AKA: “Bernard’s Bad End” BNW Chapter 12
We saw it earlier… • By now, it’s quite obvious that John knows and recognizes that Bernard is using him for fame and notoriety. • People want to see John, but to do so – they must go through Bernard.
The “Hidden” Truth from Bernard • Bernard thinks he is liked and respected now. • He isn’t. • Everyone believes he will come to a “bad end”. • Once the desire of John runs out, so will Bernard’s good luck. • People are upset at how he blackmailed the DHC (he is willing to destroy a reputation), and about how he talks down to them (he suddenly is better than them… they do not like that one bit).
The Epic Battle: John vs. Bernard • Bernard throws a party in John’s honor. It could be the one night that solidifies his level of respect. • John does not show up. John is proving how Bernard’s fame is dependent on John being in attendance. • John’s not conditioned, and he is not stupid. Therefore, he won’t be treated as if he really is an animal. He deserves better treatment.
The Savage in John Savage • John was not produced through the World State and he lacks all sorts of conditioning. • The Reservation taught him how to be violent and unpredictable. • The World State will never really accept him because he is just like the “savages”. • The true, honest misfit of the novel is not Bernard – but John. John has no place that he can exist.
Violent Passion Surrogate (VPS) • A patient will elect to have their system flooded with emotion. • In essence, they cause the patient to suffer an anxiety attack (heart palpitations, terror/fear, intense emotions) • For someone who does not really know what emotions are, let alone feeling what stress is, this is a terrifying experience.
Lenina’s at the Party • She is sitting in her own world, exploring her feelings and thoughts • She ignores the party while she ponders about John: • She thinks he likes her, but he won’t sleep with her. Therefore, he must not like her. • Maybe if she could just talk to him, she could understand what she could do to be more intriguing to him.
NOW the “defect” in Lenina is clear. • She has shown that she has the capacity to be different, to maybe be in love. • NOW it’s much more pronounced. • She is in love, however as she does not know what love is – she’s confused and mixed about everything.
Bernard = Target • John’s refusal to attend this party causes everyone to turn against him. Here’s the “bad end” that everyone predicted. • The rumors of alcohol return immediately while he is in the room and within his own house.
Too Much Ego What should have been the best night of Bernard’s life is now the worst night of his life. Bernard will resort back to his previous behavior. He will not shoulder the blame for this – he will blame John. John’s the one who didn’t come to the party, after all. This is how you know he is a product of the World State. This is an issue of having too much ego.
Bernard’s Fall From Grace • His response is to take soma • PROOF: Bernard is, in fact, a product of the World State. While he may have some pieces of him that are “defected” (like being short), he still follows all the procedures for being a World State citizen.
Meanwhile… • John & Lenina are still being entertained as our Romeo & Juliet • It’s a mirrored image of the balcony scene. • John reads R&J while she stares at the moon • It’s trying to hint to the educated reader about love, idolatry, etc.
The Educated Reader • The educated reader would also recognize that this is meant to show another more direct form of foreshadowing: What happens to the star-crossed lovers? THEY DIE.
Mustapha Mond comes back into the picture… • Mond reviews “book proposals” and determines what can or cannot be published. • In this scene, he finds a book that he finds incredibly interesting. However, the book’s ideas are too dangerous. Therefore, it is not published. • He also puts the citizen under surveillance.
Reading = Deconditioning • Mond was deconditioned because he read. • In this scenario, Mond could save the world by allowing a book to be read. Instead, he chooses to protect his own power. • To him, happiness is silly to protect. • The reader should infer that we don’t really know Mond.
John sees Bernard’s “true” colors • While Bernard is out to get revenge on John, he starts to be the man we knew in Chapters 1-6. • John has zero idea that Bernard is out to get him. Further, it mimics the secretive behavior Bernard displayed when trying to destroy the DHC.
Helmholtz Watson returns… • Helmholtz seems to be friends with Bernard still, despite his “bad end” • Bernard, however, sees both Helmholtz and John as “victim-friends” • Meaning: They aren’t really my friends. They just pity me. • Bernard thinks that everyone is out for their own gain. In this one case, it’s not true.
Helmholtz • Being scrutinized for his poem about isolation • PROOF: Helmholtz truly is more of a misfit than Bernard. Bernard wants to fit in, while Helmholtz genuinely wants to break out of the system.
Helmholtz • Immediately connects with John, they are the true misfits that found one another thankfully. • Helmholtz’s and John’s friendship makes Bernard jealous and feel like the third wheel. Each was supposed to be his friend, not all be friends. • Further, Helmholtz has earned the respect of the savage. Something he failed to do.
John welcomes Shakespeare into the World State While Helmholtz is different, he apparently is still conditioned to mock the ideas that the World State has ingrained in him. • John reads Romeo & Juliet to Helmholtz • Helmholtz loves the language being used, but cannot stop laughing about some of the ideas discussed. • Romeo & Juliet, in love? • They have parents? • Bodies were not cremated?
Helmholtz’s Thoughts on Shakespeare • Shakespeare was a great propaganda writer, however he talks of emotions and other madness-inducing ideas. • That just simply won’t work in the World State. • However, “madness and violence” would certainly allow him to write an “X-rayish phrase”….