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Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of Brave New World. In what way?In some...

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fattal | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM via web

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Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of Brave New World. In what way?

In some ways, Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of the brave new world. How does the experience of each character challenge the assumptions of the dystopia? Do you think Huxley takes these women characters as seriously as he does the men? Why or why not?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 29, 2010 at 11:35 AM (Answer #1)

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I really do not see how these two are the most serious rebels.  Their experiences do challenge the assumptions of the dystopia, but it seems to me that this is only because of the way that they are acted upon by the men in their lives.  This shows me that Huxley does not take them seriously -- they are not actors; they are acted upon.

Linda firmly believes in the ideals of the civilization.  She ends up living in a way that goes against everything the society stands for, but it is not anything that she wanted.  Lenina ends up as the love interest of John.  The idea that someone could be the object of love is anathema to the society as well.  But this is not Lenina's doing, it is John's.

I think that Huxley does not take the women seriously because he just has them be objects of what the men do, for the most part.  But the fact that he draws them in this way makes me unable to see them as true rebels.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:52 PM (Answer #2)

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If Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of the New World, why, then, are Bernard and Helmholtz exiled, but not Lenina or Linda?

Without being able to agree with the premise of the question, there is no substantiation that can be provided other than Lenina's somewhat rebellious behavior regarding the "everyone belongs to everyone else" credo.  She prefers having only one boyfriend at a time, such as Bernard, then John; but, she is not above quickly baring herself for someone to whom she is attracted. And, while her identity at the end of the book is not overtly stated, she seems to be the girl sent to seduce John in his exile.  As such, Lenina acts, not rebelliously, but in compliance to Henry Foster, who deserts her to her fate as she is sent by helicopter to where John is exiled.  Lenina is a character who is used; even in the beginning of the novel she says that the men find her "pneumatic"; in Lenina's case it means like a balloon, bouncy,  suggesting the feel of her bosom.  And, since two-thirds of the women are sterilized, there seems little purpose to women in Brave New World.

When she is returned to the New World, about which she has nostalgically told her son, Linda willingly subjects herself to soma and makes no attempts at existential acts, such as John, her son, does.

 

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