Better Than The 1998 Version

The 1980 movie version of the novel Brave New World followed the text better than the 1998 version of the movie. There were some changes, but the characters mainly stayed the same, and the movie tried to stay true to the novel.

What I didn’t expect was for the movie to begin with Bernard being nowhere in sight. His name never even showed up until 40 minutes into the movie. Instead, it focused on Thomas and Linda. It showed their life before the trip to the savage reservation and exactly how Linda was left behind. It wasn’t told through a story like it was in the novel. This put more of an emphasis on Thomas’ character. In the novel he was only mentioned a couple of times, and after he was exposed he disappeared completely. In the movie, you get to see his reaction after he is exposed. In the 1998 version his character was more sinister, with him knowingly leaving Linda after he found out she was pregnant.

Bernard’s character was more true to the novel in this version of the movie, but there were moments they changed it. When he and Lenina went to the savage reservation, they both witnessed something unpleasant. This led to Bernard asking Lenina for soma to calm himself down. Lenina was the calm one in the situation and Bernard was the one who couldn’t handle it. Their roles were completely reversed. Bernard to me was obviously an outsider this time. He was socially awkward and his stature wasn’t that of other alphas in the area. It was easy to tell he didn’t belong with everyone else. They also showed how Bernard grew up from the moment he was decanted and how he strayed from the ways of the state throughout the years. This was a new addition to the movie, and I thought it added to his character. It showed how he disrupted the teachings of the state and how other noticed it from the beginning. From the moment he was decanted, his situation was already known to others.

Bernard was considered an outsider from the beginning. Unlike the novel, Bernard stood up for John and Helmholtz during the fight over the soma. He didn’t even think about it. To me, his character was less extreme in the movie. In the novel, he would become upset over everything and seemed much more malicious. When he was given attention after bringing John back, he bragged a lot and his character became more unlikable to me. In the movie, I didn’t dislike him and instead could understand his actions more. He was much more composed, and seemed to care about Helmholtz more than he did in the novel. In the novel, Bernard seemed more concerned with his own problems than with what Helmholtz was going through.

I thought this version of the movie was better than the 1998 version. The newest version changed too much and altered the characters personalities. It made the story too different for me. This version sticks to the novel a lot more closely, and I found myself liking the movie.

Different From The Novel

The 1998 movie version of the novel Brave New World is very different than what I expected. There were many parts from novel that were either left out or completely changed.

What surprised me the most was how Bernard was not considered the main character. The movie mainly focused on Lenina and how she changed after she met John. This was shocking, because in the novel Lenina did not change and never saw the world from John’s perspective. They changed her character, which in turn added a new conflict. Lenina became someone who didn’t follow the ways of the state. This is shown when she is teaching a class of students about the past. She begins talking about heroes, only to rethink what she’s saying. She goes against what the textbook says, adding her own ideas and thoughts on the subject matter. There was even a moment where she didn’t take soma. People in this society are trained to take soma whenever something unpleasant happens, but she threw all of her soma on the floor. Instead of getting rid of the unpleasant feelings she decided to deal with it. For the first time ever, she felt soma wouldn’t solve her problem. Lenina’s character was changed into something completely different, ending with her understanding the way of life John had been trying to explain to her throughout the movie.

Bernard didn’t seem like an outsider to me. Instead, he seemed to fit into society. He wasn’t anything the novel described him to be. Before we watched the movie, I pictured Bernard as an awkward character who didn’t fit in among the other alphas mentally and physically. I thought I would be able to tell who Bernard was just by comparing him physically to another alpha near him. This however was not the case, and Bernard didn’t seem to add any real conflict to the story. Bernard was more like a side character, while Lenina and John were the main focus.

The fact that John didn’t commit suicide does change his character. In the novel, John decided to kill himself so he could finally be alone in a world where his ways were considered primitive and savage. It was a way for him to make a decision for himself without anyone else trying to control him. In the movie, his death was accidental. This makes me wonder about how John would have dealt with the situation if he hadn’t fallen off the cliff. In the movie he did want to be alone, but when he was running away from everyone near the cliff I wasn’t given the impression he would kill himself. It seemed more like he just wanted to get away from everyone.

The fact that the character Helmholtz wasn’t in the movie disappointed me. His character was one of the more interesting ones and showed just how one could move away from the teachings of the state. However, considering his role in the novel it did make sense to not add him in the movie. If Bernard wasn’t considered the main character and didn’t have a different view from the state, Helmholtz wouldn’t really serve his purpose of being Bernard’s way of connecting with someone who understood him.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel more than the movie. Too much was changed and it took away from some points made.

Essay #2 Pre Draft


The novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin shows just how much a person can be influenced by those around them and how it can drastically change ones values and beliefs. The changes the main character D-503 goes through due to being influenced by I-330 who has a different way of thinking than that of the One State is a prime example of this. His actions, his mentality, and how he perceives the One State all change due to the influence of this one person.

Claim 1

D-503 is at first just like everyone else. He believes in the values of the One State completely above all other ways of life, and the logic of math plays a huge role in his values.

“Yes, to unbend the wild primitive curve and straighten it to a tangent…for the line of the One State is the straight line” (2).

Claim 2

D-503 starts to question everything after meeting I-330, and beings to wonder if his way of life is truly making him happy.

“What if he, this yellow eyed creature, in his disorderly, filthy mound of leaves, in his uncomputed life, is happier than we are” (97).

Claim 3

D-503 finally feels free, and he doesn’t embrace the ways of the One State anymore. Moving beyond the Green Wall has given him a sense of a different life.

“And I feel that everybody breathes together, and everybody will fly together somewhere, like birds over The Wall that day…” (122).

D-503 Returns to the One State

The last chapters of We were by far the most interesting out of the whole story for me. Everything came to a conclusion that left me wondering what would happen now. Even though everything is explained, I was left wanting more out of the story.

When D-503 first saw what was beyond the wall, he was completely overwhelmed by what he saw. Nothing in this world is familiar to him and the emotions it brings are too much for him to handle at first. However, as time went on he felt free, as the One State is longer controlling his actions. “Slowly, just overhead – a bird. I see: it is alive, like me” (122). He no longer feels tied down. He is also referring to himself as I and even mentioned this as the true him. That the person he was in the One State wasn’t truly what he was like.

What interested me the most was how the One State tried to take back control over its citizens. The One State knows how much perfection and unison means to the people and used this method to take them back. They called it The Operation, and used being like a machine the reason everyone should get cured.  “You are perfect, you are machine like. The road to one hundred percent happiness if free…hurry to submit to the Great Operation!” (139). D-503 himself thought it was amazing when he first read it. Perfectly built machines is something that everyone in the One State valued. It’s logical, and only does what is necessary. There are no extra parts, no unnecessary functions. The people of the One State who were feeling confused after the events were probably so frightened of the unknown of the future that they voluntarily went to get “cured”. Everyone who didn’t go to get cured was forcefully taken, D-503 included.

At the last entry of the novel, D-503 began talking only through what he considered facts and reason. Because the One State has “cured” him of a soul and imagination he is exactly as he was in his first entry. There are no emotions, no individual thought. Only the facts the One State wants him to believe. “The handwriting is mine… but fortunately, only the handwriting. No delirium, no absurd metaphors, no feelings” (179). Also, after he got “cured” he started referring to himself as a number more often. He no longer says only “I” which implies individuality, he adds his number to it, which shows just how tied he is to the One State once more. “Can it be true that I, D-503…” (179) “On the following day, I, D-503…” (180). His entry doesn’t contain any questions. He even says he’s happy about not having a soul anymore. His return to the One State and its values are now complete. He is just another number now.

We to me was the most interesting read compared to Brave New World, as it shows just how quickly people can change and how fast someone can become influenced by something, or in this case someone.

Developing A Soul

In these chapters, the entries have progressively become more personal and filled with uncertainty. Unlike the entries in the beginning, which were mainly filled with praise of the One State and facts about the world he lives in, they have now taken a more personal turn. Due to D-503 developing feelings, his entries now have less facts in them, as the world isn’t being seen in an objective light anymore. It is being seen through his own personal perspective, not how everyone should see the One State. “Slowly, softly, I floated down somewhere, my eyes turned dark, I died”. D-503’s entries are becoming more vague and a little harder to understand, as he begins to describe what he feels. Since he himself doesn’t understand feelings or what a soul is, describing it is unknown territory.

D-503 is now facing conflicting feelings about his life. He begins to question things he used to be certain of, and he blames all of it on the soul he was told he developed. When he was walking close to the Green Wall, and sees an animal on the other side, he begins to wonder. “what if he, this yellow eyed creature, in his disorderly , filthy mound of leaves, in his uncomputed life, is happier than we are”. Order and stability is what this society functions on. However, D-503 is now questioning the value of these traits he has lived by all his life. Because of I-330 he has made irrational decisions, which is unheard of. Rationality is valued the most. The One State puts heavy emphasis on math for a reason. There is always only one answer, and there are no unknown variables in their lives, making them question anything. D-503 however, has run into situations he doesn’t understand, and unwanted, unknown variables come up. “Yesterday, at the very moment when I thought that everything was already disentangled, that all the x’s were found, new unknown quantities appeared in my equation”. D-503 doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings, and going through them as rationally as he can helps him.

Despite D-503 repeating how sick he is throughout the entries, he keeps moving back and forth between wanting to be cured, and wanting to be left the way he has become. “Perhaps this discharge has cured me finally of my tormenting soul, and I’ve become again like all of us”. He wants to get rid of his soul so he wont feel pain anymore, but other times he just questions if its his soul that is making him feel this way, and tries to figure it out mathematically.

What frightens D-503 the most is the unknown. Before, everything was already known. There wasn’t anything to think about and no one wondered what tomorrow would bring. It had already been decided. However, after everything came crashing down, everyone began to wonder about the future. “Now and then I see…people tiptoe down the corridor, whispering, what will happen tomorrow? What will I turn into tomorrow?”. Tomorrow is inconceivable if there aren’t any values of the One State holding them down. The unknown is something no one here has ever experienced before, and it frightens them.


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.

Brave New World 6-9

Unlike the previous chapters, chapter 6 seems to be the beginning of deeper interaction between the characters. The chapters before this were mainly based on what their society was like and how it functioned. Now, the conflict and different viewpoints between the characters is starting to develop.

Bernard and Lenina were the source of most of the conflict, with Bernard already being the ‘outcast’  and Lenina being the one who represents their society and its views. Throughout the chapter Bernard seems to try to convince Lenina that his way of thinking isn’t odd at all. That it is normal to question the way things are and go against how everyone else thinks. However, Lenina doesn’t understand and instead she sees his behavior as odd. Her conditioning from the moment she was decanted has made it impossible for her to understand what Bernard is trying to tell her. “He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind” (92). The savage reservation that they visit horrifies Lenina to the point of her taking a lot of soma to escape the reality she has just witnessed. Bernard however, seems to take it all in with curiosity. He even has a man named John who lives on the reservation tell him his story.

When I was reading about the savage reservation I started to wonder why these people even had a reservation to begin with. If even one outcast is so dangerous in their world, why are they keeping a population of these outcasts alive? Maybe its purpose is to give people who visit the same reaction that Lenina had. They show their members of society what outcasts live like and since they still have children the way we do and the concept of marriage still exists, their members of society are completely overwhelmed by it. They don’t know how to react to something they’ve been conditioned to loathe and fear. This makes them want to go back home where everything is familiar and if they had any doubts to begin with its wiped out by what they have just experienced. The savage reservation is there to reaffirm their belief that their society is the right one, and that the practices people used to follow aren’t anything more than a savage act.

Bernard’s decision to bring John back home with him shows that Bernard is trying to use John. The fact that Bernard is going to be sent to Iceland because the Director decided to send him is making Bernard choose to bring John and Linda back with him. If he can prove that the director is the father of John, his credibility and reputation will go down in flames. Everyone knows what being a ‘mother’ and ‘father’ means. The terms are met with disgust. If Bernard brings John and Linda back with him he probably wont have to go to Iceland since the decision was made by a man who will be disgraced.  The conflict between the characters is starting to deeply develop and I wonder just how Bernard will handle the order to be sent to Iceland.

Brave New World 1-5

When I started reading Brave New World, I became interested very soon after. The story started out with descriptive imagery about the facility that the embryos of humans were being fertilized in. The fact that over 70 different people could come from one embryo was amazing to me. The caste system is already determined from this stage and depending on what class you’re in, your place in society is also predetermined. You could be at the bottom, or you could be at the top.

Everyone is taught at a young age to dislike any other caste than their own, through methods that include one called Elementary Class Consciousness, where a voice repeats statements while the person is sleeping. “They’ll have that repeated forty or fifty times before they wake” (21). This shows how hatred for the other classes is essential for this form of society. It is mentioned more than once how this allows for the stability of society, as everyone has to be content with their own caste to allow for them to be happy, no matter how low they are in the system. I see this as a way of controlling everybody, as no one will feel the need to search for something more than they were given because of the training they were given from the moment they were just an embryo.

Consumption seems to be very important for everyone living here as well. As long as a human is consuming a resource given, it is seen as good, while anything that doesn’t include consumption is seen as pointless and wrong. “…to abolish the love of nature, but not the tendency to consume transport…find an economically sounder reason for consuming transport than a mere affection for primroses and landscapes”(17). The love of nature and affection for flowers isn’t encouraged. It is seen as gratuitous and as something that does nothing for society as a whole. Therefore, it was gotten rid of, but not the consumption of transport.

What interested me the most was how different the words ‘father’ and ‘mother’ were seen in their society compared to ours. The word ‘parents’ is met with distaste. Since children aren’t born the same way, the concept of having a mother and a father is foreign and alien to everyone. To be born in their way is called ‘decanted’, so the method of which we are born is something they can never understand.

In chapter 4, the children going through the facility are amazed when they are taught the history of their world. Their history sounds to be what our society is now, and I found it interesting, how the concepts of parents and sexual maturity were seen in a completely different way than how we view them. To them, children participating in sexual acts is nothing, it is even encouraged. When they began to learn the history of how it was discouraged, all of them laughed loudly, as if it was the most ridiculous thing they ever heard. I feel that Brave New World is an interesting book, and I wonder how the characters will be developed further.

If I could have my own specific Utopia I imagine that the buildings and cities would all have a nice and vibrant feeling to it.  There would be no dirty or broken down buildings and the city would be clean. The different cities have different feelings to it and diversity in the buildings, culture and food. I’m pretty sure this is contradictory as everyone and everything is supposed to be equal, but I think that it shouldn’t mean making everything (especially building structures) exactly the same. Everyone is equal but there can be different variations in the feel of the cities that the people live in. This is due to the fact that everyone can be creative and the different architects that build the different cities do have different views and visions on what they want the building to look like. That the chefs in each city can make different types of food from a different city, due to having different ideas. Everyone is encouraged to think outside the box and create something that all of society can enjoy. Anyone can go anywhere to enjoy and experience the variation in the different cities, and no one is denied the right to explore the other cities. So even though there is variation, everyone is still equal because everyone can experience what each and every city has to offer.

Technology has expanded rapidly, and people use all the different types of technology on a daily basis. However, unlike in the story “The Machine Stops” people have not isolated themselves due to it. Everyone knows the consequences of becoming too dependent on technology because everyone is wise and educated. Everyone knows the consequences corruption and crime could have on the city and everyone works together as equals for the well being of the city. Being creative is encouraged as this allows for more innovation and progress for the city and its people. The people aren’t oppressed and the society works as a whole, allowing for easy communication with anyone.

Since everyone is equal no one is denied the right to education, they could be what they want, and being financially stable is experienced by everyone . Crime is non existent, and people can go anywhere at anytime without fear of other humans like in the world today. People are open to each other and know each others boundaries. There are no hidden agendas in the reasons of why people do things. Yes, everyone has their own boundaries and secrets, but there is no ill intent in their reasoning. Work hours are reasonable and everyone has a break in the middle of the day so that when they get back to work they can be just as energized as they were in the morning. No ones expenses go over the amount they make and no one has to worry about things like money or rent. This results in everyone being able to try anything they want and go anywhere they want. This is my view on Utopia even though I’m positive there are contradictory elements to it.