Brave New World Chapters 6-9 Reading Response #4

It was kind of difficult for me to read these three chapters. It had a lot going on. To me it didn’t really seem to stay on topic with what the author wanted the reader to get from it. Hence making It difficult for me to understand. Nevertheless, whatever I did understand, I  did enjoy.

The more I read this story, the more it reminds me of the short story The Machine Stops. The character in Brave New World Bernard Marx, reminds me so much of Kuno from The Machine Stops. To me they both have similar mind sets. They both feel as though they are different. They believe that the world that they live in isn’t right. They wish to have their own thoughts and feelings about things, and not be like everyone else. They want to follow their heart and do what they feel is right, not what they are told or “conditioned” to think.

In chapter 6 (part one) the author reveals that Bernard has some internal conflict with himself. He struggles with what he wants to do, and what his society thinks of him. Everyone knows that he isn’t like everyone else. In the beginning of the chapter the character Lenina described him as odd. Her friend Franny explanation for Bernard being different was “alcohol in his blood-surrogate” (pg.88).   There’s certain things that people like doing, but Bernard rather do something else. For example, he would rather sit alone with Lenina all night to talk, instead of playing electro-magnetic golf.  “It makes me feel as though I were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not so completely part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body” (pg.90). This quote means to me that Bernard wants to have his own thoughts and opinions. He wants to do what he thinks is fun, not what someone of higher authority tells him what’s fun. He wants to be his own individual, not slump together with others. “But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everyone else’s way” (pg.90). He wants to do what makes him happy, not what he is told should make him happy. At this point Lenina is in shock at his statement. She states “why don’t you take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of being miserable, you’d be jolly” (pg.91). At this point Bernard gives in and takes the soma. I think he did it to make her stop complaining and to seem like everyone else.

There are also some similarities among the characters Lenina from Brave New World, and Vashti from The Machine Stops. They both come off to me as people who follow the rules and someone who wouldn’t dare to be different. They both follow societies thoughts on what’s right and wrong (in a sense). Both Lenina and Vashti think that someone having their own idea isn’t normal.

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