Across the Universe Content

  • 1 Bi***
  • 2 Damn
  • 1 A**hole
  • 7 God
  • Then there were also the use of made up words
    • 7 Shite (which is a British profanity)
    • Many uses of the word "Frex"
    • A couple of uses of the word Chutz, including things like "He's thinking with his chutz instead of his brain."
  • Going into and out of the frozen state is painful.  It is somewhat described and kind of gross.
  • Mention of a girl who killed herself because she couldn't stand living on the Godspeed anymore.
  • Someone is killing the frozen people, flipping off the switch causing people to drown in their own liquid.
  • A major character kills himself by purposefully ejecting himself into space.
  • The doctor and leader kill the elderly people by an overdose of a drug.
  • There is a fairly detailed attempted rape.  (described more below)
Sexual Content:
  • People are naked when they are frozen
  • Amy mentions that the last person to see her naked was her boyfriend the night she found out she was leaving.
  • When Elder sees Amy in the frozen box, he notices her breasts and thinks about how "lush" they are.
  • Mating is regulated (to control incest and reproduction).  They only have a mating season once every twenty years.  During this time, many of the people (who are basically mindless drones) have sex repeatedly and wherever they happen to be at the time, all over the ship, and in plain sight.  (more details below)
  • Elder thinks about how even though he's not in his season, what he'd like to do with Amy.
  • Elder about Amy, "All I want to do is seize her, crush her, feel her lips with mine."
  • Amy and Elder kiss.
  • Amy mentions that she and her boyfriend on earth had been together, "really together" before she left.  One time.

Other Notables:
  • There is no diversity on the Godspeed.  No race, no religion.  All are olive-skinned, brown eyed and believe religions was a silly myth. (This is challenged by Amy)

Details on the sexual content:  (spoilers)
  • Most of the people aboard the Godspeed are basically emotionless, drones.  They are given drugs to keep them from having any real emotions.  Then, when it is time for them to mate, they are given hormones which make them lustful.  They have no inhibitions about sex or nakedness.  They will have sex anywhere and everywhere during the few days of the season.  They all seem to be paired, not having sex with just anyone (though this isn't really clear).  They are all in their twenties.  All of this is very remote and not sensual.  Amy is appalled by this behavior, and tries to explain how this is not normal.  But the people on the ship are so brainwashed that they don't understand.  Some of the people, who are not drugged, start to see that it isn't normal.  By the end of the book, the people in charge stop giving the drugs, and realize that what they were doing was wrong.
  • Amy and Elder are walking together in the garden during the season when they see a couple on a bench "really going at it.  The man's got one hand up the woman's shirt, another down her pants."  Then they start taking off their clothes.
  • Amy sees people having sex all over the ship, sometimes having to step over them to get where she needs to be.  "...the only sounds drifting through it are the pants and grunts of the people mating behind the bushes, at the base of the trees, at the foot of the statue, right in the middle of the path.  I have to step over squirming sweaty bodies to enter the hospital.
  • Three men who are doped up on hormones try to rape Amy while everyone around them is having sex.  She screams to a couple to help her, but they continue having sex.  "The woman arches her back, digs her hips against the man she's riding....'It only hurts the first time,' she says, then she thrusts against the man, and he moans, and she moans, and they have forgotten all about me."  
    • Pretty detailed attempted rape, but they are stopped from actually raping her.  Details like: tear off her shirt, she's ashamed of being naked, shoved his tongue in her mouth, pulled down her pants, one man held her down for the others, then afterwards, bruises on her wrists etc.