Brave New World: 6-9

I found these three chapters very interesting yet at the same time confusing. First of all in chapter 6 we begin to learn more about Bernard Marx, Lenina gives her perspective about him and Bernard himself talks about why he considered himself to be different. I found this great since in a single chapter Huxley shows how this character (Bernard) is different compared to all the humans in the society and his actions and mentality is what separates him from everyone else. “More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body” (Huxley 90), to me he is now definitely considered as the “other” to me and is separated from the social life in which everyone lives. Bernard decides not to take soma, thrive off pleasure and not participating in public actions and Huxley shows us this “That mania, to start with, for doing thing in private” (Huxley 88). He seems to be the only one whom really desires, questions and wants freedom to be an individual not part of a pack “in spite of his misery absolutely refused to take the half-gramme…’I’d rather be myself’”(Huxley 88)

I also noticed that Huxley used a lot of descriptive imagery whenever he wanted to describe a setting or a very important event, such as the Savage Reservoir, or the event in which they whipped the child or John describing his memories as a child. To be honest I think Huxley does a great job using this technique and allowing us the reader to attach and perceive through the characters eyes.

John was a very interesting character in my opinion, he is the son of a beta (Linda) but born at the reservoir. When he began to tell his memories to Bernard once again we are given imagery to describe but what really surprised me was when John started to compare life in the ‘other side’ (what Linda has told him) and his life at the reservoir. This comparison is seen starting from the middle of the page, I found this great since not only does Huxley compare both settings for us but also gave us an insight through John’s perspective and how The Great States. Values were all the opposite in the pueblo. Then we see Linda’s consequences to trying to live the life of a beta in the reservoir, the women of the pueblo beat her up and even hit John due to Linda sleeping with the men of the pueblo.

In the pueblo is viewed as uncivilized, un-sanitized, filthy just plain wrong from Lenina’s point of view. Yet the Great State is seen as civilized and correct and this comparison was very apparent. Even Linda explains how she initially sees the whole pueblo as unbearable “I remember how it used to upset me, all that dirt, and nothing being aseptic” (Huxley 114). At this point I found it very impressive how we were initially introduced to a technologically advanced society, prosperous, young and joyful. Yet life at the pueblo is completely different. Life there is more natural, rural and less prosperous, we even learn that Linda tried to condition John just as it was done in the Great State but it was hard due to their new life style and customs, “Which was a good thing in a way,because it made it easier for me to condition him a little” (Huxley 115).

Brave New World (Ch. 6-9)

After reading I was happy to find out that Bernard was the main focus. I liked Bernard’s character and how he was different from the others, he knows that the society he’s living in is not particularly “right”. I felt that Bernard’s behavior was not at all how I expected him to be. I expected Bernard to just be quiet, keeping his feelings to himself and not associating with others, but that was not the case with Lenina.

Bernard and Lenina go on an “adventure” on a helicopter. I noticed how eager Bernard was for wanting to see the world in a different way, he wanted to go close to the water, insisting on “stopping his propeller and hovering  . . . within a hundred feet of the waves”. (pg 89) Lenina was scared of going that close to the water. Bernard was embracing his experience of seeing the water and Lenina referred to it as “horrible”. I feel like Lenina is being very stubborn and closed-minded on wanting to explore with Bernard. Lenina, in my opinion is very stuck in her ways and wants to continue to follow how everyone else in her society is. She doesn’t want to think about anything but how her life is right now, and she’s not open for change how Bernard is so open for change.

 Bernard and Lenina were having a conversation about their lives and Bernard is trying to convince Lenina that the way they are living is not a good and “happy life” and for her to come to the Savage Reservation with him. I think that out of all people Bernard has ever associated with, he sees the most potential in Lenina for wanting to explore a different life.  Bernard says “don’t you wish you were free Lenina?” and Lenina’s response was far from what he wanted with “I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays” (pg 90) I think that Lenina is completely in denial with what she sees as “happy”. Her view of “happiness” is completely artificial in my opinion. When she wants to feel “happy” she takes soma. Lenina probably has never ever felt true happiness in her life because she is just taking a drug when she wants to “feel” happy. Bernard says to Lenina ” But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way . . . in your own way, for example, not in everybody else’s way”. (pg 90)
Bernard and Lenina go to Malpais, a place where life is completely different from the World State. They see all the people. Men, women, babies, old and young. Lenina automatically says “I don’t like it, I don’t like it” “but how can they live like this?” (pg 105) She thinks all these people are crazy for the way they are living. Lenina sees an old man and says “what’s the matter with him?” (pg 106) She sees looking old as something that is horrible. This is completely out of what Lenina knows because in the Bokanovsky Process you can make a person and pick out what you want them to look and act like. She is not used to seeing other people besides the ones in her caste system. She doesn’t know anything besides the World State. I noticed that Lenina kept asking Bernard “what’s wrong with this person?” “why are they doing that?”, this shows that Bernard has knowledge on life outside the World State and he is desperately wanting to escape from that.
As they continue walking through the village of Malpais, Lenina is seeing things she has never ever seen before in her life. She repeatedly wiped herself with her handkerchief. I saw this as symbolism of Lenina wiping off her thoughts of ever wanting to have a different life. She saw everything these people did as disgusting and terrible.  Lenina hated her experience of walking through Malpais and seeing all the differences of life. She was going “crazy” and was wanting to take soma. She then realized that she forgot to take soma with her to Malpais. This shows how dependent Lenina is of soma. She can’t function properly without soma. I think that if she were to just lay off of the soma she will see things more differently.
The concept of family is introduced first handedly to both Lenina and Bernard. They see a mother and her baby. Both Lenina and Bernard dont have any concept of family because the World State blocks out having any type of “family” or “personal” relationships. Bernard is amazed from seeing this kind of love and says “what a wonderfully intimate relationship, and what an intensity of feeling it must generate! I often think one may have missed something in not having had a mother. And perhaps you’ve missed something in not being a mother, imagine yourself sitting there with a little baby of your own” (pg 107) I really liked this line from Bernard, he was speaking straight from his heart, I felt that he was being very real and vulnerable with Lenina and his feelings about family. I think Bernard was dreaming of how life would be like having a mother or a child. Lenina then says “Bernard! How can you? Let’s go away. I don’t like it” (pg 107) This made me really dislike Lenina.
After reading chapters 6-9 I am starting to like this book more. I’ve grown to really like Bernard and how he is daring to be different from the usual and how he doesn’t care what everyone else thinks of him.


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.

Bernard’s conflicts

In these few chapters there are so many turning points and major factors that help us better understand the characters in A Brave New World. I was definitely not expecting so much to happen in just a couple of chapters. I would like focus the attention to who I feel was is the main character or protagonist at this point, which is Bernard. Bernard’s character has caught my attention as a reader since our first introduction to him even though he did not necessarily play a major role in the beginning of the story. He has slowly made his way into the spotlight and has continued to show us the readers around the “Worlds State”. I found that in these chapters Bernard’s internal and external conflicts are a bit more evident.

The first external conflict I came cross is between Bernard and Lenina. On page 89 in conversation between the two, we observe that Benard has deeper feeling for Lenina then just to “have her”. He wishes to talk to her and take long walks, Lenina does not understand why Bernard would want to do all this and I believe its because of her conditioning. Her conditioning does not allow her or anyone for that matter to be “attached” emotionally to anyone. I also noticed that when Lenina is over whelmed by what Bernard tries to tell her she simply takes her soma and zones out. This option is easier then to try and listen.

I also found the on pages 90-91 in a conversation between Bernard and Lenina, Bernard explains to her about wanting to be free from the enslavement of his conditioning. “As though I were more me, if you see what I mean. More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body. . . what would it be like if I could. If i were free – not enslaved by my conditioning.” He tries to explain to her that he wants to be free in his own way, not the superficial freedom that everyone else believes they have.

Reading on we find ourselves with another conflict; With the D.H.C. On pg 94, Benard enters the directors office to pick up his permit to go to the savage reservation. To some up the conversation. The director tells Benard a story about when he himself went into to reservation with a women he was “having” at the time. Benard notices a bit of sentiment in the directors tone but the director quickly cuts the story short as if to be ashamed and even reassures Bernard it was nothing on pg 95 “Don’t imagine, he said, that I’d had any indecorous relation  with the girl. Nothing emotional, nothing long-drawn. It was all perfectly healthy and normal.” This made me wonder, if this was supposedly already known to the society. Why did he need to reassure Bernard about it?. My suspicions were later confirmed by the threat of being transferred to Iceland and later we find the transfer actually went through on pg 100.

As far as internal conflicts go, we’ve had small glimpses of the struggles that Bernard is currently going through. We notice that because of the very obvious difference in physical attributes Bernard has compared to other Alphas, it has made him mentally unstable. I feel as if this one aspect of his life has triggered him to question everything else. I get this idea from a previous chapter where because of his lack physical features and abilities he gained “mental excess” making him smarter then the average Alpha. Giving him an ability to analyze himself, his options, his life, and his choices in general.

When Benard reaches the reservation, he is like a child in a candy store. Although his conditioning holds him back and gives him a feeling of being uncomfortable, he still is very curious about the way of life there. He wants to know how the people of the reservation have lived without order, unaided, and so savagely. He gets his answers through Johns life and the things he has been through. I believe Bernard sees himself in John and can connect to him through pain of being an outcast and being shut out of everything, examples can be seen on pg 128.

I cannot wait to see the directors reaction when Bernard brings John and Linda back to London in the upcoming chapters.