Bean Trees and Brave New World

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Brave New World vs. The Bean Trees

The novels Brave New World and The Bean Trees both show suffering and people trying to pursue their own happiness. In Brave New World, John suffers through his unhappiness. In The Bean Trees, Taylor Greer goes through the same situation. They both go through the process of suffering to reach the same goal, which is to find happiness.

In Brave New World, John becomes out casted by both the New Mexico Savage Reservation and the World State. With living in the World State and their version of “happiness”, John begs for the right to feel emotion. He sees the World State as giving off artificial happiness, but he wants true happiness and true emotion. He pleads, “I don’t want comfort, I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” He takes his values from the works of Shakespeare which helps him to voice his own emotions and reactions, it gives him a framework from which to comment on World State values, and it gives him the language that helps him hold his own in confrontation. Shakespeare shows all the values that the World State does not have. From reading the works, John wants to reject the shallow “happiness” of the World State, he becomes unable to control his temptations for Lenina, and ultimately he commits suicide. John taking part in the final orgy and later committing suicide can become viewed as the product of an insanity made by the conflict between his values and the reality of the World State. John never reached his goal due to him committing suicide.

In The Bean Trees, Taylor Greer leaves her home in Kentucky to make a new life for herself. Along the way, a woman gives Taylor a child which she names Turtle. At first, caring for Turtle does not come easily to her, but over time she grows to love Turtle as her own. Taylor becomes forced to mature quickly which brings on another struggle for her. High School has only been behind her for a few years...
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