Brave New World: Novel Summary: Chapter 3
The third chapter changes the setting of the tour from inside the hatchery to outside on the lawn, where hundreds of small children play games and engage in other less innocent activities in the bushes. The Director, who instructs not only his students but also the readers, speaks about the need for "consumption." He asserts, "Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It’s madness. Nowadays the Controllers won’t approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games." Here again, it’s made known that the government, not individuals, decides what activities everyone will participate in. In this case, only complicated games which require a lot of building material are allowed in order to keep the manufacturing sector of the economy going. The "ending is better than mending" slogan is also consistent with this theme.
Yet the major shock to the reader is a result of the frivolous tone used when referring to the "erotic play" of the small children. One small boy is even punished when he is hesitant to join in. The Director quickly tells the students a little background on erotic play. He says that before and even a while after Ford was on earth, promiscuity was suppressed. All the students think this is extraordinarily funny. Today, he says, the norm is that everyone engages in this kind of activity.
Soon Mustapha Mond, one of the ten world controllers, makes a surprise appearance to the delight of the D.H.C. The Controller tells the students that history is bunk and explains the reasoning behind the banning of prehistoric books like the Bible. He says that rebellion and sadness are a result of such thinking, and any kind of suffering is not permitted in this brave new world. Mond also speaks about the outdated concept of "family." This word, now seemingly dirty and forbidden, is spoken in an almost vulgar tone. Soon he mockingly imitates a mother cuddling and breast-feeding her baby to the horror of the students who don’t even understand the concept of a mother. At the same time in a different scene, Lenina and Fanny talk about taking their Pregnancy Substitute. Obviously science has found a way to deal with their human urges. The "Feelies" are another way for them to satisfy their sexual desires without paying the consequences of a baby.
While Fanny rebukes Lenina for only "having" Henry Foster for over four months, the Controller lectures the students on the virtues of the new system, where "every one belongs to every one else." Again Mond returns to the old world, explaining its problems with instability caused by Christianity, an outlawed and condemned backward religion. He also condemns liberty, saying it was the "liberty to be inefficient and miserable." He lectures, "they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly, how could they be stable?" Obviously in Brave New World all feelings are dulled out and modified with Soma, the hallucinogenic drug with all the benefits of alcohol and Christianity without their side effects.
Soon Mond explains the need for having such stringent control of the population. He compares the revolution of wheels to the population count, saying, "Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in their contentment."
Eventually Bernard Marx, the Alpha Plus too short for his caste (due to a mistake in his creation), is introduced and characterized. He is an outcast and a rebel. He doesn’t believe in the promiscuity of society and exhibits many characteristics of the pre-Ford era. Obviously he is not well liked.
Soon Mond details the beginning of their brave new world, explaining about how the Nine Year’s War signaled an economic collapse and the rise of the one world government. Henry Ford’s Model T was chosen to represent and signal the start of this new era. The automobile is chosen by Huxley because it is the ultimate symbol of man’s efficiency, not God’s. And the new world is a tribute to man’s power, not God’s. Even the sign of the cross is distorted in this sacrilegious new world. "All crosses had their tops cut and became T’s."