Brave New World

Chapter 6;

Describe the interaction between Bernard and the Director. What is the difference in their attitudes? Why doesn't Bernard take the Director's threat seriously?

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Bernard visits the Director and receives permission to take Lenina to the Savage Reservations. The Director relates a story of how, 25 years prior, he had taken a blond Beta Minus woman to the reservation. While on an excursion, they ended up in a storm, and she disappeared. The Director shows a great deal of remorse and claims that he still dreams of the incident. At the end of the story, he realizes that he has revealed emotions that he has never forgotten. This upsets him because society forbids such displays of emotion over past events, and strong emotions are supposed to be impossible because of genetic engineering.

The Director yells at Bernard for failing to conform to societal standards. He threatens to send Bernard to Iceland if the latter does not begin to conform his personal life to the demands of society. Bernard returns home and brags to Helmholtz about his encounter with the Director by embellishing the details. He tells Helmholtz that he confronted the Director and told him to go to the "Bottomless Pit," even though this account is false. Helmholtz is unimpressed, and hates the way Bernard goes from self-pity to arrogant boasting.

The Director's story expresses emotions of fear and love. Since society expressly forbids this, he realizes that he should not have told Bernard about his experience. Thus, the Director's anger towards Bernard arises from his fear that Bernard might use that information against him. The Director arranges to transfer Bernard to Iceland out of fear that Bernard might tell someone else the story. Huxley characterizes emotions as a force for both social control and social freedom. Society represses emotions to discourage rebellion against authority and threats against the world order. Bernard’s emotional rebellion adds to the rising tension of the storyline.