Brave New World Questions and Answers
by Aldous Huxley

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How is the idea of redemption reflected in the Brave New World by its characters, especially John and his death?

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To a great extent, the major characters represent in Brave New World different degrees of the force of redemption.  Lenina, Helmholtz, Bernard, and John each represent a form of redemption because they represent anomalies to the World State's vision of supposed perfection.  They represent a form of human dissatisfaction in a world that is becoming more dehumanized.  Their lack of willingness to fully accept the conditions of the world around them help to make them unhappy.  Yet, their unhappiness is a form of redemption because it embodies a form of dissent and defiance.  This might not be as pronounced in Lenina and Helmholtz, but it is present.  Lenina's unwillingness to simply conform helps her to embrace a status of a rebel in how she uses sex as well as how she covets men like Bernard and John.  Helmholtz's support of John when he is in trouble as well as his affinity for Shakespeare are acts of rebellion.  In both instances, redemption is evident because both characters display tendencies of which the World State would not approve.  Hope is evident in their own frustration because it is a reminder of the imperfect condition that humans represent in an increasingly atomized and technocratic world.  Bernard's own malaise and unwillingness to simply accept Soma and the conditions that surround him as a part of his being help to provide an initial condition of redemption.  Bernard is incapable of embracing the world as it is.  He is fundamentally unsatisfied with the world in which he lives.  While he cannot be a full force of redemption, he can be seen as redemptive because his consciousness is not one shared by the World State.


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