What are some of the major differences between Mustapha Mond and John the Savage in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley?

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John and Mustapha Mond have been formed by radically different cultures and have, therefore, a very different hierarchy of values. John privileges romantic love, family love, religion, literature, and sacrifice. He understands intense interpersonal attachments and suffering as an integral part of what make us human. These values arise from the bond he formed with his birth mother, his intense experiences on the Savage Reservation, and his reading of Shakespeare.

Mond, in contrast, values security, stability, and material abundance above all else. His society reflects a response to the devastating Nine Years' War and economic depression.

Everything that John values is a threat to Mond's highest values. The intense passions generated by love, literature, and traditional religion are exactly what, in his opinion, would destabilize the carefully controlled equilibrium of his own world. Suffering and sacrifice are precisely what his world has chosen to jettison as barbaric and unnecessary.

Everyone in Mond's society belongs: nobody experiences the pain, loneliness, and rejection that has been part of John's character formation. Nobody in the World State ever suffers any material want, such as hunger or overcrowding. Everyone lives in a clean, new, sterile, sanitary, and bright world with lots of things to buy. Everybody is conditioned or drugged to be happy.

For Mond, forsaking family, deep passions, art, and religious faith are small prices to pay for the stability his society has achieved. To John, those elements of life Mond has jettisoned are exactly what make us human. Life for John is not worth living without the possibility of deep relationships and intellectual exploration and discovery.

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The encounter between Mustapha Mond and John the Savage represents the critical scene around which Brave New World is structured. In these two individuals we see two competing, mutually-exclusive ideologies: the collectivist utilitarianism of Mustapha Mond in direct opposition to John's fierce individualism.

In terms of background, the two characters are fiercely distinct from one another. Mustapha Mond is one of the World Controllers whereas John is an Outsider who grew up on one of the Reservations. Furthermore, Mustapha Mond is deeply rational, and unlike the vast majority of the World State's inhabitants, he is fully aware of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual legacy that has been sacrificed to it. In Mustapha Mond, John finds someone who actually is fully equipped to discuss topics such as religion or literature but chooses to reject these things in the name of collective stability.

Mond emerges as the arch-defender of the World State, personifying the utilitarian calculus which drives it. For Mond, individuality, freedom, artistic expression: these things are not just irrelevant but actively detrimental to the collective stability which is the World State's goal. By contrast, John is fiercely individualistic and passionate, championing ideals such as freedom and beauty which the World State sees no need for. When the two come face-to-face, we observe the personifications of two very different visions as to what the human condition could and ought to be.

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In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Mustapha Mond, whose first name is an epithet for Mohammed, meaning "the chosen one," and whose last name is like the French word for "world," is one of the ten World Controllers.  John the Savage is from another place called the Reservation.  Clearly,they are products of two different worlds.

  • John has been born of woman and has lived a life in old world values, albeit rather primitive as he has engaged in Indian rituals.  Mustapha Mond is a product of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center and has been genetically engineered.
  • John is not willing to sacrifice life's struggles to soma.  Mond has; he says that in the New World there are no losses to compensate for and youthful desires never fail.
  • John wants real ethics; Mond settles for situation ethics, contending that without any obstacles to overcome, there is no need for nobility and heroism.
  • John wants tragedies; Mond says tragedies cause social instability.
  • John want truth and beauty; Mond says, "Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can't"
  • John is a romantic; Mond is a cold realist.
  • John is not cruel; Mond is.  He refuses to let John go to an island like Helmholtz and Bernard because he wants to continue the experiment with John.
  • John the Savage is truly human; Mustapha Mond understands what humanity is and loves to read the Bible and Shakespeare, but he is willing to sacrifice his humanity for social stability.
  • John is trapped; Mond chooses his own world.


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