Linda and Lenina In Brave New World
In some ways, Linda and Lenina are the most serious rebels of the brave new world. How does the experience of each character challenge the assumptions of the dystopia? Do you think Huxley takes these women characters as seriously as he does the men? Why or why not?
Linda and Lenina are two very complex characters in BNW, however, I don't think that their experiences challenge the idea of the new society being a dystopia, but rather prove it to be such. Yes, it is true that both women express their love for society's ways; consistantly reciting the mottos of their sleep-teaching, like "civilization is steralization" and such, but that's not really them, is it? That's society speaking through them. In fact, by the end of the novel, we learn that the brave new world ends up being their tragic end. For instance, Lenina ends up losing her one and only love, John, due to civilization driving him into insanity. Then there's Linda, who, upon her return, was mocked and ridiculed by everyone around due to her ugliness and motherhood. Her, being so emotionally weakened by the conditioning she receieved in her early years in London, found all of this too much to handle, resulting in her overdosing on soma and eventually, dying. So, ultimatley, these incidents actually strengthen the suggestion of Huxley's modern world being a dystopia.
As for Huxley taking the female characters as seriously as he does the men, I believe he takes them even more seriously. For sure, they appear to be mere sex toys with not an independent thought in their heads, but then we get to see inside of Linda's suffering from being an outcast and an abomonation in the eyes of the place she loves so much, and let's not forget Lenina. Lenina is one of the most in-depth characters in this book. At first, we perceive her to be a shallow, vacant consumer; yet another victim of society's mind-control. However, once John comes into the picture, we see her absolute strength against her conditioning as she begins to feel actual love towards this strange, unorthodox savage. We see her show emotions that someone like Bernard (Pff. Pitiful.) would never be capable of. This is especially evident when she is on the roof with Henry, and she stops to gaze up at the moon. Before this, Lenina was always so opposed to nature, and found it completley wrong when Bernard would comment on it during their dates. This shows a very profound level of individuality within Lenina; so profound that she is able to break through the tight grasp of conditioning and actually give in to her emotional side.