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"the murmur of bees and helicopters"

Telling passage from Brave New World:

Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm June sunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running with shrill yells over the lawns, or playing ball games, or squatting silently in twos and threes among the flowering shrubs. The roses were in bloom, two nightingales soliloquized in the boskage, a cuckoo was just going out of tune among the lime trees. The air was drowsy with the murmur of bees and helicopters.

All that idyllic imagery, of naked children cavorting, roses blooming, nightingales and cuckoos singing, and then...helicopters. Considering the latter usually has negative assocations - think war, evacuation, surveillance - that's a very interesting ominous tone that Huxley has flung in there.

Following up on yesterday's post, it looks like Huxley's hero has indeed arrived. Or heroine, specifically - Lenina Crowne. She doesn't seem to have quite fully absorbed all of the society's dictates. Whether or not she actively resists or even outright rebels remains to be seen, but I see some promise in her.

July 8, 2009 in Books | Permalink


Upon further review, it looks like the hero is Bernard Marx, who is more of an independent thinker than the mimetic Lenina will likely ever be. Maybe he'll bring her around, or maybe not.

Posted by: Pete at Jul 13, 2009 4:27:38 PM