The Bottle That Will One Day Die of Sleeping Sickness – Why This Matters.
Beautiful. Look at the specificity on display here: "Twenty-two years, eight months, and four days." Through the authority of the narrative voice, the reader sees that the chain of cause and effect cannot be effectively controlled by the human hand.
After all, humans are fallible, so as exact and as rigid men like Mustapha might think their system is, there are always going to be errors, mistakes, and other minor disasters.
Lenina, distraught by her unchecked and unsatisfied desire for John, gets flustered at work and accidentally misses giving one bottle its immunization against sleeping sickness. The story then halts for a minute while the narrative reveals this: "Twenty-two years, eight months, and four days from that moment, a promising young Alpha-Minus administrator at Mwanza-Mwanza was to die of trypanosomiasis – the first case for over half a century“ (186).
While this passage is horrifying, it's also hopeful, – Lenina, in making this error, has proven herself more human than machine.
But mostly, we're impressed with the fact that Huxley didn't tell us this in the subsequent paragraph, so maybe that's the real achievement here, gorgeous literary artistry aside.
Basically everything you see capitalized has something to do with Huxley setting up an atmosphere for his tale.
Assignment: You and a partner (if you so desire) write a level 3 question about the novel, based on this quote. Answer the question completely.