Bernard’s Intoxication of Success

While reading chapters 10-13 I noticed a whole new side to Bernard. In the earlier chapters I never questioned his authenticity until now. Before he would not take soma or undergo social activities and would spend time alone “I’d rather be myself, he said. Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly” (Huxley 89) yet now we see him taking soma to detach himself from facing issues and emotions “he thought better of it and took four tablets of soma” (Huxley 161).

Our first interaction with the new Bernard is found in chapter 10 in which the Director tries to humiliate and transfer Bernard to Iceland yet Bernard stands up to him and flips the coin around. He ended up “humiliating” and causing the Director to quit his job due to news of him fathering a child in the Savage Reservoir. At this point we start to see an emotionally stronger, standing up for himself while also having the spotlight on him “Yes, I can. Bernard answered in a very loud voice” (Huxley 139).

I began to notice a whole new Bernard once chapter 11 began, it was a Bernard which was popular and talked about in a good way throughout the place as if he had made a great discovery. At this point he began to live off the hype of bringing John and Linda to the World State and began to live a celebrity life while partaking at the normal/usual male activities done in the society. Before he was rarely sleeping around with various women, yet now he has a women for each night of the week “And I had six girls last week, he confided to Helmholtz Watson” (Huxley 145). By Bernard having John’s custody and presenting him to important people and places in the World State; Bernard has gain huge popularity and is considered important, he no longer seen as an outcast and he himself shows us that his sense of ego has increased “Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance” (Huxley 144). This was the point in which I knew Bernard’s authenticity is questioned and how he always had this need of trying to fit in with society’s standards. Other characters also began to “respect and admire” Bernard, such as Fanny. Early in the story Fanny and other characters felt pity and found him queer yet now he is portrayed as sweet, desired and intelligent. This was Bernard’s king of the hill moment he had everything he could want, all thanks to John and Linda. Bernard became a character who thrived off John’s and Linda’s existence, and this I found very immoral.

The most surprising part from the reading was to find out John not going to the party to be introduced to the important people in society, the elites such as the Arch-Community-Songster. This caused the party to fall apart and the invited people to once again begin to degrade Bernard once again. Bernard was desperate and foresaw all of his popularity, social status and thrives slipping through his fingers “The intoxication of success had evaporated” (Huxley 163). At this point we officially see Bernard’s internal need of being recognized. This internal conflict which he had faced is now superficial and shown to us to place Bernard back to outcast character which was presented in the beginning. This is also observed when he wakes up from taking soma and John is happy to see him back at his humble sense of being “You’re more like what you were at Malpais” (Huxley 163), even Helmholtz is somewhat happy to have his old friend back. Yet Bernard is not happy about looking his luscious life. These couple of chapters are a roller coaster ride for Bernard’s character, and looking forward to what will happen in the following chapters.

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