Reading on through the next few chapters of Brave New World, chapter’s 10-13 to be exact, there were many scenes that were worth noting. But what I found to be the most interesting/intriguing, is Bernard’s rise in importance and becoming the center of attention. Something that he has never hoped to achieve or even thought of as something worth of achieving. Yet, once he realized this sense of importance among others, he happily indulged. Because of John, being labeled as a Savage living together with the civilized people of the New World, he was able to gain a tremendous sense of importance.
Curiosity for Savages is the reason for Bernard’s sudden rise of importance within the New World. A case in point would be when John’s mother, Linda, was being examined by Dr. Shaw. The doctor concluded his examinations, and declared that it would be best if Linda continues taking a large amount of soma daily so that she would die quicker. Yet, before the doctor left he tells Bernard, “‘to have had this opportunity to see an example of senility in a human being. Thank you so much for calling me in'”(144). It was evident that the doctor only had interests with Linda and her senility, but at the same time he treated Bernard with the utmost respect. Something that he didn’t have initially. People were no longer spreading rumors behind his back and he was able to get all the women he desired. Again, he happily indulged.
Bernard was acting differently compared to his usual self because of all the attention he received. Throughout earlier chapters we viewed Bernard as sort of an outcast, someone who doesn’t want to take part of the norms within the New World. Someone who wasn’t satisfied with taking soma and having artificial feelings. Although once he was able to get all of this attention from others of his rank, he became a completely different person. The text mentions, “The days passed. Success went fizzily to Bernard’s head, and in the process completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) to a world which, up till then, he had found very unsatisfactory. In so far as it recognized him as important, the order of things was good”(145). This piece of text pretty much sums up what change of personality Bernard experienced throughout this event. A sense of importance is a good intoxicant indeed, but like any other intoxicant, it doesn’t last forever.
John gave Bernard a sense of importance within this society, and he was also able to take it away. Bernard had organized a party so that top ranking individuals, such as the Arch-Community-Songster, would be able to meet the Savage. Once the Savage refused to appear, the sense of importance that Bernard desperately clanged onto, suddenly dissipated. There were insults being thrown around all directed towards Bernard, and he wasn’t able to do anything about it and felt miserable again. John brought up a good point about Bernard’s change in personality which I also found interesting. He mentioned, “‘Well I’d rather be unhappy then have the sort of false, lying happiness you were having there'”(163). I suppose that in John removing Bernard from this new sense of entitlement and importance, he was doing him a favor of removing him from these false sentiments.
Overall, Bernard’s importance exemplified that even the most unsatisfied individuals of their own society, are able to change their perception of the world as soon as they become the center of attention. He let his ego get the best of him, and he decided to take advantage of it to the fullest extent. Chapters 10-13 really showed its readers how emotions developed by false admiration from others can really change someone.