, Research Paper
Brave New World
In the book Brave New World Huxley expresses how the old world and the new world can not exist together. He shows how in his vision of the new world the old ways were seen as primitive and in many cases grotesque. These old ways are pretty much our modern day beliefs such as monogamy and marriage and other Christian morals. The character John, the savage, represented these old ways and yet showed a link between himself and the new world through his mother Linda. John is shown as an outcast in both societies, in the old world because his mother had taught him new world beliefs and also he looked different. He was not accepted in the new world because he had obvious old world beliefs and morals some of which he had brought out of Shakespearean literature, so they were foreign to both the savages and the civilized. When John meets Bernard and tells him of his and Linda’s lives on the reservation much of their rejection from the reservation comes to light. It apparently started with Linda having relations with many of the native men and then being beaten by native women for doing so. This is one reason for John’s dislike of his mother and shows one of the stronger conflicts between the old and new worlds. Another time where the conflict of promiscuity comes up is between John and Lenina who tries to have relations with John. Though John is attracted is to her he strictly believes that marriage must come before sex and when he finally gets the nerve up to suggest such a proposition to Lenina she is appalled and laughs at the idea.
When John and Linda are brought back to London John becomes a freak show exhibit in a way. He is a rarity and Bernard uses him as a shield so that he can finally state is political opinions, which are highly unpopular, without getting in trouble. Linda having access to soma once again takes large amounts and dies from an overdose. Her doctor knew that such large use of soma would kill her but didn’t care because she had no place in society, she no longer had a job and was no longer beautiful so was therefor unimportant. John on the other hand felt great pain at his mother’s death. At the hospital he while at his mother’s bedside he is bothered by some children going through desensitization to death and lashes out striking one. He is the only one in the new world that views death as saddening and therefor has trouble accepting the apathetic attitudes of the others. His violence shows the frustration and anger this caused and supports my belief that Huxley was trying to show that the new world could not coexist with the old world.
Another situation that shows a drastic difference between the two worlds is when John is being shown the conditioning of children and sees them laughing at a video of a sacred ritual that contains self-flagellation. John is shocked at this because he grew up knowing this as a very important and respected ritual. This shows the reader a kind of irony because throughout the book we see that they have made up a new type of religion that to us seems ridiculous and now they show them laughing at an old religion.
In the end the inhumanity and emotional void in the new world are too much for him, all of these differences between the savage and the civilized cultures especially the rejection from Lenina end up causing John to hang himself. I feel that in the end of this book John represents a combination of both worlds, his thoughts, beliefs, and emotions all were mixed. This mixture in the end caused him to kill himself and in doing so shows us the incapability of the savage world and the Brave New World.