Aldous Huxley's Americanization of the Brave New World typescript - Critical EssayJerome Meckier
When Aldous Huxley revised the Brave New World typescript (1) between 27 May and 24 August 1931, he strove to Americanize his dystopia. His cleverest expedient was to ink in additional insults to Henry Ford, so that a novel that began as a satiric rendition of the future according to H.G. Wells grew increasingly anti-Fordian. With Ford as synonym and stand-in, each new uncomplimentary use of his name further condemned the World State for being America writ large. Mustapha Mond's jurisdiction forms part of an insanely rational society for which several of Huxley's finest holograph insertions blame America's archetypal technocrat.
In the choicest of emendations herein called Americanizations, Huxley writes a new paragraph of two short sentences:
"Ford's in his flivver," murmured the D.H.C. "All's right with the world."
This paragraph becomes the last two of 15 lines on TS 49; the other 13 lines are typewritten and only tightly edited. Lives in the brave new world are "emotionally easy" Mustafa Mond boasts, because the interval "between desire and its consummation" (BNW 50) has been eliminated. Huxley added a fervent outburst from the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning to complete this vignette. (2)
Huxley's two-sentence autograph addition discredits its utterer, castigates Our Ford, and ridicules the brave new world. Despite the D.H.C.'s piety, all is not "right" in the World State. The opening pages of chapter 3 switch back and forth from Mond's impromptu history lesson to Lenina's conversation with Fanny Crowne about irregularities in Bernard Marx's sex life. The World Controller's speech to the D.H.C.'s new students about the splendors of the brave new world is undercut by Lenina's growing dissatisfaction with promiscuity and Bernard's penchant for solitude.
A travesty of religious sentiment, the lines about Our Ford resemble slogans such as "Everybody's happy now," one of many bromides brave new worlders use to reassure themselves that the World State is the perfect place. Given a bookless society of nonreaders, one doubts the Director knowingly makes a literary allusion. Nevertheless, Huxley reveals an embarrassing contradiction between Robert Browning's robust optimism and the new situation parodying it. Instead of God overseeing the universe from heaven, brave new worlders envision Our Ford superintending their affairs from his "flivver," a slang expression for a small, inexpensive automobile, hence a decline misrepresented as apotheosis. (3)
In Browning's closet drama Pippa Passes (1841), a young girl from the silk mills of Asolo hopes to improve everyone she encounters on her annual holiday. As she passes by singing "God's in his heaven--/ All's right with the world!" (Browning 15), her words confound Sebald and Ottima, an adulterous couple who have just murdered the latter's dotard husband. Stung by remorse, they atone through double suicide. Pippa's song voices Browning's "basic view" of the universe: "under an omnipotent, benevolent God, all must, at least in a cosmic sense, be right with the world," Kenneth L. Knickerbocker contends (Browning xvi). Due to the influence that Pippa's songs have on several parties during her daylong release from Ottima's husband's silk mill, "All is a hit righter."
This sense of augmented rightness is absent from the brave new world because standards have been lowered. Proof sheets substitute "All's well with the world" (PS 50) for "Ali's right," which is quoted correctly in typescript. The brave new world trivializes Browning's conception of a totally responsible God. Indifferent to questions of rightness, this supposedly utopian society only seeks wellness, "the maintenance of well-being" as Mond later defines it (BNW 209)--effortless comfort without the bother of a metaphysics.
TS 49 is partly blank. It could be a retyped leaf that ends at midpage "to fit a pre-existent following page" (Wilson 31). But TS 48 has only six typewritten lines, and TS 50 just nine. Fairly clean leaves such as TS 48-50 probably replaced heavily revised leaves, the evidence of prior revision disappearing forever. Yet even in a three-page portion already so heavily reworked that Huxley presumably retyped it, TS 49 exhibits an inspired afterthought.
As the counterpoint in chapter 3 becomes increasingly complicated, ever-briefer excerpts from the Director's history lesson vie with snippets of Lenina's ongoing discussion with Fanny and of Henry Foster's attempts to rile Bernard Marx. The Director explains that "We have the World State, now. And Ford Day celebrations, and Community Sings" (TS 57). (4) Huxley wrote in a brand-new one-line paragraph: "'Ford, how I hate them!' Bernard Marx was thinking." His inner fury is directed against Foster and the Assistant Predestinator, whom he overhears discussing Lenina's "pneumatic" charms as if she were "so much meat" (BNW 62), but thanks to a nicely ambiguous autograph insertion, Bernard also seems to be railing against Ford Day and Community Sings, perhaps abjuring the World State. (5)
Flying above the brave new world in chapter 6, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne discuss the advisability of cultivating strong feelings. Brave new worlders, Bernard groans, are "Adults intellectually and during working hours" but "Infants where feeling and desire are concerned" (TS 88). For Lenina's reply, Huxley inked in a new one-line paragraph from which he canceled the last two words: "'Our Ford loved infants,' said Lenina." To accommodate this observation, Huxley jotted down a participial phrase, "Ignoring the interruption," as preface to Bernard's next comment (TS 88; BNW 109). Lenina's remark breaks Bernard's disquisition into two parts, creating the appearance of a conversation. But she seems not to realize how foolish her rejoinder sounds. Our Ford's parodically Christlike regard is for infantility, not infants.
An addition near the conclusion of the typescript is Huxley's second-best handwritten Americanization. Self-exiled to an abandoned lighthouse, John Savage is fond of "hitting himself with a whip of knotted cords" until "trickles of blood" run "from weal to weal" (BNW 292). Three Delta-Minus land workers in a passing lorry stare "open-mouthed" as they count his strokes up to 12. At the bottom of the typewritten page, Huxley inked in two short paragraphs to record their astonishment:
"Ford!" whispered the driver. And his twins were of the same opinion. "Fordey" they said. (TS 236)
Due to this sighting, John is soon besieged by reporters and the Feely Corporation's movie cameras. The morning after sightseers lure him into an "orgy of atonement" (BNW305), the Savage, disgusted with himself, commits suicide.
Mustapha Mond disappears from the novel 10 pages before the Delta-Minuses spy John; their awe reintroduces him. The oath swearing also connects the brave new world's foundation figure, Henry Ford, with John's suicide in the final paragraphs. In chapter 17, Mond and the Savage argue to a standoff: embracing Mond's technology-worshipping future and returning to the Savage's primitive past seem equally inadvisable. The final inked-in Americanization confirms the Savage's inability to survive in, much less overthrow, the world that Mond and his fellow Controllers administer.
The twins' colloquial-sounding oath "Fordey!" acknowledges Ford's continuing supremacy. Although the Delta-Minuses scarcely realize as much, dey can mean governor, ruler, pasha. Huxley had already Easternized "his fordship" (BNW 37) by rechristening Sir Alfred Mond, a powerful, prominent British industrialist, after a notorious seventeenth-century Turkish sultan. Mond's first name also alludes to Mustafa Kernel (Kernel Ataturk), president of Turkey since 1923. H.G. Wells preferred a disinterested scientific oligarchy such as the samurai in A Modern Utopia (1905); Lawrence yearned for the preindustrial theocracy that Don Ramon and Cipriano establish in Mexico in The Plumed Serpent (1926); but Huxley feared a worldwide dystopia governed by sophisticated Western dictators wielding greater power than an oriental despot.
Two of the four inked-in emendations just mentioned appear to be very late embellishments. Huxley uses the anti-Ford paragraphs on TS 49 and 236 to bracket his novel. Unlike some emendations, which have faded, both paragraphs are written in bright blue ink--the first on a page probably retyped late in the revision process, the second in the novel's final sequence, itself not part of Huxley's original plan. Paragraphs on TS 49 and 236 are finishing touches in the Americanization of the typescript.
Few explicit references to Our Ford or America can be found in the first 27 pages of the Brave New World typescript. This suggests that the first chapter of the novel was completed before Huxley fused Henry Ford's America with H.G. Wells's worldwide Utopia as his novel's target. Once he did so, Brave New World became increasingly anti-Fordian: one definite and two possible references in chapter 1 increase to five in chapter 2; the count rises to 19 by the third chapter, where the D.H.C.'s allusion to Ford in his flivver is the ninth reference.
During the D.H.C.'s lecture in chapter 1, Ford is never mentioned by name. The unidentified narrator tries to guess the Director's age "in this year of stability, A.E 632" (BNW 3), but these numbers and letters probably meant little to Huxley's first readers. Similarly, when Mr. Forster explains "the system of labeling" bottle babies--"a T for the males, a circle for the females" (BNW 13)--the connection between the male symbol and Ford's T-Model would not have been automatic.
An indirect yet unmistakable allusion to Ford occurs on TS 6. The "problem" of "staffing" the brave new world with "identical workers" will be solved, the unnamed narrator anticipates, by producing "Millions of identical twins": "The principles of mass production at last applied to biology." This may be the hint that Huxley took when he resolved to expand America's nefarious influence. Brave new worlders inhabit a factory-like society whose workers are mass produced in A.E 632 more proficiently than Detroit turned out cars in the 1920s. Huxley reduced "principles" to "principle" (PS 7, BNW 7) to suggest that Ford lacked a full-fledged philosophy.
On the other hand, the brave new world's solution to its labor problem satirizes Wells as severely as Ford. In Anticipations (1901),Wells relied on "procreation" by those with "beautiful and strong bodies, clear and powerful minds," to populate the "future world-state" (167-68). But the brave new world has heeded Wells's subsequent prediction in A Modern Utopia: "There appears no limit to the invasion of life by the machine" (98). In the brave new world, machinery does the work of procreation. The workforce consists of machine-made products: "standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons" (BNW 6).
Not until TS 27, the bottom half of a sheet whose top has been torn off, does Huxley refer directly to the brave new world's guiding light. The Director relates how sleep teaching was discovered "while Our Ford was still on earth" (BNW 25). The implied parallel between Ford's career and Christ's ministry reveals the technocrat's godlike importance for the first time. On TS 29, one learns further that the first document ed instance of hypnopaedia "occurred only twenty-three years after Our Ford's first T-Model was put on the market," which begins to explain the significance of the letters "A.F." Divulging these crucial facts, the Director "made a sign of the T on his stomach and all the students followed suit" (BNW 27). (6) This absurd gesture confirms Ford's divine status, but the primacy of stomach over head and heart implies a faith premised on consumer satisfaction rather than spiritual fulfillment.
Much of the Americanization of the World State depends on Huxley's clever uses of Henry Ford's name. Prominent places and famous landmarks, such as Charing Cross Tower ("Charing-T Tower" [BNW 68]) and Big Ben ("Big Henry" ), have been renamed for Ford; the highest religious and temporal authority, Mustapha Mond, is addressed respectfully by Fordian titles, namely, "Our Ford" or "his lordship" (35, 37). In 306 pages, one counts at least 110 references to Ford and things Fordian. In chapter 3, with a total of 19 allusions to Ford, they come in clusters--on pages 60, 62, and 63, for example. In chapter 5, which has no fewer than 21 references to Ford, eight occur on pages 91-92. Chapter 4, which makes only one reference to Ford, may have been written earlier, before chapters 3 and 5. When Bernard discusses with Lenina their trip to New Mexico, she asks if it will start from "the Charing-T Tower" (68).
After chapter 5, the number of references to Ford per chapter evens out: seven in both 6 and 7, four apiece in 9 and 10, five in 11 and 12, four in 13, seven in 15, eight in 16, and seven again in the final chapter. But there is only one reference to Ford in chapter 8 and just two in 17, a good indication that materials in these chapters belong to an early stage in the writing process. After no more than several weeks of composition, Huxley began to complicate his parody of Wells by stepping up the attack on Ford, peppering the typescript with short phrases to invoke the American industrialist as the World State's be-all and end-all. Although three of Huxley's first six chapters (1, 2, and 4) have a grand total of nine references to Ford and thus may antedate the decision to link Ford and Wells as coevils, the first third of Brave New World still makes no less than 56 such references, compared to 28 in the second third (chapters 7-11) and 26 in the final third (chapters 13-18). (7)
Huxley caricatured H. G. Wells and Sir Alfred Mond in the composite figure of Mustapha Mond because he considered both men proponents of antihumanistic rationalization--the reorganization of society on an allegedly more scientific, more efficient, more technological basis. Such a reorganization might reverse the economic slump that had crippled Europe since 1929, but Huxley feared it was more likely to reduce human beings to machines by destroying freedom and individuality. Instead of the utopia that Wells touted in fantasies such as Men Like Gods (1923), the rationalized future would resemble Joseph Lucas's magneto plant or Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Sir Alfred Mond's industrial complex.
When Huxley visited Lucas's factory that made electrical equipment for cars at Acock's Green in Birmingham, he witnessed mass production on British soil. He had also toured Mond's Billingham plant for producing sodium and synthetic ammonia. Both visits are described in "Sight-Seeing in Alien Englands." (8) Huxley's premise is that factory and plant are foreign countries to middle-class English intellectuals such as himself. "Sight-Seeing" appeared in June 1931, when Huxley was in the throes of a massive reconsideration of the Brave New World typescript.
At the Lucas factory, Huxley saw
forty or fifty gifts sitting at a long table. In front of them an endless band slowly crawled along, carrying on its surface the constituent parts of an electrical machine. Each gift had her special function--to insert a rod, to tighten so many screws, to make fast certain wires. When the last gift had done her job, yet another magneto was ready to be fitted to yet another car. (74)
Girls were used because they could be paid less than skilled mechanics; each worker performed "one small and specialized task" without having to understand "how a magneto worked" (74).
This experience found its way into Brave New World as the "small factory of lighting-sets for helicopters" that John Savage tours in chapter 11. Mass-produced Gamma-Plus dwarfs are mass-producing helicopter lights:
In the assemblying room, the dynamos were being put together by two sets of Gamma-Plus dwarfs. The two low worktables faced one another; between them crawled the conveyor with its load of separate parts; forty-seven blond heads were confronted by forty-seven brown ones. (BNW 188)
The factory's "Human Element Manager" boasts that the workers never cause trouble. Nevertheless, John, breaking away from Bernard, is heard "violently retching behind a clump of laurels" (189).
Huxley suddenly realized that he had mistaken the national scene for the international; he was creating a modern British dystopia instead of a universally frightening one in which Ford's factories were the prototype for Lucas's plant and Sir Alfred's conglomerate. "Fifteen racks" in the Social Predestination Room, conveyors covering "Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six metres in all" (BNW 11-12), connote Ford, not Lucas; but with so few specific references to Ford in chapters 1 and 2, the novel's opening, if not the earliest draft generally, failed to underline the devilish partnership Huxley foresaw between Wellsian utopian fantasizing on one hand and Ford's know-how, his managerial expertise, on the other.
Wells's ideal of a rationalized society run by scientifically trained bureaucrats and Ford's confidence in the organizational skills that produce a well-run factory went together as ends and means. To universalize his antiutopia, Huxley realized, was to Americanize it, to become blatantly anti-Fordian. (9) In satisfying most of Wells's criteria for a "modern utopia" the brave new world shows how such a phenomenon could turn out differently from Wells's predictions. "London will be the first Utopian city centre we shall see," Wells promised (Modern Utopia 238). Huxley's focal point is also London, but one Americanized by a dramatic rise from three anti-Ford references in chapter 1 to fifteen in chapter 3.
In Point Counter Point (1928), Huxley's spokesperson, Mark Rampion, condemns "Americanization" as the deification of "Machinery and Alfred Mond or Henry Ford ... in the name of society, progress, and human happiness" (415-16). Initially, Huxley believed his archvillain in Brave New World could be a caricature of either Sir Alfred Mond or Henry Ford, hence the choice of the former's surname for the World Controller's. However, by the time Mustapha Mond enters the novel in chapter 3, he is hailed as "his lordship" (BNW 37), Henry Ford's disciple and successor--not "Alfred Mond or Henry Ford" but both. The current Resident Controller for Western Europe is named for a figure familiar to British readers, but the position he occupies relates to an American industrialist, known the world over, who had made businesses such as Sir Alfred's possible. Mond continues a parodic papal succession that makes the Ford factory and the Wellsian scientific utopia extensions of each other. (10)
Perhaps Brave New World did not begin in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre but in Malpais. TS 120-28, which provide material for chapter 8, are among the oldest surviving pages of the typescript. Unlike surrounding leaves, these pages--heavily edited, faded, some with frayed edges--were typed with a black ribbon, a telltale sign of antecedence. For most of the typescript, Huxley used purple ribbons of varying shades, the lighter or more faded the type, the older the page. (11) Between TS 120 and 128, Huxley recounts a visit from one of Linda's admirers (120-21) and dramatizes the beating she receives from the pueblo women (122-23). Linda tells her son stories about the "Other Place," the brave new world (125-26), and John is tormented by Indian boys (127).
The earliest draft of Brave New World may have started with these reservation scenes. TS 120-28 reveal that Nina, Huxley's original name for Linda, has been left behind by Bernard, not by Thomas, the D.H.C. She has had a son but remains an outcast because the Indian women object to her promiscuity. The canceled lower half of TS 122 is enclosed in a box with lines drawn through it; Nina's whine, "Oh, why did I ever think of going with Bernard?" remains legible.
One suspects that Bernard and his son John originally were to be reunited for insurrectionary purposes. Together, this duo of malcontents would disrupt the Wellsian world order. On TS A1, the rejected but saved version of TS 169 that follows TS 248 in the typescript, it is the morning after John's refusal to make an appearance at Bernard's party. John urges a despondent Bernard to reform, forsake soma, and "Play the man. Haven't you often said that you only wanted the opportunity? Well here it is. Take it." Bernard promises, "I'll do it." This could have been the start of a subversionary clique. On TS 169 (BNW211), the version Huxley decided on after opting for a novel without a hero, a "deflated" Bernard is "bitterly" unhappy to have lost his prestige as the Savage's exhibitor.
Having settled on ignominious defeat for the Savage, Huxley struck a passage in which John hints at enlisting confederates. At the end of their debate, Mond recites a long list of human miseries banished from the brave new world (old age, impotence, syphilis, cancer) and John declares, "I claim them all" (BNW 283). Mond's succinct reply, "You're welcome" originally read: "You won't find many other claimants," to which Huxley typed in and crossed out John's response: "That's where I believe you're wrong" (TS 230).
Americanizations of the typescript suggest that Brave New World was transformed from a fairly conventional antiutopia into an "amused, Pyrrhonic" aesthete's parody of one. (12) The original plan was to show heretics revolting against an insufferable Wellsian system, as happens in Zamyatin's We, where dissidents disturb the One State, a regimented society run with maximum efficiency by the Benefactor and a cadre of guardians. (13) Instead, Huxley tells a thoroughly ironic tale in which three malcontents--John Savage, Bernard Marx, and Helmholtz Watson--fail to dislodge Mustapha Mond, one of the World State's Controllers, or even to shake his confidence.
Initially, Huxley appears to have imagined Brave New World as a pro-Lawrencian tract; it would resemble Zamyatin's We, upend Wells's Men Like Gods, and corroborate Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent. In Lawrence's utopia, Cipriano, an Oxford-educated Indian, helps Don Ramon Carrasco, a descendant of Spanish conquerors, transform Mexico into a pre-Christian society predicated on "the old blood-and-vertebrate consciousness" (455). Similarly, a noble savage from Lawrence's beloved American Southwest, spouting a preference for God, freedom, and poetry, was to pose a formidable challenge to the ascendancy of technology and material comfort in the brave new world's deceptively blissful society.
By the time Huxley penned the Savage's suicide, however, Lawrence's influence, waning steadily since his death, had faded almost completely. Lawrence's excessive admiration for America may have been the last straw. Doubtless, Lawrence was sincere in declaring that New Mexico had "liberated [him] from the present era of civilization, the great era of material and mechanical development" (Phoenix 42). But Huxley foresaw no such liberation. The more he reconsidered, the more ineffectual New Mexico seemed, an eminently ignorable appendage to the real America that Ford and his ilk not only epitomized but were exporting worldwide.
Lawrence believed in America's destiny, its salvationary mission to revivify civilization. He exhorted America to "pick up the life-thread where the mysterious Red race let it fall" (Phoenix 90). (14) In a world given over to industry and machines, Lawrence continued, America must reanimate "the spirit of her own dark, aboriginal continent"; only America could quicken life's "pulse" from where "the Red Indian, the Aztec, the Maya, the Inca left it off." To Huxley, pronouncements of this sort sounded more like madness than hubris.
Recalling Lawrence in New Mexico--on the fringe, that is, of an expanding industrial state indifferent to his appeals to its "aboriginal" past--Huxley predicted his former mentor's increasingly marginal significance as a social prophet. Whether John is in Malpais or Fordian London, he never fits in, much less sparks a general renewal. On the reservation, the Savage is resented as an anomaly; transported to London, he becomes a novelty, not the World State's redeemer but its latest curiosity.
Huxley resolved not to let New Mexico furnish a Lawrencian alternative to the Wellsian future; he condemned Wells's prescription and Lawrence's antidote. In Huxley's mind, the Savage metamorphosed from courageous crusader against the World State into a ruthless caricature of Lawrence's naive overconfidence in preindustrial cultures. (15) Through John, Lawrence is Americanized pejoratively, his so-called blood philosophy emanating from Santa Fe instead of Nottingham. (16) Besides decrying the onset of a worldwide Americanization along Fordian guidelines, Huxley ridiculed Lawrence's New Mexican primitivism as a particularly pointless variation; it was an Americanization as misguided as the brave new world's, only smaller, weaker, impossibly reactionary--a ludicrous counterstroke. Once Huxley added Ford to Wells, Malpais became an even wickeder parody of Lawrence's vital community. "Pulsing with the indefatigable movement of blood" (BNW 125), it seemed certain to be an anachronism by A.F. 632 if not already an absurd impossibility in 1932.
Declining to champion Lawrence dovetailed nicely with Huxley's determination to indict Ford as the primary villain behind both Wells and Sir Alfred Mond. Huxley made both madhouses in Brave New World fundamentally American. As he Americanized London and Lawrence, the former grew more Fordian while New Mexico became Lawrencian. Huxley damned two equally unacceptable alternatives, Fordian London and Lawrencian Malpais, as contrapuntal opposites, satiric versions of the same theme, namely, aberration--a choice, as Huxley later put it, between "lunacy" and "insanity" (Foreword viii). (17)
Conceivably, TS 120 contains the first paragraph of the novel that Huxley originally planned to write:
It was very hot. They had eaten a lot of tortillas and sweet corn. Nina said: "Come and lie down, Baby." They lay down together in the big bed. "Sing," he said. Nina sang. "Streptococo-Gee to Banbury T," and "Bye Baby Banting, soon you'll need decanting." And then he went to sleep. There was a loud noise and he woke up with a start. A man was standing by the bed ...
In the typescript, the first five lines (up to "he woke up") plus three words in line six ("with a start") have been boxed in and crossed out.
Done with purple ribbon and essentially free of emendations, TS 119 stops three quarters of the way down the page once it has overlapped the lines crossed out on the much older TS 120. Bernard asks John to tell him all about his life "as far back as you can remember," and the Savage recalls that
It was very hot. They had eaten a lot of tortillas and sweet corn. Linda said, "Come and lie down, Baby" They lay down together in the big bed. "Sing," and Linda sang. Sang "Streptocock Gee to Banbury-T" and "Bye, Baby Banting, soon you'll need decanting." Her voice got fainter and fainter ... There was a loud noise and he woke up with a start.
"Baby" is a survival of John's original name throughout TS 120-28 when these pages may have begun the novel. (18)
Admittedly, the first seven paragraphs of chapter 8 appear on both TS 119 and TS 120. But they give the impression of a bridge devised to connect the reservation scenes to preceding material actually written later. When Huxley no longer wanted to begin with Malpais, he needed a frame for John's recollections: he transformed them from the novel's opening episode into a story within a story, a flashback that contains some of the novel's earliest events. If one ignores the first seven paragraphs, chapter 8 reverts to a straightforward narrative of formative developments in the Savage's life from infancy through age "sixteen" (BNW 160). The story of the Savage's early years is told from John's perspective in the third person by an unnamed omniscient narrator whose comments can also he heard throughout the rest of the novel.
Huxley did not tour Mexico until 1934; he did not visit the American Southwest around Taos until 1937. For chapter 7 in the typescript, he relied on The Plumed Serpent and Lawrence's essays in Mornings in Mexico (1927). Bernard and Lenina witness a mixture of Zuni and Hopi rituals that provide a contrapuntal variation on the Solidarity Service Bernard attends in chapter 6. As parodies of each other, Malpais and the brave new world exhibit variant forms of barbaric behavior. John's recollections, the bulk of chapter 8, make sense with or without Bernard's request for them. As John begins to remember, the narrative moves inside his mind; thanks to indirect discourse, the Savage does not speak his reverie aloud to Bernard.
Instead of reuniting Nina's son John with Bernard, his father, Huxley made John the D.H.C.'s son. Instead of providing a confrontation between a son and a father who is also potentially a confederate, Bernard facilitates John's translation to Fordian London, where he and Linda discombobulate the D.H.C. His threats to exile Bernard (chapter 6) may be another late addition, (19) Huxley's way of motivating Bernard's interest in John once the latter was no longer his progeny. The Savage gives Bernard an opportunity to take revenge on his boss and avoid being sent to Iceland. However, after John has called the D.H.C. "My Father" (BNW 178), he forgets him entirely, spending the rest of his days in the brave new world under Bernard's tutelage, a carryover from their previous connection as father and son.
Bernard Marx requests John Savage's life story in order to "reconstruct" the past. He and John, Bernard points out, have been "living on different planets in different centuries" (BNW 144). The request sounds reasonable. If they are father and son, Bernard wants to narrow the distance between them; or else he hopes to reconcile opposites--the pueblo and the World State, "a mother, ... dirt, and gods, and old age, and disease with bottle babies and perfect health until sixty." But Linda's pregnancy remains difficult to explain. She does not have a child as a direct consequence of getting lost and being abandoned on the reservation; she must have been pregnant before the catastrophe and despite having taken the usual precautions. "I still don't know how it happened, seeing that I did all the Malthusian drill," she complains to Bernard and Lenina (BNW 139-40). Linda's protestations smooth over a rough spot in Huxley's plot: he needed a natural childbirth for which Linda's getting lost cannot fully account.
When Huxley pushed back the original opening, he inked in "Linda" over "Nina" throughout what became TS 120-28. Three overlooked instances were caught between typescript and proof. "Lenina" was reserved as the name for Bernard's companion and John's femme fatale. Huxley also altered the name of "the anxious-looking little girl" whom a howling small boy refuses "to join in the ordinary erotic play": "Lenina Crown" (no e) became "Polly Trotsky" (TS 34). Bernard's Lenina first appears toward the end of chapter 1, when Henry Foster greets her by first name in the Hatchery's Embryo Store (BNW 17), but she is not seen again until chapter 3, several paragraphs after the Polly Trotsky passage (37), by which time "Nina" presumably had been changed to "Linda"
Even in the printed version, Lenina and Nina-Linda remain similar in more than name. Both are Betas. Linda informs Lenina that she worked in the Fertilizing Room, but she tells John that her "job was always with the embryos" (154), as is Lenina's. "Was our Linda originally the Savage's mother?" Wilson pondered (40). The D.H.C. recalls that the girl with whom he visited the reservation was "particularly pneumatic" (BNW 112). To make things less complicated, Huxley invented Bernard's contretemps with his boss, substituting the D.H.C.'S paternity for Bernard's and separating Bernard's Lenina from John's Nina by altering the latter's name to Linda. The scene in which the D.H.C. confides in Bernard about his disastrous excursion to the New Mexican reservation, during which he lost his Beta-Minus girlfriend, smacks of contrivance. "I really don't know why I bored you with this trivial anecdote," he concludes, "furious with himself for having given away a discreditable secret" (BNW 113).
The D.H.C. says he took his New Mexico trip "twenty-five" years ago, when he was Bernard's age (BNW 111). Because brave new worlders do not age visibly, the unnamed narrator finds it "hard" to pinpoint the D.H.C.'S age--"Thirty? fifty? fifty-five?" (3). If one assumes the Director is in his fifties, having abandoned Linda a quarter of a century ago, John and Bernard are both roughly 25. In Huxley's original conception, a less comical, potentially more heroic Bernard would have been the Director's age, that is, twice John's.
Instead of a 50-year-old Bernard returning to the reservation, this time with Lenina, to find Nina, whom he had lost there 25 years earlier, Bernard is the same age as Lenina and John. He need make only one trip to New Mexico, where he discovers Linda and the D.H.C.'s son. Lenina can infatuate Bernard and attempt to seduce John; this seduction would have been impossible if she and Nina were identical, and it would have been confusing if John had a mother named Nina and a love interest named Lenina.
Bernard and Lenina meet John 12 pages into chapter 7; he introduces them to Linda six pages from its end. Although Bernard finds the D.H.C.'S son instead of his own, this is still a useful discovery. Spying Lenina, Linda, who is all "flabbiness" and "wrinkles" with "sagging cheeks" and "purplish blotches" (138), confronts her former self. Part of a contrast in miniature between Malpais and Fordian London, Linda personifies the primitive past that John will be compelled to embrace in the novel's climactic debate. No brighter than Linda but shuddering with disgust at the sight of her, Lenina represents Mond's antiseptic alternative.
Section 3 of chapter 6 (the last eight pages) is also typed with black ribbon and may be as old, or nearly so, as TS 120-28. Beginning "The journey was uneventful" ("quite uneventful" on PS 116), these pages bring Bernard and Lenina to Santa Fe. Perhaps they formed part of the reservation episodes starting on TS 120 or were devised as preparation for them after Huxley changed his mind about commencing in New Mexico. If he considered starting the novel with section 3, the first seven paragraphs of chapter 8, in which Bernard solicits John's life story, became necessary immediately. All of chapter 7 describing Bernard and Lenina's reactions to Malpais, TS 94-119, are typed in purple ribbon and probably were written later than section 3, on which they elaborate without Lawrence's enthusiasm for Indian rites and rituals.
When Bernard telephones Helmholtz Watson from New Mexico, he learns that the D.H.C. is planning to follow through on his threat to send him to Iceland. Huxley worked into chapter 6 two preparations for Bernard's discovery of the D.H.C.'s son instead of his own: the Director's earlier threat to exile Bernard--it occurs in section 2, right after the D.H.C.'s revelation of his own trip to the reservation (BNW 114)--and the phone call to Watson. Of the seven references to Ford in chapter 6, two appear during Bernard's interview with the D.H.C. and another two are part of the telephone call. A fifth--"Our Ford loved infants" (BNW 109)--is one of the four holograph emendations discussed earlier.
The sole reference to Henry Ford in chapter 8 occurs in proof, not typescript, which is additional evidence for the primacy of TS 120-28. When the Savage asks Bernard if he is married to Lenina, the latter responds: "Ford, no!" (BNW 165). Surprisingly, Huxley's correspondence never refers to his work in progress by its Shakespearean title. Not until February 1932, a month after publication, did Huxley tell Mrs. Flora Strousse how "glad" he was that she "liked Brave New World" (Letters 358). Typescript for PS 163-65, wherein Bernard invites the Savage to London, and the latter, overcome, replies by quoting Miranda's line from The Tempest, "O brave new world" (PS 164; BNW 165), is missing. It seems incredible that these important pages were added between typescript and proof sheets. But in the pro-Lawrencian dystopia that Huxley originally started to write, jokes at John's expense were not a priority. The Savage may have been brought to London without speaking the novel's ironic title. (20)
An antiutopia that begins with John leaving the reservation for the brave new world better fits Huxley's account of how Brave New World "started out"--"as a parody of H. G. Wells's Men Like Gods" that "got out of hand and turned into something different from what I'd originally intended" (Interview 198). Prior to the Americanization of the typescript, Huxley's major model for the brave new world was the future society in Wells's 1923 fantasy. Several Earthlings are accidentally transported through time from the Maidenhead Road near Windsor Castle into another world thousands of years more advanced. One hears an echo of this in Bernard's remarks about living on a different planet in a different century from John (BNW 144).
One of Wells's Earthlings, Mr. Barnstaple, finds himself enamored of the new society, calling it Utopia, "the world of his dreams" (264). Through a series of conferences, Earthlings are taught how Utopia came about. After "nearly five centuries" of struggle (71), science and education prevailed. Wells's Utopians travel by airplane, communicate telepathically, and have solved the population problem. For the competitive instinct, they substitute creative service. Having outgrown the need for government, they go about naked, enjoying complete sexual freedom in a technologically proficient, disease-free society; eugenics guarantee there are "few dull and no really defective people" (73).
Surprisingly, Barnstaple's fellow Earthlings fail to perceive Utopia's superiority. When they plan a coup, he warns the Utopians. Nevertheless, this future society has no need for retardants. Barnstaple is the first to be sent back to his own time, a misfortune that leaves him "bitterly sorrowful" (296) yet physically and psychologically refreshed. A vacation in the Wellsian future has made him optimistic about the future of the human race.
John Savage's sojourn in the brave new world is the reverse of Barnstaple's in Wells's allegedly perfect society. The Savage's disappointment and death mock Barnstaple's heartfelt praise and reinvigorated sense of purpose. Instead of "demi-gods," males like "Apollos" for example (Men Like Gods 264, 26), the technologically oriented future of A.F. 632 deluges the Savage with regimented, pug-faced identical twins, such as the Gamma Plus dwarfs in chapter 11. When Huxley interpolated the riot at the Park Lane Hospital, khaki-clad Deltas swarm maggot-like around John's dying mother--"Twin after twin, twin after twin" (BNW 238). John fights to undo Huxley's version of the Wellsian future, not to preserve it. Having failed, he pleads to be sent away, but Mond vetoes his request.
Several of the opening typescript pages--TS 10, 11, and 13, for example are typed with black ribbon and appear worn, flayed, and as faded as TS 120-28. This suggests that some form of the lecture scene was composed about the same time as John's account of life on the reservation. Huxley began either with the reservation or with the lecture, perhaps juxtapositioning two equally disturbing upbringings--the brave new worlders' in the Central London Hatchery's Fertilizing Room and Infant Nurseries and John's schooling by Linda, Pop6, and Old Mitsima in New Mexico. The Savage may have been translated to London in time for the D.H.C.'s talk, much as Barnstaple attends explanatory conferences about Utopia in Men Like Gods.
In effect, Huxley began Brave New World twice. Both beginnings remain visible. Originally, the novel started on the reservation, then proceeded with John's London misadventures. When Huxley began the reorganized typescript with the D.H.C.'s lecture, the novel commenced in a Wellsian London that grows increasingly Fordian by chapter 3. Brave New World seems to begin a second time when the Savage arrives from the reservation. Readers are shown the brave new world through the eyes of the students on the lecture tour and again through John's as Bernard takes him around. Instruction is mandatory for Mr. Barnstaple and his fellow Earthlings, given their ignorance. With the Savage's London appearance reserved for chapter 10, Huxley had to pretend that the D.H.C.'s students, native brave new worlders, need orientation.
Jointly, lecture and history lesson parody the conferences in which Wells's Utopians outline their society for Mr. Barnstaple and his companions. They recall "The Great Confusion" from which "the universal scientific state" emerged after "nearly five centuries" (Men Like Gods 71). The brave new world has taken an equivalent time to reach perfection. Mond recounts absurdly gruesome highlights from the "Nine Years War" that began in A.F. 141; together with "the Great Economic Collapse," it ushered in Fordism, the World State. Particularly reprehensible atrocities include the use of anthrax bombs, the "Russian technique for infecting water supplies," machine-gunning "Eight Hundred Simple Lifers," the British Museum Massacre, and "the blowing up of historical monuments" (BNW 54-59).
"The reading of Men Like Gods," Huxley recalled in a 1962 lecture,
evoked in me an almost pathological reaction in the direction of cynical anti-idealism. So much so that, before I finished the book, I had resolved to write a derisive parody of this most optimistic of Wells's utopias. But when I addressed myself to the problem of creating a negative Nowhere, a Utopia in reverse, I found the subject so fascinatingly pregnant with so many kinds of literary and psychological possibilities that I quite forgot Men Like Gods and addressed myself in all seriousness to the task of writing a book that was later to be known as Brave New World. ("Utopias" 1)
Nevertheless, the first two chapters and the history lesson in chapter 3 still read best as a point-by-point repudiation of the Utopia Mr. Barnstaple admires.
Huxley supposedly preferred "constant piecemeal revision" (Wilson 30-31). That is, he produced "successive versions of typed pages," all of which he "revised by autograph emendations" (Watt 368). The novel allegedly grew by "insertions of short passages" typed or in ink or between lines, and by inclusion of "longer ink passages in 'balloons'"; rarely does one find expansions of "cancelled sections" or "whole new pages" (Wilson 35). But Huxley's letters in spring and summer 1931 suggest a major rethinking; they indicate that he undertook at least one massive overhaul of the Brave New World typescript. The modern literary masterpiece known as Brave New World is the result of this large-scale revision, much of it an Americanization.
According to Grover Smith's chronology, Huxley wrote Brave New World in just four months, "May-August 1931" (14), a remarkable achievement. (21) To Mrs. Kethevan Roberts, Huxley divulged on 18 May that his next novel would concentrate "on the horrors of the Wellsian Utopia and a revolt against it" (Letters 348). This sounds like the straightforward parody of Men Like Gods in which the Savage is brought from the reservation and, unlike Mr. Barnstaple, rebels against the supposedly utopian society to which he is exposed.
One can outline this Zamyatin-like, anti-Wellsian Brave New World. A Lawrencian Savage grows up on the reservation. Revealed to be Bernard's son, John is transported to a Utopia the reverse of the world state Mr. Barnstaple finds so attractive in Men Like Gods. Perhaps he arrives in time for the lecture explaining how this perfect society operates. Bernard shows the Savage the sights, such as the Bombay Green Rocket that fails to impress him in chapter 11. After about a fortnight, Bernard conducts the Savage to Mustapha Mond, and John delivers an unfavorable verdict. During this interview, the Savage raises the prospect of a serious revolt.
Huxley may have done most of this in the first three and a half weeks of May. That is, he had written chapter 8, chapter 1 and possibly 2, and chapter 17. Maybe he also had on hand Bernard and Lenina's flight to Malpais (part of chapter 6), John's tour of the brave new world with Bernard (chapter 11), and Lenina's abortive seduction of John (chapter 13). Chapters 1, 2, 8, and 17 contain only 11 references to Henry Ford, of which five appear in chapter 2.
By 27 May, however, serious complications had developed. Alarmed to be headed in new directions, Huxley confided to his brother Julian that a "literary catastrophe" had befallen him, due to which the past month's work "won't do"; it would have to be written "in quite another way" (Letters 348-49). (22) This refers, one supposes, to Huxley's decision not to begin on the reservation. With the force of an epiphany, he perceived a more ambitious project: condemning the future more broadly by enlarging the parody of H. G. Wells into a full-fledged anti-Fordian polemic. Instead of employing the Savage to discredit a Wellsian Mond in a dystopia that recalled Zamyatin's We, he would write as a total skeptic and dismiss Lawrence as well.
Extensive revisions were still under way a month later when Huxley informed Sidney Schiff that he was "rewriting large chunks" of typescript he had thought "definitively done" (Robert 73). "Large chunks" is a far cry from "successive revisions" of individual typescript pages (Wilson 31;Watt 368). Uncertain whether this revision would be "final," Huxley felt daunted by "great deserts of the yet unwritten" (Robert 73), including, one presumes, Linda's death scene and the hospital riot, a bigger role for Helmholtz Watson as beginning poet and aspiring mystic, and John's suicide.
Nearly three months after the missive to Mrs. Roberts, Huxley completed an enormous redoing. In a letter to his father late in August, he sighed with relief at having "got rid of" a "satirical novel about the Future" (Letters 351). (23) Between 27 May and 24 August 1931, Huxley transformed Brave New World from a burlesque of "the Wellsian Utopia" into a modern "satirical novel" of ideas about "the Future" in general. His quarrel was with the oncoming situation and all who were bringing it about.
The precis in Huxley's late-August letter to his father describes Brave New World as
a comic, or at least satirical novel about the Future, showing the appallingness (at any rate by our standards) of Utopia and adumbrating the effects on thought and feeling of such quite possible biological inventions as the production of children in bottles (with consequent abolition of the family and all the Freudian "complexes" for which family relationships are responsible), the prolongation of youth, the devising of some harmless but effective substitute for alcohol, cocaine, opium etc:--and also the effects of such sociological reforms as Pavlovian conditioning of all children from birth and before birth, universal peace, security and stability. (351)
The reference to "Utopia" with a capital U connotes Wells; "production" is a code word alluding to Ford. The appalling society results from a synthesis of bad ideas. Fordian expertise supplies the common denominator: a mechanical conception of human nature. To achieve the unity, stability, and identity that Wells's universal utopia requires, brave new worlders are invested with Freudian formative experiences in Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms. Ford's principle of mass production is applied to impart identical traumas, those involving books and flowers, for example, in conditioning centers that follow the same procedures the world over. (24)
An early version of the novel's climax, the Savage's debate with Mustapha Mond, survives as TS B1-B9 in light, faded, purple type. This simpler affair is conducted without Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson. Part of the initial draft of Brave New World, it contains only two references to Henry Ford: Mond's resolution to keep "God in the safe and Ford on the shelves" and his exclamation "Ford forbid" when the Savage asks why brave new worlders are not allowed to do things '"on their own" (BNW 272, 279). Chapter 16, the preliminary skirmish between Mond and the Savage with Marx and Watson involved, probably was written later than the climactic debate. It makes no fewer than six references to Ford, including the only mention of his autobiography: skimming My Life and Work, John concludes that Ford's life story "didn't interest him" (BNW 257).
On C1 and C2, which follow TS B1-B9 and may have been written when they were, the Savage invites Bernard to live with him in the country. "Linda died this afternoon," he tells Bernard, but does not say how. The earliest version of Brave New World did not dramatize Linda's death or the disturbance her distraught son causes at the Park Lane Hospital. Bernard declares himself willing to accompany John, provided he can get time off, a reply that reduces the Savage to violent laughter. If C1 and C2 originally followed John's interview with Mond, John's derision may have provoked Bernard to sterner measures.
Huxley demoted Bernard from virile protagonist to farcical antihero, a process that coincided with the Savage's decline from Lawrencian standard-bearer to futile alternative. Huxley transformed Marx into a smallish man with a large inferiority complex; he transferred Bernard's original physique and potential for rebellion to Helmholtz Watson. No longer intent on making Bernard and John father and son, Huxley chose Watson, not Bernard, for John's closest friend. In chapter 13, John has "made up his mind to talk to Helmholtz about Lenina" (BNW 222); his confidant in the typescript was "Bernard" (TS 179). When the Savage instigates a riot, Helmholtz plunges in while Marx hesitates on the sidelines.
Initially a minor figure, Watson is twice described as "little" (TS 95, 97). Huxley crossed out the first reference in typescript and omitted the second (Bernard's reference to "poor little Helmholtz Watson") between typescript and proof. He shrank Bernard instead. Three allusions to the excessive amount of alcohol in Bernard's blood surrogate, allegedly the reason for his smallness, are inked-in insertions (TS 83, 89, 114). Late in the composition process, Huxley bolstered Watson's role with a balloon-enclosed insertion of more than 50 inked-in words. Helmholtz declares himself "profoundly happy" with the extra latent power he feels welling up inside him (TS 172), a sign of poetic inspiration and mystical influx.
Originally, as Bernard's contemporary, Watson too would have been old enough to be John's father. In the revised typescript, where he is the 25-year-old Bernard's closest friend, Watson still gives the impression of being an older, maturer person; as his enlightenment begins, he experiences a secondary adolescence, a supplementary growth or rebirth. Although Huxley conceived Watson's expanded role late, he managed to make his importance clear by chapters 15-17, the confrontation with Mond. In contrast, Huxley compromised Bernard Marx by inserting two handwritten paragraphs in which he invites Miss Keate to one of his parties to meet the Savage. Huxley also typed in the advances Bernard makes to Eton's headmistress during the showing of the Penitentes film (TS 152-54). Before Bernard became popular as the Savage's guide, he frowned on casual sex.
Huxley wrote Linda's death scene by hand on 11 pages (TS 189-99, both sides of the pages as 189, 189(2), and so on). The absence of references to Henry Ford is not a factor. Huxley inserted this episode as chapter 14 to motivate John's attack on the Park Lane Hospital's menial staff; the attack is also a late addition but probably written prior to Linda's death scene. More of a skirmish than a full-scale uprising, the ill-fated soma riot is not the "revolt" against the Wellsian Utopia promised in Huxley's original plan (Letters 348). Huxley wrote the earliest version of the Mond-Savage debate without Linda's death scene as the pretext for the riot, probably without the riot itself. The earliest draft of the debate does not mention Linda's demise; nor is John's left hand, "bitten" (BNW 255) in the riot, bandaged. One concludes that the "revolt" was to be a consequence of the meeting between Mond and the Savage, not its cause.
Because Watson and Marx take part in the Savage's attempt to rouse the Deltas, they are brought before Mond along with John. On TS 208-11, Huxley incorporated them both into the opening stages of John's argument with Mond (BNW 256-61). But only Mond and the Savage talk on TS 212-14, which was surely written before TS 208-11. For TS 215-18 Huxley involved Watson and Marx again, breaking up the conversation with the latter's hysterical collapse (BNW 266-70). The order of composition for chapter 16 was most likely TS 212-14 (light, faded type with just Mond and the Savage), then TS 208-11 (dark purple type with Marx and Watson present), and then 215-18 (dark type with Marx and Watson included) (BNW 262-65, 256-61,266-70). In chapter 17, where the type is light purple and faded throughout, the core interview pits John directly against Mond with no else present (TS 219-30; BNW 271-83). This scene perpetuates Huxley's earliest inspiration for a debate between opposing value systems.
Huxley probably added John's suicide (chapter 18) about the time he dramatized Linda's death and introduced Marx and Watson into chapter 16. TS 200-07, 208-11,215-18, and 231-48--the soma riot, the two parts of the Mond interview with Watson and Marx present, and John's suicide at the lighthouse are all in dark purple type. TS 177-88, which relate Lenina's attempt to seduce John much as 1-330 sidetracks D-503 in Zamyatin's We, are in faded purple type; this episode must have been written about the same time as the earliest version of the Mond-Savage debate and may have led directly to it.
Building on the riot and John's arrest, Huxley energized the climactic debate with Mustapha Mond so that it became one of the finest discussion scenes the novelist of ideas ever wrote. A moderately dramatic encounter in which a D. H. Lawrence figure was to embarrass a Wellsian spokesperson was transformed into a highly charged exchange between champions of opposed and equally repellent philosophies: the revisionary world according to simple-lifers such as Lawrence on one side, the future world being concocted by Ford and Wells on the other. Instead of one alternative rebelling against another, Huxley staged the debate as a clash of inadequate perspectives the reader cannot resolve: Lawrencian primitivism versus Fordism--that is, Malpais versus the World State, life in a pueblo in the American Southwest versus life in an enormous factory.
Early and late, Huxley kept three cornerstones in mind: reservation scenes, introductory lecture on the brave new world, and the Mond-Savage confrontation. Each changed substantially as Brave New World became less a traditional antiutopia and more a satirical novel of ideas. John's experiences in Malpais do not open the final draft; nor does he turn out to be the brave new world's Lawrencian liberator. The D.H.C.'s introduction to a funny yet frightening scientific utopia is not just a parody of rationalization in the Wellsian World State; it expands into Mond's full-fledged history lesson on the Fordian world order. The argument between John Savage and Mustapha Mond becomes the novel's climactic dead end: instead of a revolution, two incomplete philosophies collide, neither able to defeat or accommodate the other.
Huxley traveled across America on the final leg of his round-the-globe journey in 1925-26. Summing up this trip in "The Outlook for American Culture," he declared that America had shown him the "immediately coming civilization" (1). During spring and summer 1931, events of the last decade coalesced for him. Huxley connected his negative vision of America in 1926 with his mounting disbelief in the utopian possibilities of Mexico and the American Southwest as they had been set forth in The Plumed Serpent (1926) and Mornings in Mexico (1927). He brought this vision of Fordian America and his increasing disdain for Lawrence's Southwest to bear on the contempt he had felt for Wells's Men Like Gods (1923).
Brave New World fulfills the string of prophecies in the opening paragraph of "The Outlook for American Culture." Huxley predicted that "the future of America" would be "the future of the world." Speculating on this American future, Huxley insisted, was tantamount to "speculating on the future of civilized man" (1). The world to come, America universalized, would be ruined by the "standardization of ideas"; "imbecility" will "flourish and vulgarity cover the earth" (9), which has happened by A.E 632. (25) "The contemporary environment ... is everywhere becoming more and more American," Huxley lamented; "it seems that the world must be Americanized" (1). Between May and August 1931, so too was the Brave New World typescript.
(1.) The signed typescript, 260 pages in three blue folders, is the centerpiece of the Aldous Huxley Collection in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin. After pages 1-248 come 12 supplementary leaves: A1, an earlier version of 169; B1-B9, a rejected version of 20-817; and C1-C2 (in Huxley's handwriting), a rejected version of text missing between 230 and 231. The typescript was "disarranged" when the research center acquired it in 1958 as part of the T. E. Hanley Collection (Wilson 28). Pages have been numbered based on internal evidence and their order of appearance in the published novel. However, material found in the printed text is missing from the typescript between pages 81 and 82, 93 and 94, 131 and 132, 132 and 133, and 230 and 231. Pages 26 and 27 are half sheets, material on the torn-off top of one leaf leading to material on the torn-off bottom of the other. Donald Watt called the typescript a "conflation" of an "early" with a "later ... hut by no means final version"--in short, "a patchwork of Huxley's first draft and subsequent revisions before he put together fair copy for his publishers" (369). This echoes Robert H. Wilson's conclusion that "there was only one later manuscript version, a fair copy for the printer, very likely by a professional typist" (29). On page 1 of the typescript, signed "Aldous Huxley," what follows is described as "Corrected typescript--the nearest approach to a manuscript version."
The research center also houses a bound volume of "Authors Corrected Proof-Sheets 1932." For "alterations not marked on [Huxley's] proof," Wilson "suspects the work of an editor" between proof and first edition (30). But discrepancies between proof and first edition, as well as between typescript and proof, suggest that Huxley could not resist revising the fair copy intended for his publishers; he may even have made changes on a second set of proof sheets now lost.
Hereafter TS refers to the typescript, PS refers to the proof sheets, and BNW refers to the first edition of the novel, published by Chatto & Windus in 1932.
(2.) Ford narrowed the interval "between desire and its gratification" (BNW 50) by making car ownership possible for everyone.
(3.) Helmholtz Watson's oath "Ford in Flivver!" (BNW 250) when he is summoned to the riot the Savage has started at the Park Lane Hospital appears to be a variation. But if the holograph addition to chapter 3 was made when (or even after) Huxley wrote chapter 15, it may be said to embroider Watson's oath, the brave new world's substitute for "God in Heaven!" Our Ford, it has been noted, rhymes with Our Lord (Baker 25).
(4.) PS 62 and the first edition have no comma after "State." The period after "Sings" has changed to a comma, after which Huxley added "and Solidarity Services."
(5.) TS 57 is a busy page that also boasts a minor autograph insertion and a successful rearrangement of Fordian material. To the Controller's statement that "Two thousand pharmacologists and bio-chemists were subsidized" Huxley appends "in A.F. 178." "Six years later," the brave new world was producing soma commercially, so this narcotic, which came on the market in A.F. 184, is nearly 450 years old. Supplying dates for the discovery and production of soma connects Henry Ford with the doping of an entire society. Originally, Huxley typed: "There was a thing called Christianity. The new and happier era. All crosses had their tops sawn off and became T's" After crossing out the last two sentences, Huxley amended the remaining one-sentence paragraph between typescript and proofs: "There was a thing, as I've said before, called Christianity" (PS 61). Further down TS 57, Huxley reinstated the sawed-off crosses for greater effect. His autograph insertion opens a three-sentence paragraph, of which the other two sentences, the original paragraph, are typewritten: "All crosses had their tops cut off & became T's. Gradually suppressed; but not before adequate substitutes had been prepared. There was a thing called God." Huxley crossed out the two middle sentences, inserting "also" after "was" in the last line. Between proof sheet and first edition, "off" was eliminated from "cut off." Changes to the sentence about the fate of the world's crosses--cancellation, reinsertion to start a subsequent paragraph--produce a more dramatic impression of God's overthrow. The revised typescript portrays Christianity's demise and the death of God as separate, sequential events. Mutilation of the world's crosses into Ts is a consequence of Christianity's demise in the earlier paragraph and the signal to abolish God in the later one. Two succinct paragraphs--the first with only one sentence, the second with two--emerge from what was originally five sentences of material. In the autograph emendation, crosses have their tops "cut off" instead of "sawn off" in the typed version of this sentence (TS 57). Huxley suggests execution, worldwide decapitations to exterminate Christianity in favor of the new religion from America. Altering "cut off" to "cut" weakens this suggestion; on the other hand, it connotes throat cutting, if not castration. That Ts, the brave new world's religious emblem, can be salvaged from crosses, the emblem they displace, is a tribute to efficiency, a Henry Ford hallmark. Crosses remind one of Christ's sacrifice; Ts venerate a secular success: the engineering, mass producing, and triumphant marketing of a commercial product. Ford's T-Model symbolizes a quintessentially American materialism. Making "the sign of the T," brave new worlders worship the person and process, both American, behind the auto's creation. Ford's technological know-how and the mass distribution of consumer goods it facilitates acquire a religious aura.
(6.) In the first edition, Huxley closes a parenthesis he never opened. Later, when the D.H.C is poised to banish Bernard to Iceland, PS 175 derivers a parenthetical stage direction: "(here the Director made the sign of the T)." Ironically, he makes this sign just before Linda and John burst in and destroy his career (BNW 179).
(7.) Anti-Ford references constitute a defamatory thread running through the text of Brave New World the way a poet weaves a pattern of imagery into a poem. Five references in chapter 2: "while Our Ford was still on earth" (25); "Our Ford's first T-Model"; "a sign of the T"; "A.F. 214" (27); "Oh, Ford!" (32). Nineteen references in chapter 3: "in Our Ford's day" (33); "the time of Our Ford" (35); "his fordship"; "His lordship" (37); "from the mouth of Ford himself'"; "inspired saying of Our Ford's" (38); "Ford knew what" (39); "Our Ford--or Our Freud" (48); "Ford's in his flivver" (50); "his fordship"; "Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford" (52); "A.F. 141" (54); "A.F. 150"; "Our Ford's first T-Model" (60); "Ford's Day celebrations"; "Ford, how I hate them!" (62); "A.F. 178"; "Ford, I should like to kill him" (63); "his fordship" (66). One reference in chapter 4: "the Charing-T Tower" (68). Twenty-one in chapter 5: "Fordson Community Singery" (91); "an immense T" (91-92); two references to "Big Henry"; "Ford ... Ford, Ford, Ford"; "Ford's Day"; "Thank Ford"; "Ford!" (92); "Ford!" three times (93); "sign of the T"; "another sign of the T"; "Ford, we are twelve"; "the shining Flivver" (94); "Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford"; "Ford!" twice (96); two references to "Ford and fun" (98); "Big Henry" (99). Chapter 6 contains seven references: "Oh, for Ford's sake" (104); "Thank Ford" (107); "Our Ford loved infants" (109); "Ford-speed" (110); "Ford knows" (112); "thank Ford"; "Ford!" (120). Chapter 7 also has seven references: "the Charing-T Tower" (126); "cleanliness is next to fordliness"; "Our Ford" (127); "Ford's Day" (131); "Ford! Ford!"; "Ford!" (138); "Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford!" (142). One reference in chapter 8: "Ford, no!" (168). Chapter 9 has four: "your fordship"; "Your fordship" (167); "his fordship" twice (168). Four also in chapter 10: "the teachings of Our Ford"; "the sign of the T" (175); "unfordly" (176); "Oh Ford, oh Ford" (178). Five occur in chapter 11: "(Ford!)" (180); "your fordship's" (187); "statue of Our Ford" (189); "Young Women's Fordian Association"; "Ford Chief-Justice" (195). Five again in chapter 12: "Ford's Day Celebrations" (206); "in the form of a T"; "the sign of the T" (207); "the golden T" (210); "Ford!" (213). Four in chapter 13: "for Ford's sake"; "My Ford" (220); "For Ford's sake" (225); "golden T" (227). No references in chapter 14, but seven in 15: "Ford!" (249); "Ford in Flivver!" (250); "Ford help him!"; "Ford helps those who help themselves" (252); "Ford be praised!" (253); "Ford keep you!" twice (254). Eight references in chapter 16: "large golden T's"; "his fordship" (256); "OUR. FORD"; "Society for the Propagation of Fordian Knowledge" (257); "flivvers" (260); "A.F. 473" (263); "Our Ford" twice (269). There are only two references in chapter 17: "Ford on the shelves" (272); "Ford forbid" (270), but seven in chapter 18: "the Charing-T Tower" (289); "Ford!"; "Fordey!"; "Fordian Science Monitor" three times (295-96); "by Ford" (299).
(8.) In "Sight-Seeing in Alien Englands," Huxley called Sir Alfred Mond's Billingham factory "one of those ordered universes that exist as anomalous oases of pure logic in the midst of the larger world of planless incoherence" (67-68), which is not as complimentary to the rationalization of society as it sounds. Huxley implies a counterpoint between "planless incoherence" and "pure logic," two equally unsatisfactory conditions. His 1927 essay "The Outlook for American Culture" contains this classic understatement: "Mass production is an admirable thing when applied to material objects but applied to things of the spirit, it is not so good" (7-8). Toward the end of "Sight-Seeing" Huxley rejected Ford's contention that the monotony of work under mass-production conditions exists not "in the shops" but "in the minds of ... bookish reformers" such as the sightseeing essayist (74).
(9.) For an account of Huxley's shift from fascination with Ford in 1925-26 to profound contempt by 1932, see Meckier, "Debunking Our Ford." Having defined rationalization and weighed its negative impact on Brave New World, James Sexton dubbed Alfred Mond "the single Henry Ford at the head of Western Europe." Mustapha Mond allegedly resembles Sir Alfred physically (92-93). In "The Victory of Art over Humanity," Huxley accused Ford of wanting to turn the workforce into robots. Huxley observed that English "motor factories are not so completely rationalized as the corresponding thing in America" but any motor factory--no matter what "faultless, logical process" it is "the embodiment of"--struck him as a "pretty depressing" workplace (77).
(10.) Ford's frame of mind is blamed for every untoward development in modern urban industrial society--technological, psychological, sociological--since the advent of the T-Model. Ford's last name serves as the brave new world's most powerful prayer and heartiest curse. When the girl on Bernard's left at a Solidarity Service asks whether he has been playing obstacle golf or electromagnetic, Huxley originally typed: "Bernard blushed and had to admit that he had been playing neither" (TS 80). Retyped on TS 81, the last nine words of this sentence remain unaltered, but Huxley eliminated the first two words before redoing the opening half of the sentence in ink to read: "Bernard looked at her (Ford! it was Morganna Rothschild) and, blushing, had to admit he had been playing neither." On PS 92-93, there is no comma after "and"; instead of "blushing," Huxley opts for "blushingly."
Huxley moves "for Ford's sake" from last place to first when Lenina replies to Henry Foster's crude inquiries about her love life since her trip to Mexico. Crossing out "Oh, shut up;' Huxley inked in "Oh for Ford's sake" while reinstating "Shut up!" at the end of the sentence, where he also crossed out the original "For Ford's sake" The result was more effective: "'Oh, for Ford's sake,' said Lenina, breaking her stubborn silence, 'Shut up!'" (TS 177). The first edition has a lowercase s: "'shut up!'" (BNW 220).
Spying Lenina at Malpais, Linda is so overjoyed that she hugs and kisses her. Huxley amplifies Lenina's disgust from "--oh, Ford!" to the double expletive "Ford! Ford!" (TS 114). Actually, he crossed out "oh" then wrote the new oath in the right-hand margin; the second "Ford!" begins the next typewritten line. In proof, thanks to an added conjunction, the distressed Lenina's thoughts run: "and--Ford! Ford! it was too revolting" (PS 138). Brave new worlders share Lenina's revulsion. Abandoned for years among reservation Indians, Linda has grown "Fat," with "bad teeth and a blotched complexion, and that figure (Ford!)--you simply couldn't look at her without feeling sick" (TS 145). The parenthetical expression of disgust is an autograph insertion. The first edition puts a comma after "teeth" (BNW 180).
Whenever Huxley crossed out a phrase that Americanizes the brave new world, a superior reference to the Fordian future already exists on the typescript page, or Huxley had a cleverer reference in mind. After Mond shows the Savage his collection of "pornographic books"--"books about God"--John asks why the Controller refuses to release The Imitation of Christ and The Varieties of Religious Experience for general consumption. For Mond's response, Huxley originally typed "they're old; they're about God hundreds of years ago, before Our Ford" (TS 220). Scratching out the last three words, Huxley replaced the comma after "years ago" with a full stop. He wanted to stress that ideas about God in philosophers such as William James are hopelessly outdated, not that they antedate Our Ford. Earlier on the page, Mond says that he prefers "God in the safe and Ford on the shelves" (TS 220; BNW 272). Huxley sacrificed the phrase "before Our Ford" because he had already done better: hypocritically, Mond privately savors texts that he restricts publicly. When Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson cannot find the Savage, they sense a crisis developing. "Where in Ford's name can he have got to?" Watson demands before Huxley cancels "in Ford's name" in favor of Watson's subsequent outcry upon receiving a call that John has instigated a riot: "'Ford in Flivver!' he swore, 'I'll come at once'" (TS 203; BNW 250). Huxley chooses the sharper oath. The statement that "There was the famous Cyprus Experiment of A.F. 475" has a line drawn through the date. Three lines further down the typescript page, this experiment is mentioned again: "It began in A.F. 473" (TS B6; BNW 263). Originally, having quoted Ford's "beautiful and inspired saying" that "History is bunk," Mond went on to celebrate a bunkless society: brave new worlders, he boasted, "have now given practical effect to what was, when Our Ford first uttered it, a counsel of perfection. The Past, the stupid unnecessary past, has been abolished" (TS 38). Huxley deleted this self-congratulatory elaboration, more than 25 words altogether. Instead, the satirist shows Ford's dismissive precept at work: waving his hand as if it were "an invisible feather whisk," Mond obliterates Ur of the Chaldees, Thebes, Babylon, Cnossus and Mycenae, Odysseus, Gotama, and King Lear--"all were gone" (BNW 38). Demonstration, Huxley felt, was more damning than explanation. When the Assistant Predestinator opines that Fanny Crowne is "Not so pneumatic as Lenina. Oh, not nearly" (TS 55), 13 words have been eliminated. Initially, Huxley followed this observation with a new paragraph consisting of an incomplete sentence: "A man called Napoleon at the beginning of the second century before Ford ..." (TS 55). This sentence subordinates Ford when the point of the entire section is to regret the ideas and individuals that the American industrialist rendered obsolete God and Shakespeare, for example.
On TS 217, Mustapha Mond pinpoints Ford's lifetime as the period when the brave new world altered the direction of scientific research: "Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness." On TS 219, a messier leaf, Huxley wrote in by hand, in the upper right-hand corner, the first eleven words of the sentence just quoted from TS 217. TS 219 (in chapter 17) probably was written before TS 217 (in chapter 16).When Huxley expanded the confrontation between Mond and the Savage to include a preliminary discussion involving Helmholtz Watson as well as John, he may have introduced the remarks atop TS 219 as part of Mond's conversation with Helmholtz. Ford's promotion of "comfort and happiness" also appears, typed, on TS B9, an earlier version of TS 217.
(11.) Wilson conjectured that "most of the typing is identifiable as Huxley's own" (28) but singled out no page typed by someone else. There are no black pages "written unmistakably later than nearby purple ones," he added (31). Having designated black pages "a kind of stratum in the history of the novel," he pointed to TS 120-28 as a sequence containing "information about the Savage's mother which is earlier than found anywhere else" (32). Yet Wilson feared that some purple typing may be older than black, whereas "differences in darkness of the purple ribbon are hard to interpret as evidence of age" (32). Nevertheless, Watt based his reconstruction of the composition process for chapters 15 through 18 largely on the different darknesses of purple-ink pages (379-80), an approach implicit in his observation that pages "with the typeface bold and clear" and with few "holograph revisions" contrast with pages of "faded typeface" containing "numerous" changes both handwritten and typed (369). I base this essay on three assumptions: (1) All the typing most likely is Huxley's. (2) Black type characterizes the oldest leaves, but in some cases these are virtually synchronous with pages in faded purple. (3) Few if any bright purple sheets predate those in faded purple.
(12.) In the 1946 foreword to Brave New World, Huxley characterized "the author of the fable" as an "amused, Pyrrhonic aesthete" (viii).
(13.) Huxley denied having read Zamyatin but seems to know We very well. In We, for example, R-13 summarizes Adam and Eve's choice in paradise: "happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative" (61). The brave new world solves "the happiness problem "by "making people love their servitude" (Foreword xiv). The question that Mond and the Savage debate is not just whether one can have freedom and happiness but which is preferable. Huxley regretted offering John "only two alternatives" (Foreword vii).
(14.) "Mexico" and "America, Listen to Your Own" are the titles of Lawrence's essays in Phoenix. If Huxley did not know these essays, he was familiar with their sentiments.
(15.) Donald Watt suggests a two-stage process: "Huxley at first thought of Bernard as the novel's hero, then switched to John as more fitting for the hero's role" (375). Actually, Huxley planned to unite a redeemer from without with a rebel from within.
(16.) "My great religion is a belief the blood," Lawrence wrote to Ernest Collings on 17 January 1913, "the flesh as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true (Letters 96).
(17.) "At the time the book was written," Huxley lamented, he found the idea "that human beings are given free will in order to choose between insanity ... and lunacy ... amusing and ... quite possibly true" (Foreword viii).
(18.) The first edition has a hyphen after "Streptocock" and commas after "Bye" and "noise" (144-45).
(19.) See Watt 380n10.
(20.) Also missing are typescript pages for most of the Solidarity Service (BNW 94-99) and for John's discussion of soma with Dr. Shaw at the start of chapter 11.
(21.) Of course, Huxley spent most of the twenties, especially the last years of that decade, schooling himself to write a dystopia. In the preface he contributed to J. H. Burns's A Vision of Education (1929), his skepticism regarding a genuinely benevolent system of eugenics and education is already manifest. See Meckier, "A Neglected Huxley Preface" and "Prepping for Brave New World."
(22.) In this letter, Aldous canceled a trip to Russia with Julian because of difficulties with Brave New World. The need to "re-write," he informs his brother, "throws me right back in my work and as I must, if humanly possible, get my book done before the autumn I see no alternative but to renounce the Russian scheme altogether" (349).
(23.) David Bradshaw concluded that Brave New World proved "problematic" for Huxley because he was "unsure" whether he was writing" a satire, a prophecy or a blueprint." (Introduction vii). Actually, the completed novel may be read as all three simultaneously, the result of intentional irony rather than indecision. Bradshaw views the post-1929 Huxley as a supporter of government by men of rational foresight ("Open Conspirators"). But Huxley's response to Wells and Sir Alfred Mond is at best a preference for rationalization over chaos--for Mond and Wells rather than Karl Marx and communism--as the way out of an ever-worsening economic slump. When John Savage is offered a choice between "lunacy" and "insanity" Huxley imbues Brave New World with his sense of the early thirties as a dystopian time of impossible choices. In the finished novel, the alternatives become happiness or freedom, Mond (Wells) or the Savage (Lawrence), instead of rationalization or communism. Huxley saw Marx and Wells as proponents of happiness and enemies of freedom. Marx survives in the typescript as Bernard's last name.
(24.) See Meckier, "Our Ford, Our Freud" 35-42.
(25.) "In the United States" Peter Firchow argues, Huxley "recognized that what confronted him" was "the future of mankind "The "next step" Huxley predicted, would be "the Fordian (that is, American) world" (128-29).
I examined typescript and the proof sheets on a Mellon grant from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in February 1999. I quote from both with the center's permission. Earlier versions of this essay were delivered as a lecture at the Centre for Aldous Huxley Studies in Munster (June 2000) and as the keynote address to the International Huxley Symposium in Singapore (December-January 2000-01).
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Jerome Meckier, professor of English at the University of Kentucky, wrote Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure and edited Critical Essays on Aldous Huxley. He coedits the Aldous Huxley Annual.
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