Each bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each rack, though you couldn't see it, was a conveyor traveling at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an hour. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight metres a day. Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six metres in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, one on the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred and sixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting Room. Independent existence—so called.
"But in the interval," Mr. Foster concluded, "we've managed to do a lot to them. Oh, a very great deal." His laugh was knowing and triumphant.
The Director and Mr. Foster are giving a tour of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre to a group of young students. The boys see how human eggs are fertilized and incubated in special bottles, since the traditional method of pregnancy and childbirth is no longer used. This description of the racks points to the conformity and inhumanity that the World State demands to keep the population growing and working efficiently.
The various Bureaux of Propaganda and the College of Emotional Engineering were housed in a single sixty-story building in Fleet Street. In the basement and on the low
floors were the presses and offices of the three great London newspapers—The Hourly Radio, an upper-caste sheet, the pale green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paper and in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror. Then came the Bureaux of Propaganda by Television, by Feeling Picture, and by Synthetic Voice and Music
respectively-twenty-two floors of them. Above were the search laboratories and the padded rooms in which Sound-Track Writers and Synthetic Composers did their delicate work. The top eighteen floors were occupied the College of Emotional Engineering.
The narrator describes the scene Bernard sees from his plane as he flies toward the government buildings in London. The enormous size of the buildings shows the extensive reach the government has over the people. The names of the newspapers, as well as their distribution to a certain caste and publication on colored paper that matches the caste’s clothing, show the stratification of the various groups. The names of the other government departments also show the strong grasp that the government has on the people; the word propaganda appears in the names of some departments, and propaganda is used in all forms of media. The state uses technology to control all aspects of the citizens’ lives. For the state, happiness is more important than truth, because happiness keeps the people in line. Therefore, the state uses the various “bureau” to manipulate the truth and keep the people happy.
The Park Lane Hospital for the Dying was a sixty-story tower of primrose tiles. . . .
It [Ward 81] was a large room bright with sunshine and yellow paint, and containing twenty beds, all occupied. . . . The air was continuously alive with gay synthetic melodies. . . . Television was left on, a running tap, from morning till night. Every quarter of an hour the prevailing perfume of the room was automatically changed. "We try," explained the nurse . . . "we try to create a thoroughly pleasant atmosphere here—something between a first-class hotel and a feely-palace, if you take my meaning."
John visits the hospital where Linda has been staying. The narrator’s description of the “primrose tiles” shows that the hospital is painted a pretty, bright color. (The narrator does not give the exact color, but primrose flowers are usually yellow, pink, blue, red, purple, or white.) The color of the tiles shows that the hospital is not totally somber, but rather a somewhat cheerful place. In her room, Linda has “all the modern conveniences.” The ward has something of a party atmosphere, where dying people receive constant entertainment in comfortable surroundings. This description shows that this society neither fears death, nor prolongs the process of dying. Instead, death offers citizens one final way to be useful to the state.
Because our world is not the same as Othello's world. . . . People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get. . . .They're so conditioned that they practically can't help behaving as they ought to behave. . . .
But that's the price we have to pay for stability. You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.
John, Helmholtz, and Bernard are meeting with the Resident World Controller for Western Europe after John has caused a disturbance at the hospital by throwing out several doses of soma and agitating a group of Deltas. The Controller has admitted that he has read Othello, even though it is a forbidden book. He, John, and Helmholtz discuss the possibility of writing a modern version of Othello. They further discuss who might be able to read it. The Controller provides a detailed description of their modern world, in contrast to the world of Othello, as a way of explaining why a modern version of Othello would not be possible to write nor to have people read.
But it was not alone the distance that had attracted the Savage to his lighthouse . . . The woods, the open stretches of heather and yellow gorse, the clumps of Scotch firs, the shining ponds with their overhanging birch trees, their water lilies, their beds of rushes—these were beautiful and, to an eye accustomed to the aridities of the American desert, astonishing. And then the solitude! Whole days passed during which he never saw a human being. . . . And so, as there was no good reason for coming, nobody came. During the first days the Savage lived alone and undisturbed.
John has exiled himself to a lighthouse that is outside of London. He has not been happy with the life and society he found in London. Now he wants to be alone at the lighthouse to punish himself, which he believes will free him from the evils of civilization. He is happy that the view from the lighthouse allows him to see signs of life in the nearby villages, but far enough away that he does not get visitors because there is nothing nearby to interest people. The narrator suggests that John particularly enjoys the verdant beauty these woods offer, especially in contrast to the dry desert of his youth.