John Versus Bernard In Brave New World
In Brave New World, the dystopian world is made up of levels of humans who, from the making, are told what to think and how to act. Literally. Bernard, an Alpha male who doesn’t fit into the society, is unhappy with his life. John, a “savage” who was born from two Alpha’s and has been living in the Savage Reservation, thinks the new world is truly despicable. Although the two of them had a shared hate for the society, their views on the world and how they reacted were completely different.
Bernard, being self-conscious about how he looked, began to act as a kind of recluse among his fellow Alphas. When he got jealous or started feeling any emotions, he expressed them rather than taking soma, like the rest of the society. The fact that he didn’t take soma and that he had different opinions than the rest of his group members led to the Alpha’s rejecting him and calling him things like ‘strange’ and ‘weird’. Of course, this meant he was rejected from such activities like sleeping with several females as the other males did, and he got jealous, which riled him up. He often vented his feelings to his one and only friend, Helmholtz. He often bragged about his accomplishments and exaggerated greatly, leading to his friend disliking such things about him.
John was the son of the Director and Linda and was born in the Savage Reservation. He wasn’t accepted in the society of the savages because of his mother being a “whore” and his skin color. He knew little about the outside world and only came to know of it when Lenina and Bernard took him and his mother out of the Savage Reservation. He was a spectacle among spectacles. He was born rather than created, belonging to no group, and acting and thinking like a savage. From the moment he arrived he did not like the society his mother and father had been raised in: no children, no sense of having something that’s your own, a oneness that you share with your entire caste with no personal identity.
Although both males had a liking and a hatred for the society they lived in, their reasons and ways of thinking completely changed. Bernard hated the society because he simply didn’t fit in. However, when he brought John back with him from the Savage Reservation and got famous and ladies, he began to love the society he lived in and even took several doses of soma. John on the other hand first found the society amazing; technology he had never seen, beautiful girls, such as Lenina, sports, and wonders he had never been shown in the Savage Reservation. However, when his mother, Linda, began dying because of how much soma she took a day, he began to see things as they really are and began to despise such a society, He even saw how horrid and corrupted the people were, starting with Lenina. See, Bernard only disliked the society because he simply didn’t fit in, which is why his opinion completely changed when he began to get fame. John thought it was amazing at first because everything was so new to him, but he quickly saw that it was wrong and imperfect.
Once their opinions on the society they lived in changed, so did their actions. In the book, we see that Bernard becomes cocky, standing up to people like he would never have dared do before. He begins hitting on ladies everywhere that he goes and even tells an important Alpha “do you know who I am?” He brags to John and Helmholtz about all his successions with ladies and sports, something he used to have little to no experience with before. Once John sees the truth about this supposedly perfect reality, he turns into a complete recluse. He doesn’t want to leave, he doesn’t want to be interviewed by anybody, and the only people he will talk to are Bernard, his mother, and Helmholtz. When Linda goes to visit him, finally having figured out that John was in love with her but seeing it the way she has been taught to see it since birth, he lashes out, beats her up, and calls her a whore.
After getting in trouble with the ruling government of such a society, Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all going to get relocated to an island. Bernard has a panic attack and begins saying how that’s not fair because “it was all them! I didn’t do anything!” John, however, practically begs to be sent and to stay as far away from the nearest civilization on that island, receiving permission to do so. The book doesn’t continue to tell us about Bernard and Helmholtz, but I suppose they just kept on living normally on the island with the rest of civilization. While John practiced his habits and culture that he had learned in the Savage Reservation, he becomes a circus act, and the entire society comes and visits him in his lone lighthouse. He gets overwhelmed and after the second visit and seeing Lenina, commits suicide.
All in all, what divides John from the society is the fact that he sees it how it really is, having come from the Savage Reservation where everything is practiced “the old way.” John attempts to fit in and try to live like the castes do, but he finds it a huge sin, and prefers to live alone in his lighthouse. Bernard didn’t like his society because he was jealous of other Alpha males who had what he didn’t, which didn’t matter anymore when he got what he wanted and more.
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