Huxley argues that freedom is more important than happiness by presenting John the Savage as a sympathetic, honorable character, who is opposed to the superficial, shallow culture of the World State. In the World State, the entire society is void of discomfort, danger, pain, and inefficiency. Citizens are scientifically manufactured, and the society is divided into five castes. Conformity, happiness, and stability are the cornerstones of the World State. Despite this efficiency, comfort, and convenience, however, citizens' lives are completely controlled by the government, and the technologically advanced society lacks important elements of the human experience, like spontaneity, creativity, art, love, and spirituality. The citizens of the World State are portrayed as superficial, ignorant, and shallow. Many characters, like Lenina Crowne and Linda, rely on soma to suppress their negative feelings and happily conform to the shallow culture of the World State.
In this manufactured world, John the Savage is an outcast, who vehemently opposes everything the World State represents. In a moving debate with Mustapha Mond, John argues for the essential elements of humanity, which make life spontaneous, exhilarating, and stimulating. Huxley purposely creates sympathy for John's character, who desires freedom over comfort and happiness. For John, freedom is the ability to live a daring life, where he can worship as he pleases and form deep emotional bonds with others. John values the opportunity to make independent choices and experience the world without oppressive government interference. John's outlook on life and his desire to live a free, spontaneous life are depicted as noble and worthy. When John is juxtaposed with the shallow citizens of the World State, his convictions and lifestyle seem superior. Through John's character and outlook on life, Huxley suggests that freedom is more important than happiness.