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John ends up being the main protagonist in Aldous Huxley's  Brave New World. What...

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book2525 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2012 at 3:06 AM via web

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John ends up being the main protagonist in Aldous Huxley's  Brave New World. What purpose, then, does Bernard serve in the novel? Please include evidence.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 12, 2012 at 9:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Bernard is the first protagonist for the first part of Huxley's novel. The reader sees most of the new world through his eyes until he discovers John the Savage. Bernard's suffering for acceptance in the novel is paled in comparison to John's, so that seems to be part of the reason that he slowly fades away as the main character. Bernard becomes a mentor to John, but doesn't fulfill that role properly because he doesn't understand or care enough about John. Bernard only ever cares about himself and uses John in the process. At that point, John is the victim and Bernard is the aggressor; however, he is a mild aggressor compared to the society itself. Hence, Bernard's purpose is to show one of the many perspectives of misfits clamoring to obtain approval in a "perfect" society. At one point early on in the book, when the students are learning about genetic engineering of children, the Controller says, "No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability" (48); Bernard, in fact, is one who is not stable individually, and therefore represents how a person can be cast out from society if they do not follow it properly.


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