Why could John's final act of comitting suicide be considered positive and enlightened or one of weakness?

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yaday eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John, the savage’s death makes him a martyr.  At the end of Chapter 18, when Lenina and Mr. Foster arrive by helicopter, John “struck at his rebellious flesh, or at that plump incarnation of turpitude writhing in the heather at his feet”(176).   This self-destructive exercise is the only way the Savage knows how to take part in penance.   Unlike the society which surrounds him, John realizes he cannot live in a sterile environment artificially controlled by science.  Everything from his personal feelings for Lenina to his questions to understand his own existence is not acceptable in the World State.  Because rich culture doesn’t exist, John is at a complete loss.   John’s death symbolizes the death of not only a non-native but, also, the spirit of an individual.   Our failed hero, represents a unique-minded individual as opposed to the factory-made community entity.    Unfortunately, he doesn’t fit in either the World State or The Reservation.

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Brave New World

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