After reading I was happy to find out that Bernard was the main focus. I liked Bernard’s character and how he was different from the others, he knows that the society he’s living in is not particularly “right”. I felt that Bernard’s behavior was not at all how I expected him to be. I expected Bernard to just be quiet, keeping his feelings to himself and not associating with others, but that was not the case with Lenina.
Bernard and Lenina go on an “adventure” on a helicopter. I noticed how eager Bernard was for wanting to see the world in a different way, he wanted to go close to the water, insisting on “stopping his propeller and hovering . . . within a hundred feet of the waves”. (pg 89) Lenina was scared of going that close to the water. Bernard was embracing his experience of seeing the water and Lenina referred to it as “horrible”. I feel like Lenina is being very stubborn and closed-minded on wanting to explore with Bernard. Lenina, in my opinion is very stuck in her ways and wants to continue to follow how everyone else in her society is. She doesn’t want to think about anything but how her life is right now, and she’s not open for change how Bernard is so open for change.
Bernard and Lenina were having a conversation about their lives and Bernard is trying to convince Lenina that the way they are living is not a good and “happy life” and for her to come to the Savage Reservation with him. I think that out of all people Bernard has ever associated with, he sees the most potential in Lenina for wanting to explore a different life. Bernard says “don’t you wish you were free Lenina?” and Lenina’s response was far from what he wanted with “I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays” (pg 90) I think that Lenina is completely in denial with what she sees as “happy”. Her view of “happiness” is completely artificial in my opinion. When she wants to feel “happy” she takes soma. Lenina probably has never ever felt true happiness in her life because she is just taking a drug when she wants to “feel” happy. Bernard says to Lenina ” But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way . . . in your own way, for example, not in everybody else’s way”. (pg 90)
Bernard and Lenina go to Malpais, a place where life is completely different from the World State. They see all the people. Men, women, babies, old and young. Lenina automatically says “I don’t like it, I don’t like it” “but how can they live like this?” (pg 105) She thinks all these people are crazy for the way they are living. Lenina sees an old man and says “what’s the matter with him?” (pg 106) She sees looking old as something that is horrible. This is completely out of what Lenina knows because in the Bokanovsky Process you can make a person and pick out what you want them to look and act like. She is not used to seeing other people besides the ones in her caste system. She doesn’t know anything besides the World State. I noticed that Lenina kept asking Bernard “what’s wrong with this person?” “why are they doing that?”, this shows that Bernard has knowledge on life outside the World State and he is desperately wanting to escape from that.
As they continue walking through the village of Malpais, Lenina is seeing things she has never ever seen before in her life. She repeatedly wiped herself with her handkerchief. I saw this as symbolism of Lenina wiping off her thoughts of ever wanting to have a different life. She saw everything these people did as disgusting and terrible. Lenina hated her experience of walking through Malpais and seeing all the differences of life. She was going “crazy” and was wanting to take soma. She then realized that she forgot to take soma with her to Malpais. This shows how dependent Lenina is of soma. She can’t function properly without soma. I think that if she were to just lay off of the soma she will see things more differently.
The concept of family is introduced first handedly to both Lenina and Bernard. They see a mother and her baby. Both Lenina and Bernard dont have any concept of family because the World State blocks out having any type of “family” or “personal” relationships. Bernard is amazed from seeing this kind of love and says “what a wonderfully intimate relationship, and what an intensity of feeling it must generate! I often think one may have missed something in not having had a mother. And perhaps you’ve missed something in not being a mother, imagine yourself sitting there with a little baby of your own” (pg 107) I really liked this line from Bernard, he was speaking straight from his heart, I felt that he was being very real and vulnerable with Lenina and his feelings about family. I think Bernard was dreaming of how life would be like having a mother or a child. Lenina then says “Bernard! How can you? Let’s go away. I don’t like it” (pg 107) This made me really dislike Lenina.
After reading chapters 6-9 I am starting to like this book more. I’ve grown to really like Bernard and how he is daring to be different from the usual and how he doesn’t care what everyone else thinks of him.