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What is a "victim-friend" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?  

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stgeorge13 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM via web

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What is a "victim-friend" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?

 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Aldous Huxley introduces the idea of the "victim-friend" in Chapter XII, as Bernard muses on the role of John, who "as a victim, the Savage possessed, for Bernard, this enormous superiority;" mostly because John is available for him to pick on (182). 

To Bernard, the victim-friend is someone that he can unapologetically use.  He values John as a friend for his allure as a 'savage,' someone he can use for entertainment at dinner parties to impress the Arch-Community-Songster with.  Bernard wants someone that in a friendship type role that he can be a little mean or petty to, without having to suffer the consequences of that particular behavior if he acted that way with someone important or meaningful. 

"One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies" (182).

Bernard's view of the 'victim-friend' reveals his petty nature and selfish, mean-spirited attitude.

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