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John represents a completely archaic lifestyle opposite of the New World's society, education, and conditioning. John represents a whole time period left behind by the new world. He is the twentieth-century; he encompasses the conservatism and radicalism of a world lost to a genetically engineered world. John believes in God, he reads Shakespeare, he is free from manipulative drugs, genetic engineering, and conditioned hypnopaedia; but on the other hand, he is lost from current society and alone. John's role is to show the opposite side of what the new world's society represents. John's reactions to the society are examples of how Huxley thought people of his time might react to his new world. John is a foil character to Bernard and Lenina who represent the products of a cloned and engineered society that is based on self-pleasure and no responsibility to others.
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