son of the Director and Linda, John is the only major character
to have grown up outside of the World State. The consummate outsider,
he has spent his life alienated from his village on the New Mexico
Savage Reservation, and he finds himself similarly unable to fit in
to World State society. His entire worldview is based on his knowledge
of Shakespeare’s plays, which he can quote with great facility.
in-depth analysis of John.
Alpha male who fails to fit in because of his inferior physical
stature. He holds unorthodox beliefs about sexual relationships,
sports, and community events. His insecurity about his size and
status makes him discontented with the World State. Bernard’s surname
recalls Karl Marx, the nineteenth-century German author best known
for writing Capital,
a monumental critique of capitalist society.
Unlike his famous namesake, Bernard’s discontent stems from his frustrated
desire to fit into his own society, rather than from a systematic
or philosophical criticism of it. When threatened, Bernard can be
petty and cruel.
in-depth analysis of Bernard Marx.
- An Alpha lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering,
Helmholtz is a prime example of his caste, but feels that his work
is empty and meaningless and would like to use his writing abilities
for something more meaningful. He and Bernard are friends because they
find common ground in their discontent with the World State, but
Helmholtz’s criticisms of the World State are more philosophical
and intellectual than Bernard’s more petty complaints. As a result, Helmholtz
often finds Bernard’s boastfulness and cowardice tedious.
in-depth analysis of Helmholtz Watson.
vaccination worker at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning
Centre. She is an object of desire for a number of major and minor
characters, including Bernard Marx and John. Her behavior is sometimes
intriguingly unorthodox, which makes her attractive to the reader.
For example, she defies her culture’s conventions by dating one
man exclusively for several months, she is attracted to Bernard—the misfit—and
she develops a violent passion for John the Savage. Ultimately,
her values are those of a conventional World State citizen: her
primary means of relating to other people is through sex, and she
is unable to share Bernard’s disaffection or to comprehend John’s
alternate system of values.
Resident World Controller of Western Europe, one of only ten World
Controllers. He was once an ambitious, young scientist performing
illicit research. When his work was discovered, he was given the
choice of going into exile or training to become a World Controller.
He chose to give up science, and now he censors scientific discoveries
and exiles people for unorthodox beliefs. He also keeps a collection
of forbidden literature in his safe, including Shakespeare and religious
writings. The name Mond means “world,” and Mond is indeed the most
powerful character in the world of this novel.
in-depth analysis of Mustapha Mond.
Crowne’s friend (they have the same last name because only about
ten thousand last names are in use in the World State). Fanny’s
role is mainly to voice the conventional values of her caste and
society. Specifically, she warns Lenina that she should have more
men in her life because it looks bad to concentrate on one man for
of Lenina’s many lovers, he is a perfectly conventional Alpha male,
casually discussing Lenina’s body with his coworkers. His success
with Lenina, and his casual attitude about it, infuriate the jealous Bernard.
mother, and a Beta. While visiting the New Mexico Savage Reservation,
she became pregnant with the Director’s son. During a storm, she
got lost, suffered a head injury and was left behind. A group of Indians
found her and brought her to their village. Linda could not get
an abortion on the Reservation, and she was too ashamed to return
to the World State with a baby. Her World State–conditioned promiscuity makes
her a social outcast. She is desperate to return to the World State
and to soma.
Director administrates the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning
Centre. He is a threatening figure, with the power to exile Bernard
to Iceland. But he is secretly vulnerable because he fathered a
child (John), a scandalous and obscene act in the World State.
was Linda’s lover on the New Mexico Savage Reservation. He gave
Linda a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Warden is the talkative chief administrator for the New Mexico Savage
Reservation. He is an Alpha.