What is the role of John the Savage in this novel? Why would Huxley put John into the novel, educated him the way that he did, and then brought him to the New World from the reservation?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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John the Savage is our view into the dystopian world in which the story is set. He is someone recognizable with whom we can identify. John's whole moral outlook sets him apart from the rest of society while at the same time giving us someone to root for. Furthermore, John acts as a kind of prophet, drawing upon the wisdom of the past to provide a basis to challenge the soulless, technocratic society of the World State.

As a so-called "noble savage," John has led a more natural existence, closer not only to his immediate environment, but also to what makes him human. This means that he is largely immune to the moral corruption with which this nightmarish world is contaminated. At the same time, John, being human, is subject to temptation, which he must constantly fight if he's to retain his purity. This merely adds to his status as a Christ-like figure.

Although life in the World State is, on the whole, rather repellant, it does have its attractions, and many readers of Brave New World will doubtless have been tempted by certain aspects of life in this fantasy world and wondered what they would do if they were in John's shoes. Once again, this establishes a firm connection between John and the reader, pulling us deeper into the story as we contemplate the profound moral dilemmas raised by our hero's predicament.

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tinicraw eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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John represents a completely archaic lifestyle opposite of the New World's society, education, and conditioning. John represents a whole time period left behind by the new world. He is the twentieth-century; he encompasses the conservatism and radicalism of a world lost to a genetically engineered world. John believes in God, he reads Shakespeare, he is free from manipulative drugs, genetic engineering, and conditioned hypnopaedia; but on the other hand, he is lost from current society and alone. John's role is to show the opposite side of what the new world's society represents. John's reactions to the society are examples of how Huxley thought people of his time might react to his new world. John is a foil character to Bernard and Lenina who represent the products of a cloned and engineered society that is based on self-pleasure and no responsibility to others.

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