Full version Brave New World: The Alienation Of John In Both Cultures

Brave New World: The Alienation Of John In Both Cultures

This print version free essay Brave New World: The Alienation Of John In Both Cultures.

Category: English

Autor: reviewessays 05 March 2011

Words: 915 | Pages: 4

Cursed to a life of isolation because of his appearance, values, and outrageous thoughts, John was alienated mentally, emotionally, and physically in both the Savage Culture and the World State Culture. Torn between keeping true to his virtues and conforming to society, the treatment of John highlights the values of both cultures in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Not looking like the rest of the Indians on the reservation hampered John’s ability to fit in with the Savage society. John wanted more than anything to be a part of the Indian culture, to be part of the ritual, to give his life. “Why wouldn’t they let me be the sacrifice? I’d have gone round ten times–– twelve, fifteen.” John asked why, but he knew the answer. “But they wouldn’t let me. They disliked me for my complexion. It’s always been like that. Always.” Always was John shunned, always was he left out, always was he mocked. The Indians were dark skinned, and fiercely looked down on the light skinned people from the “Other Place.” It wasn’t only John’s features that set him apart, but also the actions of his mother. When he tried to participate with the other boys in becoming men they yelled, “Not for you, white-hair! Not for the son of the she-dog.” They crushed his spirits and pelted him with rocks. John’s mother, Linda, who was from the “Other Place”, was too promiscuous for the Indians and was dirty in their eyes. Because of her actions, John was unclean, covered in her filth. When Bernard asked if John and Linda would like to return with him, John couldn’t believe he was going to see the “brave new world.”

“O brave new world. O brave new world that has such people in it. Let’s start at once.” John’s excitement was premature, before long he would be quoting the same line but with hatred in his heart. England was a complete new world to him, filled with people that had his appearance, but had none of the same beliefs. Bernard quickly capitalized at John’s expense, inviting people to come and look at this amazing spectacle he had brought back from the reservation. John, on the other hand, wasn’t amused. “You ought to have asked me first whether I wanted to meet them.” John was sick of being shown to people and gawked at. The rift between John’s values and the rest of the “civilized” people was further split when Lenina tried to have John. “Whore!” cried John when he realized what she was doing, “Damned whore!” His beliefs were tested and he passed. The new world was so different than the reservation, Lenina and the rest of society was pushing him further and further away. “They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare” What was paradise to some, was hell to John. The brave new world he had dreamed of was turning out to be a nightmare. Isolating himself from the rest of the world was his only escape.

In a last attempt to change society, John halted a soma distribution by throwing the rations out of a window. “But do you like being slaves?” John didn’t understand because he didn’t have the same upbringing or beliefs as the rest of the people. Before long John had become a hermit, secluded in an abandoned lighthouse. “After all, it was not to sing and enjoy himself that he had come here. It was to escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life; it was to be purified and made good; it was to actively make amends.” To keep himself focused and away from society, John whipped himself, stroke after stroke after stroke. Unfortunately, it had the opposite affect. Before long, representatives from different newspapers were there trying to get a story out of him. A “feely” was made of John self flagellating himself which sent a wave of tourists to see it in person. “What do you want with me?” They wanted the whip, they wanted entertainment. That is all John was good for, amusement. When John woke up the next morning he remembered everything. “Oh, my God, my God!” He had succumbed to the one thing he was most set against; he had participated in the orgy the night before. Seclusion was no long enough; there was only one more solution––death.

“At Malpais he had suffered because they had shut him out from the communal activities of the pueblo, in civilized London he was suffering because he could never escape from these communal activities, never be quietly alone.” In the savage society John was always alone, alienated from everyone else. In the World State society he could never be free, never be alone. He was an outcast in both places, but in different ways. “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely. They’re beastly to one.” John’s loneliness showed how beastly both societies really were to people who were different. Neither one was better than the other.