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Brave New World | Chapter 7


Summary of chapter VII

The Indian guide leads Bernard and Lenina into the Pueblo.They are immediately assaulted by the smells and the sight of two woman nursing. Since there is no live birth in their society, Lenina finds the scene disgusting. She then discovers that she forgot her soma, as did Bernard his, and so she is forced to see the village consciously rather than through the veil of the narotic. Bernard and Lenina are made to watch a ritual dance of sacrifice to the gods Pookong and Jesus. A pile of snakes is made in the center of the Pueblo square and a young man slowly proceeds around the pile. While walking, the young man is whipped, and he eventually falls and dies.

After the ritual they both meet a blond haired man with blue eyes. The savage (called John by his mother) explains to them that he was born to a woman like Lenina who had been saved by some hunters. Bernard concludes that John Savage's mother must have been the same woman the Directors took to the reservation over twenty-five years earlier.

They then meet with Linda, John's mother, and she is overcome with joy at seeing civilized people again. She complains that there is too much dirt, and that she was forced to drink mescal (alcohol) in place of soma. Lenina is disgusted by her, but feels forced to listen. Linda explains that she used to let the men come to her, as civilized people should, but that all the other women got mad. Linda also describes how hard she struggled to condition John but seemed to fail. She concludes that John spent too much time with the Indians to truly become civilized. She describes the Indian way of life as madness.


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