In the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, one of the main characters that is presented to the readers is Bernard Marx. What this character’s name brings to the mind of the reader, and surely the intention too of the author, is the historical figure Karl Marx who wrote the book Communist Manifesto. In the book, Bernard Marx is described as a hypnotic specialist at the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre in the modern world. He belongs to the Alpha caste though his physical features do not fit him to be in this caste.
Those who are Alphas are known to be tall but Bernard is rather short. Furthermore, he acts as an outcast amongst his social group. As Alphas are expected to be sporty in their manner and orientation, he does not participate in this leisure activity. This is the reason why he is seen as odd by the people around him (Huxley 38). As the novel progresses, the reader sees Bernard Marx as a loner and unhappy. The social group that he moves around with sees him as a rebel and a non-conformist. He questions the system of the World State and wants to fight for his individuality.
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In some ways, he is seen as someone who always wants to go against the system. He can be termed as a protestor to put it in another way. But this thing changes when one time he goes to the Reservation (Huxley 45) where he meets John who is considered a savage by the World State. When he brings the latter to London, he instantly gains a popularity he never experienced before. He becomes outgoing and happy to participate in the activities in the World State. This participative attitude of Bernard Marx in the new society will only changed when John refuses to be part of his agenda.
The reader sees again that Marx returns to his old, protestor way. The World Controller sees that he has not changed and in the end he is thrown out of the World State to be deported to Iceland (Huxley 98). What can we see then in the character of Bernard Marx? We can conclude then that the protest attitude of him is not borne out of intellectual or of moral form in origin. The best term that we can see to it is that his act of his being a non-conformist among his social group originates from a personal and social one.
I make this conclusion to the nature of his character since his being alone surely must have stemmed from his being short as an Alpha. As mentioned above, Alphas are designed to be tall but Marx is not. His manifestation of being a protestor comes from his anger of being not accepted fully by his peers, of being different from them. So in effect he sees no point of participating in all the activities that are expected of his caste. When an opportunity is presented to him that he can be accepted and even become popular, his attitude towards the World State suddenly changed.
“Success went fizzily to Bernard's head, and in the process completely reconciled him … to a world which, up till then, he had found very unsatisfactory“ (Huxley 66). This opportunity is when he brings John to London and quickly gains popularity (Huxley 66). Still, Marx goes back to his old ways when the chance to become popular slips to his hands upon John’s rejections of his agenda. In the end, he is deported to Iceland against his protests. The moral of the character of Marx then is that he is a hypocrite in his being a non-conformists and critic of the ways of the World State.
His criticism of the system in the society that he lives in stems from the rejection he gets from his being physically different from his social group. We can thus sum up that the flaws that he sees in the World System are not genuine. The order of the World State will be a defect as far as Marx is concerned up until he is not accepted as part of his social group. When this has changed it is only then that he can truly feel a part of the new society. Works Cited Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: HarperCollins Publisher Inc. ,1998
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