Although she may not acknowledge it, Lenina rebels against her conditioning for sexual promiscuity, the belief that “every one belongs to every one else.” At the onset, she is continuing an unconventionally long and exclusive sexual relationship with Henry Foster. Even in returning to normal sexual behavior, she again rebels, choosing the socially misfit Bernard Marx. Without completely understanding her motivations, Lenina explores the emotional territory outside recreational sex with far more daring than Bernard, the supposed rebel.
Lenina’s relationship with John brings her to an emotional, physical, but not intellectual experience of love, while her unaccustomed vulnerability makes her the victim of John’s violence twice. She represents the rare potential to see beyond conditioning, but cannot live freely.