Ideal View of The World in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Having an “ideal view of the world” means that one has to succumb to the reality of disappointment. This often leads to “mischief” and “unraveling,” as V. S. Naipaul explained. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the ideal world is created. In this dystopian universe, there are no emotions, no families, and most importantly, no individuals. If one shows anything of the sort, they are banished and forced to live in a “normal” civilization. Because humans are innately different from one another, idealism is taken away at birth by conditioning and, essentially, reprogramming the mind.
A character that struggled with his individuality in a society that censored it was Bernard Marx. Throughout Brave New World, Bernard dealt with his feelings of anger, sadness, and guilt alone. Sick of hiding his emotions, he told the Director about a girl he once loved. He told him how he felt guilty once she disappeared. As anticipated, the Director told Bernard that he was an Alpha-Plus and that he shouldn’t feel these “infantile” emotions. He even threatened to deport Bernard to Iceland. Because Bernard disagreed with soma, the pill that censored all emotion, this created a big conflict between him and the society he lived in.
Bernard Marx struggled with his self-confidence within his caste. Although he was an Alpha-Plus, he didn’t act like one or look like one. He was shorter than the others and wasn’t as outgoing. Seeming as though he was desperate to be accepted, Bernard invited a man to World State, who he dubbed as “Mr. Savage.” Bernard acted as a master to Mr. Savage, which made him feel the most important he had ever felt. As Bernard’s pride began to grow, Mr. Savage felt more like a zoo animal than a human being. Bernard Marx’s view on the world had changed at this point because he felt like he belonged, whereas before Mr. Savage visited, he felt like an outcast.
John, formerly known as Mr. Savage, had a strange view of the worlds that he was a part of. When he lived on the Reservation, he never felt accepted because of his skin color. Meanwhile, at World State, John was treated like a caged animal. The citizens laughed at him and took pictures of him. The thing that was especially strange about John was that he read Shakespeare and often quoted it. He never felt like he belonged anywhere. Bernard began to see the consequences of his actions when John fell into a depressive episode. Many blamed Bernard for this and once again, he felt isolated in his world. Both John and Bernard felt that their “ideal view of the world” had shifted negatively.
Aldous Huxley portrayed the two men as wanderers in their own towns. John had seen the world through the eyes of Shakespeare and Bernard saw it as an individual. Even though Bernard felt like he was on top of the world, his old thoughts of insecurity and isolation came back. John himself had no “ideal view of the world” because he never felt at home, so he looked to William Shakespeare for help. He quoted him as a way of expressing his emotions. It was clear that their worlds unraveled when Bernard was sent to Iceland and John was sent to an isolated lighthouse. John realized that he would never be able to feel comfortable or to find his “ideal world,” which resulted in his suicide at the end of the novel.