How does Huxley use his characters to explore the Brave New World? In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley has presented a world which appears as a Utopia in which most people are happy, and disease and death are prevented. However, upon scrutiny this world is a Dystopia that sacrifices freedom, art and religion to achieve its goals. In his novel, Huxley questions the World State through characters such as Lenina Crowne, John Savage, and Bernard Marx. Lenina has been developed by Huxley to be the quintessential product of the Brave New World. She is a mouthpiece that reflects the society.
Lenina's attitude is shown through the repeated use of hypnopaedic proverbs and her obsession with soma. She conforms to all that is social morality such as promiscuity and prejudices towards other castes. Her promiscuity is demonstrated in the line, "She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them" (pg 48). Her attachment to soma and the effectiveness of hypnopaedia on her, are shown when she states, "A gramme is always better than a damn," and "A gramme in time saves nine" (pg 74). The responder is not meant to like her because she epitomizes all that is the norm in the World State.
Huxley introduces Bernard Marx, who lies between the views presented by Lenina and John. Although Bernard is seen to be cynical about the World State, on occasion he agrees with the system. He is faced with the dilemma of whether to conform to the rudiments of the BNW or to face the bitterness of being banished to the islands. This is seen when John and Helmholtz are struggling to get rid of the packets of soma with Bernard seeming to struggle with his desire to join them or to stay away.
He runs towards the police in an attempt to save himself. When the police question him, he hesitates: 'You " re a friend of the prisoner aren't you?' 'Well... .' said Bernard and hesitated. No he really couldn't deny it.
'Why shouldn't I be?' he asked (pg 177). At this point, he finally admits an allegiance with John which results in him being banished to an island. He is not a complete hero because he does not openly criticize the World State, but the responder can admire his difference to the norm. To finish the range of characters, John Savage has been created by Huxley to be a misfit in the new world. He is an outsider, from a Savage Reservation, who sees the World State with a different perspective. John opposes Lenina's views and shows change during his visit to the BNW.
He begins by being open and amazed; this is shown in his quote of Miranda's line from The Tempest: "O Brave New World that has such people in it" (Pg 130). However, this quote soon turns ironic in meaning. John rebels against the authorities of the BNW over the use of soma. This is seen in chapter 15 when he considers soma as poison and starts throwing it out of the window amidst the crowd of Deltas. The social system of the BNW finally leads John to commit suicide. Despite his tragic death that means he is not a successful hero, the responder respects his frank criticism of the World State.
Huxley has created a scale of the characters in the novel. On this scale, he has placed Lenina and John on the extremes and Bernard in the middle. Lenina and John's views are direct contradictions of each other and Bernard tends to agree at times with both of them. In the end, through empathy, Huxley has directed our overall feelings towards John and Bernard in their struggle against the World State.
Therefore, Huxley has shown us his criticism of the Brave New World.