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What is Bernard Marx's position in society and how do his physical attributes...

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ashben13 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM via web

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What is Bernard Marx's position in society and how do his physical attributes contribute to his personality and character? 

How, and why?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 2, 2012 at 12:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Bernard Marx is an interesting character to follow in Huxley's "Brave New World." He is an Alpha-plus, which means that he is highly intelligent and works in the hatchery as one who oversees the conditioning of the youth through the night-time hypnotism. The obstacles that he faces have much to do with his physical defects.

"Bernard's physique was hardly better than that of the average Gamma. He stood eight centimetres short of the standard Alpha height and was slender in proportion. Contact with members of the lower castes always reminded him painfully of this physical inadequacy" (76).

Because he was shorter than other Alphas, he experienced life differently than they did.  For example, he felt that he needed to yell at the Gammas in order to get them to listen to him and obey his orders. This low self-concept of himself affected how he responded to opposition in his life; such as the time when he was almost fired from his job, he quickly retaliated by embarrassing the director in public about Linda and John. He was consistent with his actions because he was always worried about his status in the sytem. He never learns a lesson and improves, he stays the same paranoid little man that he is.

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