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Why doesn't Bernard help the Savage?  

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orlando144 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:17 AM via web

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Why doesn't Bernard help the Savage?

 

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:18 AM (Answer #1)

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Bernard is selfish and seeks his own glory and survival. To say that Bernard does not help John at all, however, might be stretching it a bit. Bernard becomes a guide for John in the new world. Bernard gives John a place to stay and companionship is a minimal form. Bernard does use John for his own success socially and that isn't right.  Yet, back when Bernard and John first met, Bernard listened to John's story without judgment, just like a friend would and John needed that at the time. Bernard shows that he was listening with interest when he says:

"So hard for me to realize," Bernard was saying, "to reconstruct. As though we were living on different planets, in different centuries. A mother, and all this dirt, and gods, and old age, and disease. . ." (145).

Whether Bernard meant for his listening skills to help John might be a different story, but it helped John to expound on his circumstances and explain his existance without criticism. Later, once Bernard is gone, John is ridiculed for who he is and no one listens or cares about his story. In fact, they just want to see him whip himself! So even though Bernard may be selfish as he was created to be, he still acts as a friend more than the society does.

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