Brave New World and Shakespeare

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Meagan Dennin
Period 4

Shakespeare and John in the Brave New World.

John the savage educates himself through the entire collection of William Shakespeare’s work. The plays are all about individuality and through them he realizes how to identify and verbalize his emotions and beliefs. In the brave new world, individuality and freedom of personality doesn’t exist. The people are conditioned to feel a certain way and to take somas to cure any emotional pain. It is a predictable and “flawless” world where old things such as Shakespeare do not exist.

John, first rejected by savages, is a true outsider. Traveling to the brave new world, his first disadvantage is that he has a mother, which is considered absurd to the inhabitants living there. John’s frequent rejection in his life causes him to further grasp the only thing he identifies with, the work of Shakespeare.

Although John despises the conditioning the people are given in the brave new world, he himself has also been conditioned without even realizing it. He is conditioned to associate sex with humiliation. Because of this, John turns to the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays as guidelines for his morals. The Bible preaches abstinence and Miranda, the lead character in The Tempest, practices it as well. As a result, John decides to save sex before marriage and support beauty, individuality and freedom while staying clear of sin. For the most part, John’s actions and inspirations reflect the works of Shakespeare.

The brave new world goes against almost all of John’s beliefs. It is a place where old, beautiful and poetic things are long gone. The nearly mindless, sex driven people disgust John. Everything he stands for is unheard of in the new world. John hates the idea of soma and wants the right to the bad things in life. He believes people should be able to be sad and have obstacles or annoyances to overcome and deal with. He wants to help the people to be “free” by overthrowing...
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