In the novel Brave New World, author Aldous Huxley creates a world in which society is one being, and all who dwell in it serve a specific purpose and responsibility to keep that social clock in working order. With the birth of characters such as Bernard Marx, Huxley explores the age old question of whether it is better to be an individual in one’s society and be hated by others, or to be accepted by one’s society and hate oneself.
Within the character of Bernard is the human need to be accepted. The internal struggle he faces however, deals with whether he is willing to be himself in his entire sour disposition, or whether he is willing to change to be embraced by the social standard that has shunned him his entire life. In the beginning of the novel, Bernard is referred to as a rhinoceros by a co-worker. This remark is not only a symbol of how disquieted his own peers feel concerning him, but his outrageous break of the uniformity that marks this society. Later on, Bernard refuses to take a gramme of soma, stating, “‘I would rather be myself…Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, no matter how jolly.’” With this statement, Bernard acknowledges the biggest flaw of this culture: the inability to face reality.
However, Bernard is not exempt from the pressures put on the members of every society; the need to fit in, to find a kindred spirit, to blend within the background of one’s own life is ingrained in the human temperament. Bernard struggles with the basic hunger to accept himself and the intense desire to be recognized as a functional member of his own world. After Bernard brings home John the Savage from the Indian reservation, he is looked on as a lord of his time. His oddness is forgiven, instead replaced by a success that he had only dreamed of. In the wake of this shift in social status Bernard also changes, learning to be a part of the society he once hated. Huxley creates Bernard to convey the dual needs of approval of oneself and...
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