Characters Brave New World: #
Most are undeveloped – stereotypical rather than full-complex.
As a social satire, Huxley caricatures the Director and shows him up as misguided. His opening lecture (an exposition or orientation for the reader) and the dialectical conversation between Mustapha Mond and John Savage near the end are contrivances. (Deus ex machina)
Mustapha Mund: Chief controller of London, Articulates the central dogmas of the ideology of BNW.
Lenina’s fear of nature, the natural.
Pneumatic – buxom but not plump - “despite her lupus and purple eyes she was uncommonly pretty.” (12)
seductive but shallow and synthetic – an airhead.
mindless and conformist,
smug, complacent – repeats mindless slogans “was and will make me ill…I take a gramme and only am”
Henry Foster - target of satire: uncritical conformity, unswervingly loyal, lauded for his “right thinking”,
unquestioning of social conventions,
no squeamishness of morality, communicates with clichés and platitudes.
Bernard Marx – Accidentally damaged in the production process – too much alcohol in decanting. Smaller physically and therefore feels isolated and melancholic- subject to self-pity and boasting- bi-polar? . Superior and arrogant. Feels alienated at community sing-song. Non-conformist, unorthodox. Closest to Helmholtz.
Helmholz Watson – misfits, outcasts, feels anxiety, rebels and yearns for individuality. Capable- best at creating slogans of hypnopaedic rhymes. Yet he feels anxiety, angst and yearning. Questions his existence – there must be something more than bed hopping, soma, feelies, squash. “I’ve got something to say and the power to say it – only I don’t know what it is and I can’t make use of my power.” His desire for solitude is a threat to the stability of society. He illustrates the impotence of dissenters in changing the status-quo.
Benito Hoover – notoriously good natured, didn’t seem to need Soma. Smug and complacent, supports the authoritarianism of the system.
John Savage: contrast or counterpoint - feels compassion, empathy however prudishly naïve, sadomasochistic, ascetic. He is a synthesis of the primitive savage and yet more civilised than the others. His speech is full of Quotes from a variety of Shakespearean plays and his ideas and behaviour are at times Christ-like.
His quote from ‘The Tempest’:
“O brave new World’ is meant to be taken as “tongue in cheek” (irony).