Brave New World 6-9

Unlike the previous chapters, chapter 6 seems to be the beginning of deeper interaction between the characters. The chapters before this were mainly based on what their society was like and how it functioned. Now, the conflict and different viewpoints between the characters is starting to develop.

Bernard and Lenina were the source of most of the conflict, with Bernard already being the ‘outcast’  and Lenina being the one who represents their society and its views. Throughout the chapter Bernard seems to try to convince Lenina that his way of thinking isn’t odd at all. That it is normal to question the way things are and go against how everyone else thinks. However, Lenina doesn’t understand and instead she sees his behavior as odd. Her conditioning from the moment she was decanted has made it impossible for her to understand what Bernard is trying to tell her. “He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind” (92). The savage reservation that they visit horrifies Lenina to the point of her taking a lot of soma to escape the reality she has just witnessed. Bernard however, seems to take it all in with curiosity. He even has a man named John who lives on the reservation tell him his story.

When I was reading about the savage reservation I started to wonder why these people even had a reservation to begin with. If even one outcast is so dangerous in their world, why are they keeping a population of these outcasts alive? Maybe its purpose is to give people who visit the same reaction that Lenina had. They show their members of society what outcasts live like and since they still have children the way we do and the concept of marriage still exists, their members of society are completely overwhelmed by it. They don’t know how to react to something they’ve been conditioned to loathe and fear. This makes them want to go back home where everything is familiar and if they had any doubts to begin with its wiped out by what they have just experienced. The savage reservation is there to reaffirm their belief that their society is the right one, and that the practices people used to follow aren’t anything more than a savage act.

Bernard’s decision to bring John back home with him shows that Bernard is trying to use John. The fact that Bernard is going to be sent to Iceland because the Director decided to send him is making Bernard choose to bring John and Linda back with him. If he can prove that the director is the father of John, his credibility and reputation will go down in flames. Everyone knows what being a ‘mother’ and ‘father’ means. The terms are met with disgust. If Bernard brings John and Linda back with him he probably wont have to go to Iceland since the decision was made by a man who will be disgraced.  The conflict between the characters is starting to deeply develop and I wonder just how Bernard will handle the order to be sent to Iceland.

One thought on “Brave New World 6-9

  1. Excellent post Samantha (I’ve chosen it as one of the featured ones for last week)! I particularly like how you focus on the conflict between Bernard and Lenina, and how this reflects their differing personalities and values.

    I have the same question as you, about why the outcast society is even still there/allowed to exist? I love your theory about it serving as a reminder to citizens of the World State of what a life without “progress” looks like (in some ways, like the child in the small room is a reminder of the suffering, in Omelas), but the text states that most people never see a savage reservation …

    “Not more than half a dozen people in the whole Centre had ever been inside a Savage Reservation. As an Alpha-Plus psychologist, Bernard was one of the few men she knew entitled to a permit” (87-88).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.