Brave New World

Why does John’s grief upset the nurse? What is she worried might happen as a result of his public display of emotion? How does she attempt to remedy the situation


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John goes to the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying to see Linda. He encounters the head nurse, who seems astonished that anyone would want to see the dying or dead. Since society has abandoned individuality, they consider dying as beneficial to the population.

John finds Linda in an unconscious state and tries to rouse her. Meanwhile, the head nurse leads an entire Bokanovsky group (a large group of identical twins) into the room for their death conditioning. The boys act as if they are in a game room, and the head nurse encourages them to have fun. The idea is that if death and fun intermingle, then people will lose their natural fear of dying. When the boys notice Linda, they make fun of her ugliness and fatness. John angrily picks one of the boys up and tosses him away from her. The head nurse is upset that John interfered in the death conditioning and warns him to behave.

When Linda returns to a state of semi-consciousness, she asks for Pope. Until this point, John had been remembering the positive memories with her at the Indian village Malpais. Her mention of Pope, though, converts his memories to bad ones. Out of frustration, he shakes her in an effort to get her to recognize him.

Linda suddenly notices John's presence, but before she can speak, she begins choking and soon stops breathing. John realizes that he shook her too hard, and he runs to get the head nurse. When she arrives, they see that Linda has already passed away in her bed. The head nurse, more concerned about the death conditioning of the young boys, returns to them with an offer of chocolate éclairs. John sits by the bed and cries over Linda's death until the boys again interrupt him. He silently strides from the room, knocking down one of the boys.