What are the bonds of kinship that unite Bernard Marx, John the Savage and Helmholtz Watson in "Brave New World"? As a team, what is the intention of their actions?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bernard, John, and Helmholtz in "Brave New World" are all intelligent men who think outside the boundaries of their societies.  However, Bernard is not as independent as the other two men, for he succumbs hypocritically to the desire for acceptance that the others reject.   And, although he wants to act freely and feel strongly, Bernard displays little creativity or courage; he is shallow as he seeks revenge on Mustapha Mond.

Together, however, the men intend to become "authentic" in the existential sense.  That is, they seek meaning to their lives.  Bernard's experience with John and his friendship with Helmholtz bring him to a maturity of thought that he has not had in the earlier parts of the novel. and he more bravely faces exile.

Helmholtz seeks an authentic existence where he can write and truly live.  Sensing the meaninglessness of the New World, Helmholtz embraces his exile to the Falklands where he and his friend Bernard can, at least, share their friendship.

John, too, seeks meaning in his life.  At the lighthouse he punishes himself, but he cannot shake the memory of his mother's death. Life for John has also become empty; without his mother, John feels isolated. Unfortunately, John finds no exile from the Brave New World where he can have an authentic existence.  So, he kills himself.

Read the study guide:
Brave New World

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question