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His was a world subjected to turmoil and instability, while the World State is essentially stable, which, in turn, is not a fertile ground for tragedies.
John yells these words at Lenina as she gets naked in front of him.
And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.
And there’s always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering.
In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training.
Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. (Chapter 17) This quote is excerpted from a conversation between John and Mustapha, which takes place in Chapter 17.
And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable?
Citing his beloved Shakespeare, he addresses her as a “disrespectful whore.” It’s a line coming from Othello, where the titular character is about to kill his wife Desdemona as he became convinced she had been cheating on him.
Both instances of the use “impudent strumpet,” are misdirected, though: Desdemona was faithful all along, while Lenina had been sleeping around because the society she was raised in conditioned her to do so.
Both Othello and John see their love interest as both sleazy and beautiful, which disturbs John, since he is not able to compute feelings of repulsion and attraction at the same time. No wonder those poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable.
In fact, such contrasting feelings eventually lead him to madness and death. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy.