While Bernard of "Brave New World" professes independence of thought in his desire to be alone and with Lenina as he suggests they stop and look at the sky on their date, later the reader gains more insight into his true character. For, in Chapter IX Bernard displays his less than noble nature when he makes a phone call to Mustapha Mond from the Reservation to have persmission to bring the Savage and his mother Linda back to the New World as he returns. This act is a self-serving one as Bernard hopes to gain favor with Mond as well as wreak some revenge upon John the Savage's father, the Director. That Bernard is pretentious is also evident in his tone of voice when he speaks to the Warden of the Reservation:
'I know,'s aid Bernard, interrupting him. 'I was talking to his fordship on the phone a moment ago.' His bored tone implied that he ws in the habit of talking to his fordship every day of the week....'If you'll kindly take all the necessary steps as soon as possible...'he emphatically repeated. He was thoroughly enjoying himself.
When Bernard returns to the New World in Chapter X, he enters the Hatchery, "A veneer of jaunty self-confidence thinly concealed his nervousness." He speaks too loudly, then reduces his voice to a "squeak." Rather than being a leader, Bernard is obsequious, a sycophant who wishes to raise himself in favor with the leaders of his society. Of course, he hopes rise by humiliating the Director as he introduces John, his son, and Linda, his former lover, to him there before the others.
In his observations of John and his mother Bernard fails to understand the love between them. He notes the "interesting example" of the way early conditioning must work. Later on, Bernard escorts John to Eaton School where he tries to impress others by his importance. Then, when the Savage refuses to be exploited again and does not appear at a large gathering Bernard has organized, Bernard's
happy self-confidence was leaking from a thousand wounds...the crowning moment of Bernard's whoe career had turned out to be the moment of his greatest humiliation.
After this incident, Bernard's petty nature continues to reveal itself. He
continued perversely to nourish...a secret grievance against the Savage, to meditate a campaign of small revenges to be wreaked upon him.
When he goes to Hemholtz and
asked once more for the friendship which, in his prosperity, he had not thought it worth his while to preserve...Helmholtz gave it; and gave it without a reproach....
Instead of gratitude, Bernard feels "humiliated by this magnanimity" and is "resentful." He further proves himself small when Mond, in Chapter XVI mentions the sentence of being sent to an island:
'You can't send me. I haven't done anything. It was the others. I swear it was the others.' He pointed accusingly to Helmholtz and the Savage.....And in a paroxysm of abjection he trew himself on his knees before the Controller. Mustapha Mond tried to make him get up; but Bernard persisted in his grovelling; the stream of words poured out inexhaustibly. In the end the Controller had to ring for his fourth secretary
who brings a soma vaporization to calm Bernard.
Rather than being better than the others of his world, Bernard proves himself petty and weak.