Brave New World Chapter 6 Summary

Fanny suggested to Lenina that someone might have put alcohol into Bernard's blood-surrogate. Lenina is beginning to think that Fanny is right. Bernard's behavior is odd. Instead of wanting to be around other people all he seems to crave is isolation and privacy. She is rethinking her decision to go with Bernard to New Mexico, but there is a sense of specialness in going to the Savage Reservation. Only a few people are allowed to go there and Bernard was one of them.

Bernard's need for privacy unsettles Lenina. On their first date she wanted to go for a swim and then have dinner. Bernard wanted for a walk in the Lake District. He felt the other activities were a waste of time. Lenina was dumbfounded, what was time for if not to waste. To her the only reason to go out was to be among other people and later have a sexual encounter. She did eventually get him to go out among people. But Bernard was unhappy, he would not eat the ice-cream soma instead he preferred to stay in a bad mood. He felt that being himself was more important than being in an artificial state of happiness.

On the way back home Bernard hovers his helicopter over the waves of the Channel. The water beneath them terrifies Lenina. To distract herself and Bernard from the bleak scene she turns on the radio. Bernard turns the radio off explaining he would prefer to have peace and quiet while viewing the water. These sentiments are totally alien to Lenina. Bernard feels that the reality makes him feel as if he is more himself. He wants Lenina to share these feelings but, she can't. She cannot possibly understand how someone does not want to be part of the social body. She repeats the mantra that has been driven into her brain, her whole being, "every one works for everyone else. We can't do without anyone." Bernard tells her he does not want to be at the command of his conditioning. Bernard tells her that he thought that being there would bring them closer together. He takes her back to his apartment and in an effort to be more relaxed he takes four soma.

The next day Lenina asks him if he enjoyed their night together. He lies and tells her that she is perfect, all the while thinking that she thinks of herself as a piece of meat. This is because all she discusses with him is how pneumatic, or physically well rounded, she is. Bernard tell Lenina he wishes that they had not gone to bed together. She is taken aback, that is how all dates were supposed to end. Bernard wants to experience strong feelings; passion on his own without using soma. He feels that while they act as adults at work, they act as infants emotionally. She tells him that is what Our Ford loves about them. Bernard tells her it came suddenly to him that people could act as adults at all times.

Bernard enters the Director's room with his pass for his and Lenina's trip to the Savage Reservation. The Director signs the pass and then surprisingly, he begins to tell Bernard the story of his visit to the Savage Reservation. The Director talks about his date to the Reservation who went on a hike by herself and became lost. The Director forgets that Bernard is in the room. He is reliving the experience of how he and a search party looked for her but could not find her. He talks of how upset he was about her being lost. He also admits he still thinks about it. Bernard does not know what to do, so he just stands there, listening.

The Director suddenly realizes that he has just bared a secret to Bernard. He becomes angry and suspicious of Bernard. He tells him of reports that Bernard is not acting in an infantile way when he is not at work. He expects Bernard to conform to societal norms. Because of this, the Director threatens Bernard with exile to a Sub-Centre in Iceland. Instead of being cowed Bernard is exhilarated. This threat makes him feel important because he is going against society and trying to be an individual.

He tells Helmholtz about what happened in the Director's office. Instead of being impressed Helmholtz is repulsed by his friend's boasting and self-pity.

Bernard and Lenina arrive in Santa Fe; the next day they present their permit to the Warden of the Reservation. The Warden lets them know just how large the Reservation is, how the whole Reservation is surrounded by electrified wire fences, and that any living being who makes contact with the fence is killed. While the Warden is talking, Bernard suddenly remembers that he left the Eau de Cologne tap running in his bathroom and he needs Helmholtz to turn it off. As soon as they get the signature Bernard calls Helmholtz. Helmholtz informs Bernard that the Director is telling people he is looking for someone to take Bernard's place because Bernard is going to be transferred to Iceland. Bernard is in shock. While he felt euphoric when the Director threatened to transfer him, he did not take the threat seriously. Now he is devastated. He had, at first, looked forward to facing a crisis on his own without any soma to ease the pain. Now he was angry at the Director. He did not want to go to Iceland. After the flight to the Reservation the pilot assures them the savages are tame.

In chapter six, Lenina and Bernard find that they are two totally different people with different expectations from life. Bernard is now considered a threat to the Director so the Director is seeking to transfer Bernard to Iceland. Lenina and Bernard are at the Savage Reservation. This trip sets up the plot line for the rest of the book.

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