Hymn goes, "Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun / Kiss the girls and make them One / Boys at one with girls at peace; Orgy-porgy gives release.

Another crucial effect of soma is that it allows the user to exist only in the present. When Bernard begins to talk about the past and the future, Lenina declares, "Was and will make me ill... I take a gramme and only am." And indeed when she persuades him to take a few grammes, "roots and fruits were abolished and the flower of the present rosily blossomed." On another occasion, Lenina takes six grammes and "It would be eighteen hours at the least before she was in time again." When John accuses the doctor of shortening Linda's life by allowing her to overdose on soma, he replies that, "Soma may make you lose a few years in time... but think of the enormous immeasurable durations it can give you out of time. Every soma-holiday is a bit of what our ancestors used to call eternity".

It is worth noting that when Linda was still in the Savage Reservation she was addicted to the Savages own drug mescal. This is, in fact one of the many parallels between the two worlds (See Sample Questions). Extracted from the peyote mushroom, the drink that Linda takes contains mescaline as its principle active agent. It was this drug that Huxley was to experiment with a great deal in his later life (see Doors of Perception (1954), Heaven and Hell (1956)), but it is clear he was already aware of its effects at the time of writing Brave New World. Mescaline, as well as altering perception and producing vivid colour hallucinations, produces an inaccurate estimation of time - not to mention anxiety and nausea. It is, as John notes, soma with side-effects: "The stuff in the gourd was called mescal; but Linda said it ought to be called soma; only it made you feel ill afterwards."

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.