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.
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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 and she already has to take on the responsibility of providing for a child. She also needs to raise money on her own, not only for herself but also for Turtle. Finding a place to live became her responsibility, too. Estevan and Esperanza’s struggles with aving to give up their child and the trauma of Turtle getting attacked one day, forces Taylor to struggle through depression. The police investigation on the attack shows that Taylor is not the legal guardian of Turtle which brings up another struggle for her until Taylor comes up with a plan to adopt her. In the end, Taylor’s plan works, Taylor and Turtle now have a home in Tucson, and Esperanza and Estevan safely live at their new home in Oklahoma. Taylor struggled through life’s challenges but by the end of the novel she finds a new meaning for “family” and becomes appreciative of the miracles given to her each day.
The struggles of the human condition become resolved for the current time in the lives that Taylor has touched. Ultimately, Taylor did reach her goal of happiness because she found family in the people around her and a new life in Tucson. Both of the characters went through much suffering on their pursuit of happiness. They handled their suffering in different ways though. John rebelled against the World State to gain his happiness whereas Taylor took what came to her and found her happiness with what she was given.
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