In these few chapters there are so many turning points and major factors that help us better understand the characters in A Brave New World. I was definitely not expecting so much to happen in just a couple of chapters. I would like focus the attention to who I feel was is the main character or protagonist at this point, which is Bernard. Bernard’s character has caught my attention as a reader since our first introduction to him even though he did not necessarily play a major role in the beginning of the story. He has slowly made his way into the spotlight and has continued to show us the readers around the “Worlds State”. I found that in these chapters Bernard’s internal and external conflicts are a bit more evident.
The first external conflict I came cross is between Bernard and Lenina. On page 89 in conversation between the two, we observe that Benard has deeper feeling for Lenina then just to “have her”. He wishes to talk to her and take long walks, Lenina does not understand why Bernard would want to do all this and I believe its because of her conditioning. Her conditioning does not allow her or anyone for that matter to be “attached” emotionally to anyone. I also noticed that when Lenina is over whelmed by what Bernard tries to tell her she simply takes her soma and zones out. This option is easier then to try and listen.
I also found the on pages 90-91 in a conversation between Bernard and Lenina, Bernard explains to her about wanting to be free from the enslavement of his conditioning. “As though I were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body. . . what would it be like if I could. If i were free – not enslaved by my conditioning.” He tries to explain to her that he wants to be free in his own way, not the superficial freedom that everyone else believes they have.
Reading on we find ourselves with another conflict; With the D.H.C. On pg 94, Benard enters the directors office to pick up his permit to go to the savage reservation. To some up the conversation. The director tells Benard a story about when he himself went into to reservation with a women he was “having” at the time. Benard notices a bit of sentiment in the directors tone but the director quickly cuts the story short as if to be ashamed and even reassures Bernard it was nothing on pg 95 “Don’t imagine, he said, that I’d had any indecorous relation with the girl. Nothing emotional, nothing long-drawn. It was all perfectly healthy and normal.” This made me wonder, if this was supposedly already known to the society. Why did he need to reassure Bernard about it?. My suspicions were later confirmed by the threat of being transferred to Iceland and later we find the transfer actually went through on pg 100.
As far as internal conflicts go, we’ve had small glimpses of the struggles that Bernard is currently going through. We notice that because of the very obvious difference in physical attributes Bernard has compared to other Alphas, it has made him mentally unstable. I feel as if this one aspect of his life has triggered him to question everything else. I get this idea from a previous chapter where because of his lack physical features and abilities he gained “mental excess” making him smarter then the average Alpha. Giving him an ability to analyze himself, his options, his life, and his choices in general.
When Benard reaches the reservation, he is like a child in a candy store. Although his conditioning holds him back and gives him a feeling of being uncomfortable, he still is very curious about the way of life there. He wants to know how the people of the reservation have lived without order, unaided, and so savagely. He gets his answers through Johns life and the things he has been through. I believe Bernard sees himself in John and can connect to him through pain of being an outcast and being shut out of everything, examples can be seen on pg 128.
I cannot wait to see the directors reaction when Bernard brings John and Linda back to London in the upcoming chapters.