How does Bernard's character develop between the first third of the book (chapters 1-6) and the second third (chapters 7-15)? Name three character traits that change in Bernard.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Bernard goes from insecure and paranoid, to conceited and selfish, to indecisive and impulsive between chapters 1-15 in Brave New World. He's an Alpha, which means Bernard is extremely intelligent. This intelligence, as well as his job in the D.H.C., aids him in realizing some of the troubles that go along with the conditioning tactics used on the people of his world. Although he is brilliant, he is physically smaller than other Alphas and this frustrates him socially and mentally; he is not happy in a world set up solely for the pursuit of it. To make things worse, his moods submit him to alternative thinking and behavior to society's status quo and his boss threatens to send him to Iceland because of it. Bernard gains confidence when he discovers a secret from his boss's past that he eventually uses to inflict revenge and gain the social status he dreams of (thanks to the fact that he met John the Savage, his boss's illegitimate son). Eventually, Bernard's elevated status falls due to his selfishness and he becomes confused, frantic and practically psychotic.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial