One scene in "Brave New World" in which John displays a moral character in Chapter IX when he beholds the lovely Lenina, asleep. Quoting the love sonnet from "Romeo and Juliet," John shakes away lustful thoughts:
Detestable thought! He was ashamed of himself. Pure and vestal modesty...
In Chapter 10 after arriving in the New World John accompanies Lenina to the feelies. There, after watching the screen, he looks at her, "ashamed of his desire. Purely he thinks,
He was obscurely terrified lest she should cease to be something he could feel himself unworthy of.
John, then, tries to protect her from seeing what is shown: "I don't think you ought to see things like that...." But, later after waiting for him to make some advancement, Lenina, having removed her clothes, offers herself to him and he rejects this opportunity for gratuitous sex with no love. John is repulsed. He is also horrified that his mother has died from taking too much soma:
Why had Linda died? Why had she been allowed to become gradually les than human....
Of course, his interview in Chapter 17 with Mustapha Mond in which he remarks that "Othello is better than those feelies" illuminates John's values. For, John values the truly aesthetic, not the feelies and the scent organ which have taken the place of real art. He senses the falseness of the life of those in the New World:
'Yes, that's just like you [Mond]. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether 'tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortuen, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them...But you don't do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy....What you need...is something with tears for a change. Nothing cost enough here.....I don't want comfort. I wnat God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin....All right then,...I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.'