How does Bernard feel around lower-caste gammas, deltas and epsilons, and why does he feel this way?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Huxley's future society, each citizen is genetically engineered in a laboratory through Bokanovsky’s Process, and society is divided into five castes, which include the Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Bernard Marx is an Alpha Plus, which means that he occupies the highest caste in society and should be viewed as an authority figure. Unfortunately for Bernard, he is shorter than the other Alphas and has a negative view of society. Bernard does not feel comfortable giving orders to lower members of society, and it is "a most distressing experience" for him.

Bernard is approximately eight centimeters shorter than the average Alpha and is barely taller than the average Gamma. There are even rumors that alcohol was accidentally spilled into his blood-surrogate that explain why he is so short. Bernard's feelings of inadequacy are the reason he feels uncomfortable giving orders to Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The lower members of society even recognize that Bernard is significantly shorter than the other Alphas and often do not immediately follow his orders. Overall, Bernard feels ashamed and embarrassed because of his height, which makes it difficult for him to give orders to lower citizens of the same height.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Brave New World," all people are bred and conditioned to fulfill a particular role in society.  They are given the amount of intelligence and the conditioning they need to be both productive and happy in their assigned caste.

Bernard Marx is an alpha, a member of the highest caste.  For some reason, he is both shorter and thinner than alphas are supposed to be.  He is also emotionally different and does not really like a lot of things about his society.

Because he's so different, he feels uncomfortable around the lower castes.  Being around them reminds of his physical shortcomings and of the fact that he looks somewhat like people from the lower castes.

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Brave New World

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