Mixed thoughts.

After reading Brave New World, I am surprised, confused and disappointed. The ending was not at all how I expected it to be. In the beginning chapters of the story, I thought Bernard was the protagonist. He was different from everyone and I thought he was going to rebel from the World State and be the “hero” by the end of the book but that was not the case. I then continued reading and from the middle chapters, I saw that Bernard’s character was changing. He was starting to act like everyone else around him, he was following the rules of the World State like acting promiscuously and he started taking soma. All these thoughts I had about Bernard really disappointed me, especially when reading chapter fifteen.

In chapter fifteen, we learn that Linda dies and John turns the hospital into complete chaos. John begins screaming, he punches people in their faces and even throws out the supply of soma out of the window. All the people couldn’t believe what John was doing. Bernard says “he’s mad, they’ll kill him. Ford help him!” (pg 193) John shouted “free, free” “men at last!” “you’re free!” (pg 193) while he was throwing out the soma.  I was happy that John was doing this because I felt like he was giving everyone a reality check, which they didn’t understand. He was trying to show them that soma is not everything in life, he thinks soma is like poison. All these people are so caught up in following what’s “right and wrong” in life, that I think they’re not even really living a life because they are all already “predestined” and everything they’re supposed to do is already laid out for them to do like taking soma, participating in orgies, believing in “Ford” and being promiscuous.

I was really disappointed with Bernard on page 193. John was supposed to be Bernard’s friend, he brought back John and Linda to the World State and brought them to the Director. I knew that Bernard did this for revenge on the Director, but I also thought that Bernard actually somewhat cared for John and Linda? In previous readings we found out that Bernard was only using them both for his own purposes, to gain popularity.

I wanted to think that Bernard would have turned out differently by the end of the story. I truly thought Bernard was going to be a leader, but in reality he is actually just like everyone else, a follower. From pages 193-194 Bernard has an internal conflict where he is watching all this chaos in the hospital go on and how John is acting and he thinks of helping the others and he is “urged by a sudden impulse, ran forward to help them; then thought better of it and halted; then, ashamed, stepped forward again then again thought better of it and was standing in an agony of humiliated indecision” (pg 193) He starts thinking about how John is going crazy and taking all his built up emotions and anger out on the other people. I thought Bernard was going to step in and be a man and help the others and after going back and forth with what to do,  but he just decides to play the victim.

Although, I wanted Bernard to be the hero, I liked how Huxley changed up the story. It would be too predictable for Bernard to be the hero and the ending was definitely unexpected. I think this made the ending of the story more interesting, then how it may have been with Bernard being the hero, like a “happy ever after” I think that would have been boring.

I finished reading with the question.. What happened to Lenina?

Something I learned in sociology class was Karl Marx’s Conflict View of Social Change. This concept was “conflict is progress and progress is conflict” this concept reminded me of Brave New World.  Bernard and John both brought conflict to the World State, Bernard was unlike the others in his caste system, Alpha Plus and at first he didn’t live the way he was supposed to, which caused conflict. Bernard brought John to the World State, which also caused conflict. When there was an attempt at progress, there were more conflicts that followed.


Society’s toll on a person

The final chapters of Brave New World, seem to me as if they wrap up the story perfectly. The author could have easily left John to be on his own and live out his life in peace, but that would have not been true to the underlying view of how society is. This book was never a fairy tale with a happy ending.

“Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east..” (BNW 231)

I think this is the only way the book could have ended. The way the society was structured in the book, there was no hope for change. John attempted multiple times to change things, and even when not in the midst of the society, he was still badgered and harassed. The people in the book, due to their conditioning would never have been able to let down what John was doing, even if he hadn’t chosen to commit suicide. The persistence due to their conditioning would have continued to lead on-lookers to where John was and with that he would never have found his peace.

I think this is also a prime example off how society can push someone to the point of breaking. There are always situations to be heard of, how someone is bullied or misunderstood, and unfortunately some believe that the only way out is through taking ones life. People tend to be ruthless, especially when motivated by mob  mentality, and with their conditioning as in the book, there would have been no shot at change and understanding of how John wanted to live out the rest of his days.

I actually have read this book in highschool, but barely remember any of it. At the time it seemed unappealing and I can say I was without a doubt unappreciative of it. Now, a few years later, I can say I definitely enjoyed the book and was able to understand it more. I believe it was a fitting ending.

John is the hero on the novel.

In the end of the book we see that although John is the hero of the novel and the man who craves real human connection, he is not immune from the indoctrination. When the Linda, his mother, was not recognizing him,- “Anger suddenly boiled up in him. Balked for the second time, the passion of his grief had found another outlet, was transformed into a passion of agonized rage”(Huxley, page185), he shacked his mother. The author shows that John is the one, who has a real emotion in this World State and don’t lose  family  connection.

The dialog between John and Mustapha Mond shows contrast t two world visions as civilization society  and old fashion society. The art reference are used in a way to show who is really socially conditional and who is not. The characters who understand and can relate to the human complexity in the characters are ones who are resisting the system.”You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We’ve sacrificed the high art.We have the fee lies and the scent organ instead” (Huxley, page 199). Also, the reader learns that is no” God” in civilization world. The Controller is a new God, who has complete control over everyone, manipulate its people psychology and erasure individuality. “You must make your choice (Huxley, page 210). John is a danger, he is rebel again civilization society.  The Controller understand  that Johns’ individuality can make people questions and it can be dangerous in the future. “But chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passion and neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end of civilization” (Huxley, page 212). Unfortunately, there is no place for John in civilization society.

John is becoming the savage that society has ridiculed him for being. I think that he is showing that there are two choices, compliance or animalistic savagery. Both lifestyles are lies but John can’t help but to pick one side. I think that Huxley does this as a way to show that no one is immune from the cultural ideas that have been reinforced throughout one’s life.

In the end of the book  John made his choice  to “be alone”.  John is the protagonist. He is individual in the way that has different values about family unit and religion.  ” But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin” (Huxley, page 215).  He killed himself in the end of the book, society make him to kill himself. It can be read as society inhumanity. John made the choice to be individual in his own way and society punished him who dissent.  He is the hero of the New Brave World.  Huxley shows cruelty of this World State and warning the reader that can happened in the future.





undesirable ending.

This week we reach the end of Brave New World.The last chapter in particular left me feeling that I usually get when I leave my chemistry class, what just happened? A lot of confusion in the last chapter.The two chapters proceeding the last one ties everything up very neatly and a lot, if not all, the answers about the civilized society were answered. Then that’s it, those are all the answers you get.

We don’t get answers as to what happen to the characters we have been following for so long. Sure they tell us that Bernard and Hemholtz are basically exiled to different islands but what happens to them once they get there? Are they coping with it? Are they better off on their perspective islands than they were in civilized society?

There’s one question that burns inside me about these islands full of exiled people. The controller says “If he had the smallest sense he’d understand that this punishment is really a reward. He’s being sent to an island. That’s to say, he’s being sent to a place where he’ll meet the most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in the world. All of the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self consciously individual to fit into community life. All the people who aren’t satisfied with orthodoxy. who’ve got independent ideas of their own. Every one, in a word who’s anyone” (Huxley page 204).

If these people are so against the grain why don’t they rebel against the world state? Since they are so unorthodox and they see the cracks in the system of the world state why don’t they expose these cracks and make a better society? Or is because they are so content with their current environment and they are surrounded by people of their own stature they that feel at home, at peace? That they finally feel accepted and are happy with the way their lives turned out? I wish we could have got more answers on the residents of these islands.

I’m more curious than anything as to what happened to Lennina? Was she the girl that John beat with the whip? ” “Strumpet!” The savage had rushed at her like a madman. “Fitchew!” Like a madman, he was slashing at her with the whip of small cords” ( Huxley page 229). Was this Lenina? I feel like she is the only female that would enrage John so bad that he would want cause physical harm to her. And Lennia was always around Henry Foster, so I think it would be safe to assume that this was Lennina who John beat with the whip. Did she die? After the beating did Lennina die? Another question that was left unanswered.

Finally, John’s suicide. I understand why he had to die but why would the controller set him up like that? The Controller is a very intelligent person, he knew John couldn’t last in civilized society, so instead of granting him permission to be exiled like Bernard and Hemholtz he condemned him to this life of misery in this civilized world. The controller knew John was like a square peg trying to fit in a circular spot. He knew it wouldn’t last long or end pretty so that’s why I feel as if John was set up.

Very disappointing end to a very strange story.

Plot Twist…

What a turn to the story!  The last couple of chapters of Brave New World lead us to a plot twist.  I believed that the story would end in the change of civilization.  When John, Bernard, Helmholtz, and Mustapha Mond were conversing after John’s outburst about how Mond believed in what John believed, I thought there was going to be a happy ending.  But, in all reality, the ending of this story was pretty sad.  The story of Brave New World ends in John’s downfall, which baffles me because I believed that out of all of the characters in this story, John was the strongest.  After seeing Bernard’s change, I thought that John would be the one to change society and get through to The Controllers.  When John escaped to the lighthouse, I though he would be a happier person, maybe find the woman he wanted and go against civilization and conceive a child.  I even had hope of him running into Lenina and them living happily ever after.  But I was wrong, John ended up taking his own life, not being able to bear the chaotic scene that occurred at the light house with the whipping of Lenina, and the crowd of people, and the helicopters.

In chapters 14-18 we learn a lot about the characters of Brave New World.  We find out that Bernard is a coward, especially in the chapter where John, Helmholtz and himself were taken to Mustapha Mond after John went completely insane at the Park lane Hospital for the Dying.  To me, John was never fully sane, maybe this is because of his upbringing at the reservation.  Once his mother died, he became even crazier.  His anger elevated.  The simplest things would tick him off.  For example, when John was at the Park lane Hospital of the dying, before his mother passed away, he attacked the nurse.  He also pushed toddlers around and while explaining to the people of London that they are not truly free, he threw a fit and ended up starting a riot between the classes.

John hit the fan when he escaped to the lighthouse.  He used mustard and hot water to turn his insides and make himself sick.  He also whipped himself.  Chapter 18 states “Three Delta-Minus workers from one of the Puttenham Bokanovsky Groups happened to be driving to El-stead and, at the top of the hill, were astonished to see a young man standing outside the abandoned lighthouse stripped to the waist and hitting himself with a whip of knotted cords.”  After this event, John began to receive visits from reporters.  He also threw himself into a bush of thorns to get the image of Lenina out of his head.  Chapter 18 states “At the edge of the heath stood a clump of hoary juniper bushes.  He flung himself against them, he embraced, not the smooth body of his desires, but an armful of green spikes.”  John must have had a high tolerance of pain.  You would think one would pass out from all of this self torture or at least stop hurting themselves.  This also proves the insanity of John.

The whipping incident was the beginning to John’s downfall.  And in the end John ended up hanging himself from all the terrorization he was receiving from “the outsiders.”  If he continued living the way he was, he most likely would have been brought back to the London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre and be put under the eyes of everyone like an animal in a cage.

The insane outcome..

Reading chapter 14-18 ending “brave new world” was not my anticipated outcome at all. The ending showed the true character in the male main characters. It was sad that johns mother Linda died which was expected but the way the nurse reacted to johns emotions was disgusting on page 187 when she tells him “can’t you behave?” Since this can mess up the death conditioning of the children, rather than take the children out the room and let him grieve in peace. To make matters worse she let the kids watch him and ask if she is dead as if it was really amusing to see. I was surprised that John did not harm the children who stayed to make fun and point at his dead mother.

The savage in rage of this society and the death of his mother makes him speak out against the world state on page 192 when he says “I come to bring you freedom”. He wants to undo the conditioning of this society since he sees that nobody is truly free, they have no emotions. I find john to be brave enough to throw away everyone’s supply of poison soma to state a point. The people of this weird society can function fine without the drug that makes you happy and cuts your life duration down tremendously. I thought it was interesting that he sorta did get through to the people which caused a team to break up the savages attempt by brain washing the people again and giving them a fresh supply of soma. I was hoping that his speech and destruction of the toxic pills would wake most of the citizens up permanently.

I was really disgusted by Benards behavior, he turned out to be a coward which I did not believe would happen since he was on the same level as the Savage and Helmholtz. I believe that after his party that everyone bashed him in his face with insults permanently shut down his will to fight and be strong as He once was to threaten society. Helmholtz and the Savage proven themselves to be stronger than Benard. On page 197 the three meet the controller. Who tells them the reason they don’t allow books such as Shakespeare to be read by citizens is because “it’s old:that’s the chief reason”. The controllers reasons for the way society is set up seems odd but makes sense to the Savage in certain aspects.

Meeting the controller showed that he is really relaxed and not crazy as the world state is since he is one of the select few of people that is allowed to think for themselves and not have to take soma. I found it interesting how towards the end of the book after the savages talk with the controller he later on thinks about Lenina which causes him to go mad and beat himself. Although the savage is in pain the citizens watch him in excitement as he suffers since it’s something new to them. The ending of this story was weird and confusing and I lost interest in the last chapter. My question is will this society ever change its view on suffering instead of using soma to block the pain and emotions?


We have finally reached the end of this story and I am left unsatisfied. Questions about the society have been answered yes, but I do not like the ending of the characters. Questions about what happens to the characters now and what fate are they left to. Are these questions left to the reader to figure out?

Bernard the coward. In the last few chapters our protagonist Bernard has shown to be nothing but a coward that will do anything to be accepted by his “Fordship” or to look like a sort of hero as seen in the last couple chapters when he introduced the savages. Analyzing his character throughout the story, Bernard seemed like the character that would eventually rebel against the system and express his own views and ideas. I realized that after his downfall at the party he completely lost his momentum in the story. We see in chapter 16 Bernard says “You can’t send me. I haven’t done anything. It was the others. I swear it was the others.” He pointed accusingly yo Helmholtz and the savage. “Oh, please don’t send me to Iceland. I promise I’ll do what I ought to do. Give me another chance. Please give me another chance. (203). We clearly see Bernard give up and as we say “throws under the bus” his supposed two best friends, the only people he can relate to. Without question puts full blame on them like nothing just to get out of this inevitable and certain relocation. I found this to be the most cowardly act from Bernard, crying and pleading to take the “others” instead of himself. We later see him asking for forgiveness in chapter 18 “And by the way John,” he continued, leaning forward in his chair and laying a hand on the Savage’s knee, “I want to say how sorry I am about everything that happened yesterday.” He blushed. “How ashamed,” he went on, in spite of the unsteadiness of his voice.” (217) We can see how confused and out of place Bernard is, clearly his mental state is unstable and relocation is the best option for him. Until he finds himself, he will remain under the shadow of Helmholtz even on the island.

The calm and accepting Helmhotlz. Completely opposite of Bernard, he accepts his fate of being sent away to an island with pleasure “By the way, Mr. Watson, would you like a tropical climate? The Marquesas, for example; or Samoa? Of something rather more bracing?” Helmholtz rose from his pneumatic chair. “I should like a thoroughly bad climate,” he answered. “I believe one would write better if the climate were bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms, for example. . .” (206) I feel as if Helmholtz remains strong and proud as an Alpha should, accepting his fate and speaking to someone with such power as the worlds controller with no problem or tremor in his voice is definitely admirable. He keeps his composure as well as controls Bernard’s tantrums. I feel he will do well in the islands, I can sense he will find himself and more people to discover what he has been questioning about himself since our introduction to his character.

John’s sad fate. John’s character has really has hit his highs and lows. He is being taught about the world state’s society throughout his time being there. I personally think it was too much for him to understand and take in. Not being born into this lifestyle made everything harder to picture and believe. I also believe that the combination of the Savage way of life and the World State’s “civil” way, were polar opposites and not easy on John to comprehend. In chapter 17, John and Mustapha have a lengthy conversation on religion and the way things “should” be compared to the way they are. Both sides of the arguments seem to make a lot of sense in their own way, and as readers we now fully understand and can grasp why things are the way they are in the World State. John on the other hand chooses to do things the way he feels is right. Ultimately, we find that John gives into his thoughts of Lenina, which go against what he was trying to prove to himself that he was able to overcome and ends his life.

This ending has me wondering what will happen with Lenina, one of the only characters that had he most interaction with the main characters. She also knows the most about how Bernard truly felt. Will she ignore what she heard? Will her love for John fade away now that he’s dead? Will Mond or anyone find out about what happened between her and John? Will she be exiled if they do find out?

Really liked the story regardless of the ending, just wished Huxley left us with some closure on the characters.