Indecorous Relations


"You know how strongly the D.H.C. objects to anything intense or longdrawn." (41)

"Don't imagine" he said, "that I'd had any indecorous relation with that girl. Nothing emotional, nothing longdrawn. It was all perfectly healthy and normal . . . I really don't know why I bored you with this trivial anecdote." (97)

To whom it may concern,

Twenty-four years ago today a girl and I took a holiday to the New Mexico Savage Reservation. Soon after we arrived, the girl, Linda, went for a walk, alone. I now realize that it was that beastly thing inside of her that caused her to commit such a solecism.

She must have gotten lost or hurt herself, because when I went to search for her, she was nowhere to be seen. A dreadful thunderstorm had started. I sustained an . . . an injury but I continued to search, up and down the valley we were in. I called out again and again in desperation. I had lost my soma and, Oh Ford! The pain was unbearable.

Two weeks ago, that dreadful iconoclast, Bernard Marx, went on a holiday to the same Reservation. Ford, how I regret signing that cursed permit. There, he discovered Linda, and with her, a companion. This man was my . . . my . . . Even now my conditioning prevents me from saying this obscenitya: he was my son.

That Marx took everything from me. My job, my friends - of course no woman would dream of having me. His Fordship, Mustapha Mond, once told me that to betray the stability of our society is the worst crime imaginable. For this reason, I now go to the Lethal Chamber, to which I have so dispassionately sent members of the lower castes when their conditioning failed. I imagine it to be a feeling like love, all muscles relaxing at once as the intravenal of soma stops my breathing.

I have written this letter as a warning. Though it pained me to discuss something that occurred so long ago, others must know. Even I, a model citizen and effective Director was not immune to the possibility of random chance invading my life and destroying it. If I could go back, if I could do it all again, I should have never let her walk alone.


Thomas Trotsky

Twenty-four years earlier . . .

Dearest Linda,

Has it really only been four months since we met at the soma bar? Four months, yes and I have never felt more alive. Every time I am with you I feel as though I had taken a thousand violent passion surrogates at once.

Our singular, obsessive passion for each other goes against everything we were ever conditioned to believe. My office of D.H.C. puts me in an especially compromising position.

I am expected to be an upstanding citizen, a model of promiscuity, and yet I feel as though no other woman could give me what you have imparted upon me. My peers at work goad and tease me. Some try to reason with me. Their efforts have finally succeeded.

We planned to end our heretical affair after this holiday. I see now that we should have ended it much, much sooner.

When I went to discard an empty soma box I saw something more frightening than a deconditioned Delta. That tiny, blue, T couldn't have been more unfordly. For Ford's sake, why didn't you alert me immediately?!

I presume you have gone for a walk to clear your head. The moment you return we shall fly back to London and go at once to the abortion center. No one can know of this indiscretion. If anyone were to so much as suspect that a man in my position were responsible for this I would be banished to Iceland or worse.

I feel as though our deviant, emotional relationship is somehow responsible. All those thousands of Malthusian drills . . . three times a week, every week. All for naught. Our beloved world controller, Mustapha Mond, explained to my class of hatchery and conditioning workers that "Impulse arrested spills over, and the flood is feeling, the flood is passion, the flood is even madness." Madness is what I experienced with you. This madness will end tonight.

I have gone to the Warden to arrange for the necessary flight. When I return we will say our goodbyes and when the rocket lands we shall never speak to each other again. Banish this unfortunate incident from your memory. It will be as if it never happened.

Take your secret with you all the way to the Slough Crematorium. Perhaps one day, centuries from now, P2O5 will meet on a farm somewhere in the country. I would like to think that we would both nourish the same patchouli plant; it was always your favorite scent. Together, forever.


Your Dearest Thomas

I chose to imagine the story of the D.H.C and Linda because of his revealing taciturnity when speaking with Bernard about the relationship that led up to the doomed holiday.

I was puzzled by the D.H.C., John, and Linda's lack of surnames. Even minor characters like Darwin Bonaparte and Sarojini Engels have two names. It was almost as if Huxley wanted the D.H.C. to be an everyman, to show that anyone could fall from grace in the World State. John, like a John Doe, could have been an everyman as well, so that readers could sympathize with the choice he had to make, between living in a dystopic society and living in a primitive and superstitious society that ostracized him. I chose the name Trotsky for the D.H.C. because as Trotsky betrayed the revolution by opposing Stalin, Thomas betrayed the revolutionary World State in my fan fiction by having a drawn-out relationship with Linda. Orwell, another creator of dystopias, draws out the Trotsky metaphor in his Animal Farm in the character of Boxer the horse. I also enjoyed the irony of Thomas, whose namesake was a Marxist to the end, despising Bernard Marx. Who was ultimately a more profound revolutionary, Bernard or Thomas?

The introduction of the positive pregnancy test provided a reason for Linda to go for that fateful walk. I was compelled by what was left unsaid in the novel. The ramifications of Linda's pregnancy and my assumption that Thomas was complicit in it are massive. Thomas would have been ostracized for his uniqueness. Perhaps he was at the time Linda disappeared. Perhaps this is why he is such a staunch defender of the established order and holds a grudge against Bernard.