What is the purpose of John's citing lines from Romeo and Juliet in chapter nine of Brave New World?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write10,242 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

John uses the works of Shakespeare as a way of making sense of a world that, on the surface, doesn't appear to make much sense. The Bard's great dramas provide him with a handy reference point for understanding the world around him, giving him a moral compass that helps him navigate society's numerous strange conventions.

Romeo and Juliet is particularly helpful in this regard. According to the prevailing convention, it's not just acceptable but almost expected for John to sleep with Lenina. But John, deeply impressed as he is by Shakespeare's tragic tale of star-cross'd lovers, has his sights set on something higher than mere physical pleasure. (And besides, he lacks the experience). Therefore, he won't touch Lenina. He has effectively banished himself from her presence as a sexual partner in much the same way that Romeo was forcibly separated from Juliet, exiled as punishment for killing Tybalt.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

John has no formal education, having learned what he has from his mother, who taught him to...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 567 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now





Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-einstein eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write85 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial