Who are the true savages in Huxley's "Brave New World"?Who are the true savages in Huxley's "Brave New World"?
Wow! What a deceptively powerful question!
According to the member of the Mustapha Mond's BNW society the savages are those members of the savage reservation who still feel the emotions of pain, suffering, sickness, loss, old age, and still subscribe to very "human" things as nature, books, suffering, monogamy, sacrifice, and religion. Ironically enough, in this particular novel those termed savages (John the savage, et al) are the ones who AREN'T savages and have attained a level of humanity closer to ours and a more "soul-full" existence.
Certainly, some might argue that the scientific, completely controlled and manipulated society of Mond's BNW might have have a "cleaner" society, but they are the true savages because anything that "controls" things against the human will, human spirit, and human destiny seems overtly savage. The reason that John the Savage commits suicide in the end of the novel is because he is reacting against the emotional, spiritual, and physical savagery he experiences while in Mond's BNW. Concentrate on the section of the novel where John the Savage is discussing everything with Mustapha Mond. John the savage argues for pain, for suffering, for the ability to CHOOSE and be FREE.
I agree with #2 - this is a GREAT question that really shows the true "civilised" nature of the "Brave new world" that John is a witness to. If you think of the way that the humans in this world are described, they are turned into infants and all of the defining aspects that mark us as human - the ability to love, the maturity to take responsibility for our own actions, the necessity of suffering - have been stripped away, leaving grown-up children who never have to mature or develop or grow as people and are kept in their child-like state.
Is it not savage when the Deltas, gathered around Linda as she dies in crass insensitivity to her plight, "puggishly stared,...Squealing and chattering." They swarm between the bed, climbing over and crawling under beds. Alarmed by Linda, they exclaim at her heaviness and say, "Isn't she awful?" The residents of the New World are savage indeed in their lack of humanity.
I think it is an ironic statement in that the people we would normally associated as savages are in fact the civilized ones, and the ones we think would be civilized are indeed, savages.
As per dictionary meaning, the word savage can be used in two different senses:
- In a state of nature; wild, uncivilized.
- A brutal or cruel person.
When we consider the first meaning of the word, clearly the persons in the reservations of Brave New World (BNW) are savages. But when it comes to the second meaning, the opinions may differ. Most of the people living in BNW find their civilized world very agreeable - there is nothing brutal or cruel about it. But people like John who have a different set of values, feel tormented in the civilized world and want to escape it.