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Brave New World

Brave New World


by Aldous Huxley

Bernard Marx Timeline and Summary

  • Bernard listens with contempt as Henry Foster and the Assistant Predestinator talk about the new bearskin-rug-sex feely.
  • He is equally disgusted to hear the men talk about Lenina as though she were "meat."
  • We find out that Bernard is a hypnopaedic expert, which explains much of his disaffection with its propagandistic phrases.
  • He adamantly refuses soma when Henry Foster offers it to him.
  • In the elevator, Bernard gets all red in the face when Lenina publicly discusses their plans for a sexy weekend away together. When Lenina skips off to have a "date" (sex) with Henry, he is even more outraged.
  • This awkward moment is crowned by the addition of Benito's comment that Lenina is fun to have sex with.
  • After Benito leaves, Bernard is left alone on the roof to display to us through some very explicit narrative-telling that he's insecure about his physical deficiencies.
  • He then goes to visit Helmholtz and, because of that insecurity, makes a big deal out the date with Lenina.
  • During their tête-à-tête, Bernard displays paranoia and a tendency to be dramatic.
  • Later that week, Bernard attends his Solidarity Service. Unable to get into the spirit of things, he simply fakes it.
  • On what seems to be their first date together, Bernard begrudgingly accepts Lenina's suggestions to do normal, social things. He'd rather they be alone together, the better for having a conversation.
  • After refusing to take soma to cure his major case of the grumps, Bernard takes Lenina in his helicopter and flies to the edge of the ocean, trying to make her understand that people are more than just cells in the social body.
  • When she doesn't get it, Bernard gives up, takes her home, has some soma, and goes to bed with her.
  • The next day, he tries explaining to Lenina that they shouldn't have gone to bed together, because they ought to be have waited like adults. He wants to know what happens when you put a bit of time between wanting something and having it.
  • The next day, Bernard gets in trouble with the Director because he's been acting like an adult instead of an infant. He also hears the story of the woman that the Director left behind at the Reservation, and he leaves the meeting feeling like a million bucks for being a rebel.
  • When he tries to tell Helmholtz about what happened, he gets no congratulatory response.
  • Bernard flies to the Reservation with Lenina. While the Warden gives his lecture, Bernard is preoccupied with the thought of the perfume tap he left running in the hotel room.
  • He calls Helmholtz for help with the perfume tap, only to hear that the Director is planning on having him sent to an island.
  • Bernard flips out, regrets being a rebel, and takes two grams of soma at Lenina's suggestion.
  • When they finally take their tour of the Reservation, Bernard tries to make up for his wimpiness the day before by being all tough in the face of Lenina's squeamishness.
  • Along with Lenina, Bernard witnesses the ritualistic whipping dance and then meets John.
  • Bernard puts two and two together as far as John's paternity goes, and decides to use the unfortunate mishap to his advantage.
  • Meanwhile, he goes back to John's home and meets Linda. He and John chill out outside while the women talk inside. Bernard asks to hear about John's history, and they bond over being solitary individuals.
  • Bernard is at a loss to understand why John is such a fan of self-denial, but he pretty much ignores that part and asks John to come back to the civilized world with him.
  • After they get back to the hotel room, Lenina peaces out with soma while Bernard gets busy. Through a variety of persuasive phone calls he convinces Mustapha to go along with his plan.
  • When Bernard returns to work, the Director publicly outs him for his social irresponsibility. Bernard counters by bringing out John and Linda, and watches in satisfaction as the Director is utterly ruined, professionally and socially.
  • Now that Bernard is a big celebrity, he gets a lot of women all the time.
  • Barnard shows John around the new world on a variety of tours and self-serving dinner parties.
  • Bernard writes a series of reports to Mustapha Mond. One in particular details that John is preoccupied with the soul and not that impressed with the new world.
  • This particular report doesn't go over too well with Mustapha, who finds it condescending.
  • Bernard accompanies John on a tour of Eton, where Bernard hits on and makes a date with the Headmistress.
  • On the way back home, he brings John to the Television Corporation Factory, explaining how the lower castes get their daily soma rations.
  • Bernard holds one of his big "Meet the Savage!" dinner parties, but this time John refuses to come out and sing for his supper. This is particularly crippling for Bernard, since the Headmistress of Eton and the Arch-Community-Songster were in attendance.
  • Bernard is so distressed with this course of events that he just takes soma and goes to bed.
  • When he wakes up, sober, he has a little chat with John. John berates him for preferring drugs to real emotion, and Bernard responds by waging a tacit, personal, emotional war against him.
  • And against Helmholtz, whom John hates for being able to be magnanimous without soma.
  • When Helmholtz shares with Bernard the poetry he has written on the theme of solitude, Bernard is shocked.
  • Also, Bernard is jealous of Helmholtz's friendship with John. Every time the two are bonding with Shakespeare, Bernard interrupts with "Orgy porgy!"
  • Bernard shows up with Helmholtz to the riot at the hospital. While Helmholtz runs to help John, Bernard doesn't. He does yell for the police to help, until he gets soma-gassed for being annoying. Along with the other two men, he is brought to the World Controller.
  • He pouts.
  • When the Controller, in the middle of his philosophical treatise-style discussion with John and Helmholtz, casually mentions that the men are about to be sent to an island, Bernard flips out. He gets down on his knees and begs to be spared, declaring that everything is John and Helmholtz's fault.
  • Mustapha sends Bernard away to be sedated.
  • The next day, Bernard and Helmholtz finds John throwing up (he's purging himself of filth). Bernard apologizes to his friends for having been a completely spineless tool the day before.