What is the source of the conflict between John the Savage and Bernard Marx?

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kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World, John the Savage and Bernard Marx are aligned to become allies. Both men are seen as outsiders by the dominant social class in the ruling society, the Alphas. However, their contrasting perspectives on the Alphas and on the society in general lead them to deep interpersonal conflict, revealing their literary classification as foils. 

Bernard is rejected by the Alphas despite the fact that he is one of them. He desperately seeks to be accepted, and he seeks solace in anger and rejection of the Alphas when he has no power to influence their perception of him. However, once they begin to treat him as one of their own, he will do anything to maintain his status. 

On the other hand, John is from the Reservation, and the Alphas eagerly accept him out of curiosity -- he is a novelty to them. However, he finds their society and beliefs distasteful. As such, he rejects and rebels against society and the Alphas, presenting a clear opposition to Bernard's perspective. 

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Brave New World

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