A Brave New World: Character Analysis

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In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley presents three main characters, Bernard, Helmholtz, and John as three possible heroes. A hero is defined as a person who in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, bravery, or strength. In contrast, an antihero is defined as a person who conspicuously lacks heroic qualities like bravery, nobility, or courage. Readers are given hope that the moments where Bernard and Helmholtz felt more than they are conditioned to, might lead them beyond their conditioning and society to emerge as heroes. Unfortunately, as the novel progresses, readers see how they lack the characteristics of a hero by failing to free individualism and the soul. On the contrary, John, known as the “Savage,” has experienced…show more content…
Whilst in Bernard’s room, Helmholtz asks Bernard, “Do you ever feel, as though you had something inside you was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out?” (69). This statement shows the suppressive effects of Helmholtz’ conditioning because he cannot readily identify his soul. Though he cannot identify his soul, Helmholtz is aware of his desire for individuality, giving hope to the readers that he will discover his soul, want to free the souls of others, and become the hero of the book. When talking about his poetry, Helmholtz says, “I feel as though I were just beginning to have something to write about. As though I were beginning to be able to use that power I feel I’ve got inside of me -- that extra, latent power. Something seems to be coming to me” (182). This quote demonstrates how Helmholtz feels an unknown power while he writes poetry. Though he cannot identify it as his soul, he feels it’s presence inspiring him to write poetry about forbidden themes like loneliness and sadness. Huxley convinces readers that Helmholtz may be the hero because he has written poetry about the forbidden, however, Huxley later reveals Helmholtz’ conditioning to fail him as a hero. One key example of Helmholtz’s conditioning getting in his way is when he says, “You can’t expect me to keep a straight face about fathers and mothers. And who’s going to get excited about a boy having a girl or not having her.”(185.) His statement presents that though he thinks uniquely, he is still unable to understand viviparous birth and family from his conditioning. Helmholtz cannot even be serious about the topic because he lives in a society where babies are artificially born so live birth seems ridiculous and humorous to him. Another key example of Helmholtz failure as a hero is when
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