions on your own sheet of paper:

  1. What is wrong with the little boy (he needs to be checked out by the psychologist)?
  2. What is a feelie?
  3. What is the psychological name for Ford?
  4. With whom is Lenina going on a date?
  5. What bad thing is Lenina doing?
  6. Who wants to take Lenina to a savage reservation?
  7. Physically, what is wrong with this person (the person who wants to take Lenina to a savage reservation)?
  8. What is the perfect drug?



Chapter 4:

Possible quiz questions:

* What do they use to get around?
* What made Bernard embarrassed?
* Who does Bernard go to see?
* What criticism is there of the man that Bernard goes to see?
* What does Bernard thinks he hears?



Chapter 5:


Here we see how this society replaces the need for religion. It is a dirty chapter. You may wish to only read with one eye.


After reading this chapter, you may start wondering what the heck I'm doing assigning this book! Now would be a great time to look at the message of Brave New World.


Chapter 6:

As you read:

Play close attention to the Director's story that he tells Bernard.

Possible quiz questions:

* What does Bernard want to do with Lenina?
* What does Bernard take Lenina to see that horrifies her?
* What does Bernard wish had not happened at the end of their date?
* Who else went to the New Mexico reservation 20 years ago?
* What happened there 20 years ago?
* What is Bernard worried about when they reach the reservation?
* What is the DHC's plan for Bernard?



Chapter 7

While You Read:

We finally get to know the last of the main characters - John the Savage. His story now takes over the plot of the book.

Things of Interest:

Linda talks about trying to teach the savages basic nursery rhymes and repeats this one:

Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T,
to see a fine bathroom and W.C.

which is just a version of this once popular one from our own time:

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

Chapter 7 Assignment:

MSL-Style practice questions



Chapter 8



John gives us the title here. In Shakespeare's The Tempest, a young woman named Miranda grew up on a deserted island with nobody else except her father and a misshapen servant. When she sees the first mana nd realizes that there is a whole world out there with people like him in it, she exclaims, "O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!"


Chapter 9

Pay attention to the italicized quotes. These are all from the Shakespeare book that Popé gives John. It is John's way of processing mentally what is happening around him, much like Lenina pops out with the hypnopaedic proverbs as a way to cope with her surroundings.


Chapter 10

The Director has a very bad day.

Chapter 11

Answer these questions:

  1. What happens to the Director?
  2. Why do the people hate Linda the most? She's...
    a. a mother
    b. been deconditioned
    c. ugly
    d. clingy
  3. How is Linda going to die?
  4. What do people want from Bernard?
  5. Who potentially poses a threat to Bernard now?
  6. What freaks John the most about the civilized world?
  7. What are sterilized girls called?
  8. What is in the caskets?
  9. Where does Lenina take John?
  10. What does John compare Three Weeks in a Helicopter to?

*Extra Credit* How many girls did Bernard have last week?



Chapter 12

Possible quiz questions:

* Why is Bernard upset with John?
* What does Bernard do when everyone leaves?
* What is John reading?
* What decision does Mustapha Mond make about the paper?
* What are Bernard's two feelings about Helmholtz's forgiveness?
* What is Helmholtz's rhyme about?
* How does Helmholtz upset John?



Chapter 13



Possible quiz questions:

  • Who comes to John's room?
  • Who does he think it is going to be?
  • What household chore does John suggest he would do in order to prove his worth to Lenina?
  • How does Lenina get hurt?
  • What is told to John over the phone that makes him leave Lenina?

Chapter 14

Things of Interest:

Linda is watching the South American Riemann-Surface Tennis Championship. This is tennis played on a riemann surface, a math oddity that would make this near impossible to play on and build. There is a possible riemann-surface to the right.

Possible quiz questions:

  • What is Park Lane Hospital for?
  • Is there hope for Lenina?
  • Does Linda recognize John at first?
  • Who/What comes into the area where John and Linda are?
  • What does John do that brings the Head Nurse in to yell at him?
  • Who does Linda think John is after she wakes up?
  • What does John think he did?



Chapter 15

This is the big one. John just watched his mother die while she thought he was Popè and surrounded by several identical little Delta boys. He is going to lose it.

The climax of the novel is here when John starts the riot.

Possible Quiz Questions:

  • Who are standing in line?
  • What are they standing in line for?
  • What Shakespeare quote does John keep repeating? Where is it from?
  • What does John do that sets off the Deltas?
  • Who joins in on John's side in the fight?
  • What does Bernard get shot with?
  • What kind of gas do the police use to quiet the crowd?
  • When asked if he was a friend of the savage, how does Bernard reply?



Chapter 16

Mustapha Mond does a lot of talking in this chapter. What you really need to pay attention to is this:

  • what does being sent to an island really mean?
  • what does Mustapha Mond think about Helmholtz's ideas?
  • what happens to Helmholtz and Bernard?
  • why doesn't John go with them?


Chapter 17


Chapter 18


Know this for the test:

O.K., I do not have time to set this up just now. Here is an old test I gave back in 2005. Eat your heart out. It is likely that I will give you something similar on the test Friday.

Old Test


Need more help understanding this book before the test? Try watching this animated summary from Spark Notes:

Brave New World concept as described by Phineas and Ferb:

I don't know what this comic is all about, but it was obviously title-inspired by Brave New World:


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