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Quotes

Quote #1

"And then he spends most of his time by himself – alone." There was horror in Fanny's voice. (3.128)

What begins as Bernard's defining feature is both a virtue (it makes him an individual) and his downfall (it makes him insecure, which makes him manipulate John, which makes him famous, which makes him petty…)

Quote #2

With eyes for the most part downcast and, if ever they lighted on a fellow creature, at once and furtively averted, Bernard hastened across the roof. He was like a man pursued, but pursued by enemies he does not wish to see, lest they should seem more hostile even than he had supposed, and he himself be made to feel guiltier and even more helplessly alone. (4.2.1)

Most of Bernard's isolation is self-imposed. He worries that others don't respect him, which means he carries himself with insecurity, which leads to others disrespecting him.

Quote #3

The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity. How bitterly he envied men like Henry Foster and Benito Hoover! Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon to get an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men who moved through the caste system as a fish through water – so utterly at home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent and comfortable element in which they had their being. (4.2.3)

Given this information (so subtly and artistically), we can almost predict what's going to happen to Bernard when fame and glory hit later in the novel.

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