What do Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson have in common?Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World are both intelligent men who are discontent with the New World. While Bernard finds the required consumerism insipid, he wants to enjoy nature, and is criticized for his actions since the residents of the New World have been conditioned to hate the outdoors.  Bernard is repulsed by the emptiness of the Solidarity Service, as well.  But, instead of pursuing something worthwhile to occupy his time, after Bernard travels to the Reservation with Lenina, Bernard realizes that he can wreak revenge on the Director who is the savage's father.  So, even though he is not a consumer, Bernard becomes petty and selfish, eventually destroying himself.  Helmholtz Watson, on the other hand, is a very intelligent man, who like Bernard hopes that something more meaningful is in his future.  As he writes slogans for the residents, Helmholtz realizes that there must be better uses for his writings. After learning that he is to be exiled, he hopes to write something more meaningful.  Yet, both men are products of their society, for they cannot understand  truly what they lack.  When John Savage tries to share Shakespeare with the two men, they cannot understand the meanings in the play. Both are limited by their conditioning.

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