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Chapter 4, Part 2 Notes from Brave New World

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Brave New World Chapter 4, Part 2

Back to Bernard, who is walking across the roof with downcast eyes, guiltily and lonely, as if he were being pursued. He thinks about how the good intentions of Benito Hoover and Lenina make him suffer and feel even worse. He is upset by the power which Lenina seems to have over his emotions. He orders some Deltas to push his helicopter out onto the roof, but he does this with an arrogant tone. He is extremely self conscious of his own superiority and he finds it distressing to deal with the lower castes, since it reminds him of his physical inadequacies. He is shorter than most Alpha males, and there is a rumor that there was alcohol introduced to his solution when he was an embryo, stunting his growth. He envies men like Benito Hoover who take their caste position for granted and are comfortable in their social roles. Both men and women mock Bernard, and the self-consciousness and his actual appearance are reciprocal:

"The mockery made him feel like an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved 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." Chapter 4, Part 2, pg. 65

Bernard is headed for the buildings called the Bureaux of Propoganda and the College of Emotional Engineering. It houses the London newspapers as well. He meets with his friend Helmholtz Watson, a powerfully built and handsome Alpha-Plus man who is a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. He has a mental excess, so intelligent that people talk behind his back, making him self-conscious, and feeling isolated from his colleagues and peers. He is a champion with sports, women, writing, and other activities, but at the bottom of it all, he feels that something is missing, though he is not sure what. Bernard watches with envy and bitterness as several girls make a very clear pass at Helmholtz, and feels the need to boast about his upcoming trip with Lenina. They fly back to Bernard's house, where Helmholtz talks about his frustration. He feels as though he has something inside him that he can't let out, like some kind of a power he cannot locate and does not know how to access. He is dissatisfied with his own writing, though it is well-known for its cleverness and invention, but he wants to use his words to pierce, to really make an impact. Bernard interrupts him with his paranoia that someone is at the door. He is suspicious with people because he feels that they are suspicious with him. He tries to explain and comes off as self-pitying. Helmholtz pities him as well, but wishes that Bernard would show some more pride.

Topic Tracking: Inferiority 7

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