Brave New World Chapter 10 Summary

After Bernard, Lenina, John, and Linda return to London, the Director calls Bernard into the Fertilizing Room. The Director has Henry Foster with him. He wants to use Bernard as an example to the others. The Director explains to Henry that even though Bernard is excellent at his job, Bernard's inability to fit into Society poses a threat to their very way of life. The Director says due to Bernard's station in society, because he is an Alpha-Plus, this means he has an enhanced ability to influence others to behave as he does. Therefore he means to take the appropriate action to stop Bernard.

Bernard enters the Fertilizing Room with a bit of confidence knowing that he has Linda and John to use against the Director. He is still uneasy being called to a meeting with the Director, especially one held in such an unusual place. After establishing that Bernard had just returned from his vacation, the Director calls for everyone who is in the room attention. The Director tells those present that Bernard, who is an Alpha-Plus, has unorthodox views on recreational activity, soma, that his sex life is not normal, he refuses to obey the teachings of Our Ford, and he refuses to act in an infantile way during his free-time. Because of this Bernard is seen as a traitor to the Society, he is a person who undercuts the Order and Stability of the Civilization. His punishment for these crimes against Society is to be fired from his present position and to be sent to a Sub-Centre in Iceland. He is being sent to Iceland because there he has less of a chance of causing trouble for the Society.

The Director gives Bernard an opportunity to defend himself against these allegations. The Director would like to know if Bernard has any reason as to why he should not be punished. To the Director's dismay, Bernard tells him that he can give a reason as to why he should not be punished. He gives Bernard permission to produce his evidence. Bernard asks Linda to come into the room. Linda enters to complete silence. The others in the room have never seen anyone who looks as she does. Her overweight body and untoned skin are totally unlike anyone else they have seen. When Bernard points out the Director, she is upset at Bernard. She tells him that she would, of course, know the Director. But, the Director's reaction is such that she is unsure that he remembers her. In an effort to help his memory she throws herself at the Director calling him Tomakin. The Director is repulsed by the sight of Linda, he calls her a "monstrous practical joke." The workers in the Fertilizing Room, after getting over their initial shock, start to laugh at the situation. Linda goes on to tell the Director of how she became pregnant with his child. She tells him how she had to give birth to the child. She also explains to him how much solace the child provided her with at the Savage Reservation. The Director does not know what to do with this woman. He is angry and horrified at having her returned to him in such a public manner.

To top off his humiliation Linda calls for John. She brings in John to meet his father. John falls to his knees before the Director and calls him "My Father." Father is considered a disgusting word; it is used to poke fun at a person, not to address them in a familial way. By this time everyone in the Fertilizing Room is laughing out loud at the Director. This is just too good to be true. The workers are beside themselves with hilarity, by the thought of the Director having fathered a child. The sound of the laughter is intensified every time John says father. The Director cannot take any more of this public humiliation and flees the room with his hands over his ears in an effort to block out the sound. Bernard has had his retribution.

The fact that the Director and not Bernard had to leave in disgrace shows how Bernard is not one to be trifled with. The Director thought that he had the situation in hand. He really thought that his misstep in telling Bernard what happened to him at the Savage Reservation would be taken care of by sending Bernard to a Sub-Centre in Iceland. He did not expect Bernard to find Linda. He certainly did not expect for her to be brought back with his son. If it had not been for the chance meeting with John it would not have taken place. Huxley shows us how even those in power can be upstaged by those they felt were inferior. He also emphasizes in this chapter how just about any action against an individual can be justified by saying it is for the good of Society.

Related Links:

Brave New World Chapter 11 Summary
Brave New World Chapter 12 Summary
Brave New World Summary
Brave New World Quiz
Literature Summaries

To link to this Brave New World Chapter 10 Summary page, copy the following code to your site: