Are there examples of John's appearing to be free and not conditioned while on the Reservation?Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As the natural-born son of Linda from the New World, John has not been conditioned because he is a resident of the Reservation, far from the New World. When Bernard and Lenina arrive, they watch a ritual to bring rain in which a young man is lashed with a whip.  Then, they encounter the blond, blue-eyed John, who wishes that he could have been part of the ritual the couple have just witnessed.  When Lenina asks him why he wants to be whipped, John replies,

"For the sake of the pueblo--to make the rain come and the corn grow.....And then to show that I can bear pain without crying out...."

From his mother, John has learned to read;  But, his mother Linda never seems to know from where anything comes.  John turns to the old men of the pueblo who have "more definite answers." One old man teaches him to mold clay and promises to teach him the make a bow.  From Pope he acquires The Compete Works of William Shakespeare, and he reads this hungrily. Then, one night, John tries to kill Pope, just as Hamlet sought to slay Claudius.  But, Pope awakens and beats him away.  However, he respects John, saying, "Go, my brave Ahayuta." 

But, John remains on the fringe of the Indian society.  The girl that he loves marries another; he is not allowed to participate in the blood initiation into manhood because he is not an Indian.  So, when he meets Linda and Bernard, he exclaims,

"O brave new world...How many goodly creatures are there here!  How beauteous mankind is!"

John is excited by this meeting with people from his mother's world.

We’ve answered 317,422 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question