After the rising tension coming into chapter 14 to 18, the book just ends on a low note. You would think with all the excitement and drama with Bernard and the director, the ending would end with a bang but no, it ends flat and disappointing. Characters who had major character developments revert back to their old ways and you can’t hope to feel that you’ve “lost” after reading the end of the book. Firstly I want to talk about John. In chapters 14-15, we can see him struggling with the World State’s ways and his fight to end their ways. At this point, John is the only one who is fighting against the World State now. We can see any hope he had in the World State vanish when his mother Linda dies after an overdose of soma. He is also angry at the World State because of what the World State turned had turned his mother into. She went so overboard with the soma, she did not even recognize John until after long moments of yelling from John. Now that he sees what the soma does to the people of the World State, he is even more furious and motivated to change their ways.
I think part of the reason for John’s outburst at the hospital is not only caused by his mothers death but also because of the children there not understanding what death meant to someone. Death to those twins at the hospital meant nothing to them. Naturally even if you did not know someone that they died, you would feel a bit sorrow but these kids have been conditioned to not have these feelings. On page 184, we can see their conditioning where John says, “What are these filthy little brats doing here at all? It’s disgraceful! Disgraceful? but what do you mean? They’re being death conditioned.” They also have no guilt of making fun of John’s mother which also shows their inability to see or have love.
John is so enraged that he tries to convince these Delta twins to stop taking soma and to choose freedom instead. I think John was trying to help them see what he was finally seeing, that the World State is messed up and is depressing. This part also leads into my discussion about Bernard’s character development. After John chucks the twins soma out the window, they engage in a fight. Helmholtz and Bernard just arrived and we can see that Helmholtz is not hesitant to help out John. Bernard on the other hand is hesitant. You would think after all hes been through that he would help John out. After all that talk about changing the World State, he decides not to help. However he did feel some shame because of his indecisiveness. On page 193 we can see Bernard’s struggle with himself on the bottom of the page, “Hesitant on the fringes of the battle. They’re done for, said Bernard and urged by a sudden impulse, ran forward to help them, then thought better of itand halted, then ashamed, stepped forward again and was standing in an agony of humiliated indecision.” The reason why I’m angry at this is because the story had set up for Bernard’s incredible character development, his confidence, his ability to see what he has done wrong but it all falls flat right here. The way I see it is that, if he had chosen to help out John and Helmholtz, it would signify his desire to fight against the World States ways. If he chose not to, that means he has given up to the World State and has accepted it’s ways.
At the end of the story I think it’s very anti climatic. Reason because we do not learn of the other characters and John’s disappointing end. I think readers always want the characters the win at the end but in the case we can see it as a failure because nothing about the World State was changed. Nothing was changed, 18 chapters and the World State continues to be the overwhelming power that controls everybody. Everyone’s efforts to change the World State, down the drain. If I had the chance to ask Aldous Huxley anything, I would ask Huxley why he chose to have the characters “lose”, their battle against the World State.