Bernards True Self

The final chapters of Brave New World were interesting, except the last chapter, which left me wondering why Huxley didn’t give more closure concerning the characters. Bernard and the Controller were the characters that stood out the most to me.

Bernard is already known as the outcast of his society, but throughout the chapters he keeps going back and forth between wanting to be accepted, and wanting nothing to do with their way of life. When John was throwing away the peoples soma and got into a fight, Bernard was torn on whether he should help him or not. “…thought better of it and halted; then, ashamed, stepped forward again” (193). Bernard does not know where he belongs concerning his place in society, and is continually torn on this subject. However, by the end of the book, Bernard’s true colors are shown. When him, John and Helmholtz are in the Controllers office about the incident, Bernard turns on them and begs to be taken back.      ” ‘You cant send me. I haven’t done anything. It was the others’…He pointed accusingly to Helmholtz and the Savage” (203). Bernard wants to be accepted and will do anything to prevent himself from being sent away.

Johns end was a surprising twist for me. I wasn’t expecting him to commit suicide. I thought he was going to make it through, but the ways of the World State were too much for him. Their way of life was too different from what he grew up in, and it soon broke him down. He desperately wanted someone to understand and tried to help the others who basically relied on drugs to make them ‘happy’.  When John was throwing away the people’s soma I actually imagined that Bernard could have been the one in his place. In earlier chapters, Bernard refuses to take soma and tries to convince Lenina as well. I thought Bernard’s character would develop into something more, as I had thought Bernard would be the one to try and change society. However, in the end all he did was talk and refused to take action. He was never going to do anything, but I had been convinced that he would.

What surprised me the most was the understanding the Controller had about their situation. I expected someone in his position to be the most rigid out of everyone in their society. He is a Controller, therefore he is supposed to believe and uphold their ways more than anyone else. However, his conversation with John and Helmholtz prove that he himself has questioned the ways of the World State. He too wanted to change it but it was impossible. He admits he isn’t happy. Something everyone in the society is convinced that they are. ” ‘That’s how I paid. By choosing to serve happiness. Other people’s – not mine’ ” (205). The Controller has just done something that is unheard of in their society. Admit he isn’t happy. In a world were people are trained to love what they have to do and are given whatever else they want to assure their ‘happiness’, the Controller has just gone against everything. Brave New World was an interesting read, but the last chapter left me wanting more on the characters and their fate, especially John.

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