Huxley’s Use Of An Outsider’s Perspective In Brave New World

1696 words - 7 pages

Aldous Huxley uses the viewpoint of an outsider, or Savage, to give the reader different perspectives of his dystopian world in Brave New World. After traveling to the World State from the reservation, John (the savage) disagrees with the lack of intimacy, the lack of morality, and the lack of free will that he witnesses there, which shows the reader a very different side of the World State. These imperfections, along with many other factors, cause John to plunge into insanity and eventually commit suicide.
There is a severe lack of intimacy, or close personal relationships in the World State which makes John feel isolated and unsure of how to act towards others, which gives the reader ...view middle of the document...

Even when John falls in love with Lenina he feels alone because she does not understand the way he feels about her. John tries to hint at he feelings saying, “Listen, Lenina; in Malpais people get married” (154) but Lenina does not even understand what the word means, and when she finds out is enraged by the very idea of it. This lack of intimate relationships in the World State affect John’s feelings, making his views very different from those around him.
The morals and values that John learns on the reserve become greatly contrasted by the society he later plunges into, giving the reader a closer look at what morality is in the World State. The people of the World State have a sense of entitlement about them and to them happiness is not a gift; it is a right. John contrasts this by feeling as if things are coming too easily to him and that he does not deserve them. When Lenina tells him she wants to have him, he tries to earn it so that he feels he deserves it and quotes Shakespeare’s The Tempest saying, “I’ll do anything,” he went on, more and more incoherently. “Anything you tell me. There be some sports are painful-you know. But their labour delight in them sets off. That’s what I feel. I mean I’d sweep the floor if you wanted.”(154), Lenina responds in a confused manner and does not understand why John does not feel he just deserves her like every other man in the World State.
The World State is “wholly secular culture, dominated by economics, supported by technology and dedicated to the – within carefully set limits – Freudian pleasure principle with its emphasis on libidinal appetite” (Baker 97) and this promiscuity makes John feel uncomfortable and even angry sometimes. While still on the Reservation John witnesses his mother engaging in relations with many different men, because she grew up in the World State, which angers him and contrasts how life on the Reservation is. At one point John becomes so angry that he even tries to kill his mother’s friend Popé. Once John comes to the world state he falls in love with Lenina but when he tells her this, she throws herself at John but he feels he has not earned her yet. This along with the death of John’s mother eventually drives him insane and he lives as a hermit. The promiscuity of the World State finally engulfs John in an orgy while he is drugged. The next morning “he lay for a moment, blinking in owlish incomprehension at the light; then suddenly remembered-everything” (Huxley 205). John then proceeds to hang himself in shame. John finds himself disgusted with the lack of morals and values in the World State, but the common people are not to blame.
The authorities in the World State basically govern every aspect of the citizens’ lives, which makes John a minority because he has the ability to think and feel what he wants to feel, which shows how Brave New World is “a passionate plea for human autonomy, even the right to unhappiness,”(Rottensteiner 92) to those who read it. The...

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