Individuality Vs. Society

    A Brave New World draws a parallel between feelings of complete social responsibility versus complete self-centered motivation. The ‘the World State’ shows the fallacy of a total obligation to one’s society is a loss of an unique individual, while characters like John shows the inability to relate to society as he fails to be able to truly understand the intricate system that is the society. Perhaps the larger dilemma imposed is the ever growing demand for Nationalism and Patriotism and the loss of character due to allegiance. The loss of character individualism in Lenina and Fanny clashes with the ideals of Helmholtz and John; as the girls fail to display the same character depth that both Helmholtz and John share. Most notably the characters that seem to feel lost or with doubt carry with them the most room for individuality, perhaps noting the free thinking community often keeps the Nationalism in check.





Soma represents the inability of the citizens to take changes in their environment. Soma symbolizes their feeble lifestyles taken outside of their environment. Soma in effect shows the restrictions that each individual has when taken outside of the safety of the community.




Isolation displays the individualism in one character. Notably only John, Bernard, Helmholtz, and the Controller seem ‘alone’, in thought or physically in solitude. The isolation gives them time to reflect, a trait that Mustapha notes leads to the corruption of the system, and allows the characters to break from the social views.  Isolation in effect is the symbol of the failure on the the World State to totally extinguish free thinking. Isolation further emphasizes the failure of the society to fully compensate for errors (such as Bernard’s distinct physique), and discrimination, which leads to isolation.




John symbolizes the burden of an anarchy society. The byproduct of disgust and shame, John spends his childhood psychologically shaken, a stark contrast to the the World State’s controlled populous. John symbolizes the emotional instability that the the World State hoped to extinguish. While his hope and faith in man and finding truth separate him from Mustapha Mond, his inability to find social acceptance due to years of isolationism strengthen the case for Mustapha Mond and his world.




John references his life often to Shakespeare plays, yet despite the hero-damsel setting in which the plays take place. John is no Romeo, and Lenina is no Juliet; John is psychologically damaged, and emotionally insecure, while Lenina is unable to relate emotionally due to conditioning, references to Shakespeare tragedies perhaps symbolizes the tragic ending for John. Shakespeare symbolizes the lingering ideas of the past, for heroes and saviors, for emotional human conflict, and individuality, all ideals that the new world hoped to vanquish. Shakespeare shows in effect, the incapability for John of the old ideals to relate to the new ideals of Lenina and Mustapha Mond.




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