Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8 Analysis Notes. Linda Versus John LindaJohn Hates her son and yet loves her son. John is the reason why she was stuck in the reservation (she."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 8 Analysis Notes
Linda Versus John LindaJohn Hates her son and yet loves her son. John is the reason why she was stuck in the reservation (she gave live birth, how could she live with herself IN the World State?) – of course she would hate him for preventing herself from having the luxury of the World State, soma, and enjoying her conditioning. John supported her through her addiction, and through her “relationships” with the wives’ men of the tribe. He was her only friend and the only person who did not physically lash out and hurt her. Loves his mother, and accepts the fact that she often blames him for her problems (even though he suffers the same problems). John would go to any length to make his mother happy, but more so to have his mother say that she loves him and is proud of him. Her conditioning from the World State prevents her from being accepted. They are the problem, not her. His mother AND his skin tone force him to be a social pariah. He wants to be accepted, but no one will accept him.
John’s Memories Are filled with hate, anger, and violence. His life has been hard due to his skin tone and due to his mother’s conditioning He is not accepted here by the “savages”, but not for a lack of trying incredibly hard. He is not accepted by his mother, but not for a lack of wanting her love.
John’s Memories Earliest memories include: His mother singing him lullabies and being raped (his only exposure to sex is incomparably linked to violence, sex means violence to him) Mother not fitting in/being social and her calling them “savages” (it confuses him, these are their friends and neighbors – plus, is he a “savage” to her?) Mother passing out and appearing dead (it makes him hate Pope, her dealer, and subsequently any drug The tribes women punishing his mother using flagellation for her affairs by whipping Linda (and also John when he tried to save her – he’s learned that being a hero comes with a price) Linda physically beats John (she is not his ‘mother’ – he is the reason her life is so bad – he is her greatest failure; as a result, he now calls her “Linda”)
John as the Social Misfit He is not a “savage” – and despite his attempts and his want to be part of that culture, they will not have him because of who his mother is. In old times, if you were a traitor – your children after you were labeled as such. Huxley makes the commentary that even we (the current people of the new millennium) hold grudges for things like skin color, culture, religion,etc. Even WE are flawed.
John as the Social Misfit He is not a World State citizen though, either. And he never can be. He is predisposed to abhor violence, hate, substance abuse, death, etc. Even if I took him out of this world, he would still be alone. Maybe even more so, he would be the only adult in a world of children.
For John and Linda… Each is a failure to one another. He is her greatest failure. She couldn’t prevent him from being born. He thinks he is a failure because he cannot save his mother from her conditioning. In both scenario’s – John is the failure. Not Linda.
“The Other Place” Linda tells John of the “Other Place” (aka: World State). He only knows the “beautiful features” (the utopia aspect) that Linda sees. He does not realize the truth of the world (the world is tragically flawed).
The “Other Place” is… Always happy, and no one is ever alone John is sad and miserable, and no one loves him – mother included No one is sad or angry John is isolated/a loner – always sad. He knows that he is capable of fitting in, but they won’t allow him. Everything is clean to Linda, this is a dream come true – and he loves his mother, so it would make him happy to see such cleanliness
For John, the “Other Place” is… A dream come true. He is not accepted here, maybe he will be there. The truth is… HERE: Not accepted for skin tone. THERE: Not accepted for his behaviors. No matter what: John will never, ever fit in.
John & The Reservation John believes in Christianity and various “savage” gods (mother earth, sky father, awonawilona, etc) John dreams of intermeshing the beauty of the Savage Reservation and the World State. Much like Romeo and Juliet – this marriage of cultures would be “star-crossed” and could never happen.
Religion & Reading Linda teaches John to read. He can manage the basics, but also tries to read a World State book on chemicals and embryos. He doesn’t understand, and she can only explain part of it. She was only conditioned to know some of it. Because she does not know – John will look for other role models, ones that do know the answer.
Religion & Reading She does not understand the concept of the “birth of the world” or anything very complex. At the age of 5, John is actually smarter than his mother. And more independent. John is more of a parent to himself than she ever could be. John, in many ways, is more her parent. He cares for her well- being – she does not care for his.
Religion & Reading John turns to Mitsima and the other elders of the tribe – they always have answers. These men do not reject him, as their job is to guide anyone who seeks help. They teach him of Christianity and the genesis of their world. It’s concrete to him. They teach him of totemism and Christianity
Religion & Reading Pope brought John a book – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare John reads it, and while he does not fully understand it, it speaks to him He doesn’t understand it because Shakespeare talks of love, hate, etc (he doesn’t know love) – but he does understand the idea of being lonely (he relates to a lot of characters who suffer from parent issues or lack of love)
William Shakespeare John has a THIRD culture: Shakespeare (it’s his and his alone – no one has this, which makes it special) Cultures are: 1. Savage Reservation (the only life he has ever known) 2. World State/”Other Place” (the only life Linda will ever talk to him about happily) 3. William Shakespeare (the only thing that helps him feel like someone understands)
Pope (Linda’s “dealer”) & John Strained relationship: despite giving John a book he loves, John HATES Pope. Pope is Linda’s drug dealer; a reason why Linda cannot care for John. John quotes Shakespeare passages that say he will kill out of rage of the man who hurts a woman he loves. “when he is asleep, or in his rage…”
Pope (Linda’s “dealer”) & John John attacks Pope and stabs him with a knife one day. There was no reason and no provocation. John attacked out of respect for his mother who was too lost in substance abuse. Pope’s attack caused Linda to cry – she cannot handle violence even after 35 years, she is very much a product of the World State… and very much still programmed Pope laughs at John who cries after his attack, which causes John to cry further for not being a man.
John at 15-years-old Mitsima teaches John how to survive in the reservation (skills a man in the tribe would know) Making pottery to eat off of, hunting tools – all skills of work to help oneself and the tribe
John at 16-years-old Witnesses a marriage: Mitsima walks out of a pueblo house with two young people – Kiakime was a girl John has loved and wanted to marry. He couldn’t though (skin tone) This again pushes the idea that John is lonely and will always be lonely. He cannot marry; they will never accept him in the tribe.
John at 16-years-old John tries to become a “legal man” within the tribe. During the trials of boy to man, he climbed the ladder to join the group of boys. They rejected him (“not the son of the she-dog”; “not for you white hair”) He cries about this – and contemplates suicide. John admits to Bernard he went through the trials of being a man anyway. He is a man, but one no one respects.
Bernard & John Bernard claims he is different and alone. This confuses John (no one in the “other place” should be like that… and Bernard goes on and on that he is different and so he is treated differently) John connects with Bernard about this fact. “If one is different, one is bound to be lonely”
The Offer Bernard offers John to come back to London This is a promise he may or may not be able to follow through with. Bernard has to get permission from someone in a higher position… likely the DHC would reject this offer for the obvious reason.
John Ponders This… He will ONLY GO if Linda can go Bernard immediately shudders at this – she is a monster. John, however, is a scientific achievement – he has survived in the Savage Reservation. If he can bring him back, they can study the possibility of CONDITIONING a savage. This would be TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION.
Shakespearean Quotations… John quotes Miranda from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beautious mankind is! Oh, brave new world…” It’s ironic. John thinks it’s beautiful and wonderful – it’s a brave new world for him… but one that he will come to hate and resent.
John & Lenina John asks about Lenina – is she married to Bernard? Bernard laughs this off as a crazy notion. Marriage in the World State – not likely.
As we end this chapter and move on… Getting John out of the Savage Reservation is also dependent on Linda coming. Bernard would have to go ABOVE the DHC. And even then, the only logical reason to allow them to come out is for science.
What about Bernard? If Bernard DOES take John, he has the ultimate blackmail. But is it to save himself from Iceland? Or does he genuinely want to save John? Consider the truth about his character. He may be physically defected, but he could always be accepted if he just behaved the way he was expected. Bernard thinks he is entitled to the world. This could be part of that entitlement problem….
And one final reminder… John thinks he will find happiness in the “Other Place”. You and I know better. He hates drugs, drug dealers. He hates people who treat others differently. John will naturally hate the World State… he just doesn’t know it. And further? He doesn’t know that he could potentially be used as a tool for blackmail.