Brave New World

Bernard Marx Character Analysis

Bernard is an Alpha citizen who, by some mischance, is physically much smaller than Alphas are supposed to be. Bernard's small stature has given him an inferiority complex. As a result, he feels like an outsider to World State society. This outsider status and individuality allows Bernard both to recognize and criticize the flaws of the World State—and, as a result, other citizens suspect him for his avoidance of universally-accepted things like promiscuous sex and the soma drug that the rest of the population uses to numb themselves. But Bernard’s inferiority complex also makes him defensive, resentful, jealous, cowardly, and boastful. Bernard dates Lenina Crowne at the beginning of the novel, taking her to the Savage Reservation in New Mexico. Bernard enjoys feeling like a rebellious outsider until it costs him something—the Director threatens to send him to Iceland for being too unorthodox. In response, he gets revenge by bringing John (the Savage) back to London and exposing the Director as John’s father, which causes the Director to resign from his position in shame. Bernard also enjoys the popularity he gains by association with John, but when he learns that people are just humoring him, he soon grows resentful. He envies John’s friendship with his closest friend, Helmholtz; when John stages a brief rebellion in the hospital, Bernard can’t decide whether to support the two, and when arrested, he makes an embarrassing plea for clemency. By the time Bernard and Helmholtz are sent to an island together by Mustapha Mond, though, Bernard appears to have been humbled.

Bernard Marx Quotes in Brave New World

The Brave New World quotes below are all either spoken by Bernard Marx or refer to Bernard Marx. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Brave New World published in 2006.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“Ford, we are twelve; oh make us one,
Like drops within the Social River;
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.
Come, Greater Being, Social Friend,
Annihilating Twelve-in-One!
We long to die, for when we end,
Our larger life has but begun.
Feel how the Greater Being comes!
Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die!
Melt in the music of the drums!
For I am you and you are I.
Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at One with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release.”

Related Characters: Bernard Marx
Related Symbols: Ford
Page Number: 81-84
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 6 Quotes

“A gramme in time saves nine.”

Related Characters: Lenina Crowne (speaker), Bernard Marx
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 8 Quotes

"O brave new world," he repeated. "O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once."

Related Characters: John (the Savage) (speaker), Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowne
Related Symbols: Shakespeare
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 10 Quotes

“The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that many should be corrupted. Consider the matter dispassionately, Mr. Foster, and you will see that no offence is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behavior. Murder kills only the individual—and, after all, what is an individual?”

Related Characters: The Director (Thomas) (speaker), Bernard Marx, Henry Foster
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bernard Marx Character Timeline in Brave New World

The timeline below shows where the character Bernard Marx appears in Brave New World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
...to make the effort to be a little more promiscuous, so she decides to accept Bernard Marx’s offer to go on vacation together, although she agrees that Bernard—who’s rumored not to... (full context)
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...Assistant Director of Predestination are also discussing their plans for the night, while pointedly ignoring Bernard Marx. When Bernard hears the two men talking about “having” Lenina Crowne, he is furious,... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Lenina gets into an elevator to go to the roof. She spots Bernard standing behind her former lover Benito Hoover. She accepts Bernard's invitation to go to the... (full context)
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Benito Hoover comes up to Bernard and remarks how pretty Lenina is. He offers the gloomy Bernard some soma. Bernard walks... (full context)
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Bernard flies to the College of Emotional Engineering to visit his friend Helmholtz Watson. Watson is... (full context)
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Helmholtz and Bernard discuss the dilemma of their individuality (though Bernard stifles his jealousy of Helmholtz's success with... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Bernard goes to his biweekly Solidarity Service. He's late and sits in the first empty chair... (full context)
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...their work. The people call out in ecstasy to the coming "Great Being,” Ford. Only Bernard hears nothing, faking his excitement. Loudspeakers start to chant "orgy-porgy," and the Service climaxes with... (full context)
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As they part ways after the Service, the other participants are rapturous and satisfied. Bernard lies and says that he, too, found the gathering wonderful, but meanwhile, he’s acutely conscious... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Lenina thinks about how strange Bernard is. For instance, he prefers talking in private to playing Electro-magnetic golf. She recalls one... (full context)
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In the end, Lenina and Bernard ended their date by going back to his apartment and sleeping together. But Bernard regretted... (full context)
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A few days later, Bernard asks the Director to sign the permit needed to visit the Savage Reservation in New... (full context)
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Bernard and Lenina travel to the Reservation in New Mexico, staying first in a luxurious Santa... (full context)
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Just before they enter, Bernard calls Helmholtz, and to his horror and astonishment, he learns that the Director actually is... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...through rubbish-filled streets, and there are old people everywhere. Out of soma, both she and Bernard have to absorb these spectacles unaided. (full context)
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The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Their Indian guide leads Bernard and Lenina onto a terrace. At first, the loud ritual drumming and even the harsh... (full context)
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After the dance, Bernard and Lenina meet a pale-skinned, blue-eyed young man in Indian dress. He says in peculiar... (full context)
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The young man explains to Bernard and Lenina that his mother, Linda, came from the Other Place long ago, with “Tomakin,”... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Outside Linda's house, Bernard and John talk. Bernard is struggling to make sense of John’s life on the Reservation.... (full context)
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John concludes his series of flashbacks by telling Bernard that he has been “Alone, always alone.” Bernard finds himself confiding in return that he,... (full context)
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Bernard asks John if he would like to return to London with him, while secretly strategizing... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...six half-gramme soma tablets, which will knock her out for the next 18 hours. Meanwhile, Bernard comes up with a plan. The next morning, he flies to Santa Fe, contacts the... (full context)
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Back at Malpais, John briefly weeps when he thinks that Bernard and Lenina have left without him. Eventually, though, he peeks inside the rest-house and sees... (full context)
Chapter 10
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The Director tells Henry Foster that Bernard is meeting him in this room shortly, because there are so many high-caste workers present.... (full context)
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When a nervous Bernard arrives, the Director announces to the assembled workers that Bernard has betrayed and imperiled Society... (full context)
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Bernard summons Linda into the room, and the perpetually youthful workers are horrified by her sagging,... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...herself into a stupor with soma—her major motivation for returning to civilization. A doctor warns Bernard and John that the constant soma use will lead to Linda’s death within a couple... (full context)
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Because of his association with the Savage, Bernard finds himself not just treated normally, but popular and sought-after for the first time in... (full context)
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...society, but he’s largely unimpressed, persisting in talking about an entity called “the Soul.” When Bernard writes a report to Mustapha Mond about this, he mentions agreeing with the Savage that... (full context)
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...factory staffed by lower-caste workers, the Savage, repeating “O brave new world,” breaks away, retching. Bernard continues to report to Mond, expressing perplexity that John visits Linda in the midst of... (full context)
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The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
...the Hatchery changing room, Lenina tells Fanny that she’s enjoying the benefits of association with Bernard’s fame. However, everyone keeps asking her what it’s like to make love to the Savage,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Individuality Theme Icon
At a party Bernard throws so that people can meet the Savage, John refuses to leave his room, preferring... (full context)
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The next day, Bernard is back to his old self: nervous, alone, and melancholy. The Savage likes this version... (full context)
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...he’s found something to write about. He and the Savage soon become good friends, sparking Bernard’s jealousy. When Helmholtz recites his rhymes to the Savage, the Savage reads him lines of... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Bernard and Helmholtz receive a phone call telling them what the Savage is doing. They rush... (full context)
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To Bernard’s relief, police in gasmasks soon arrive and begin pumping soma vapor into the air and... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Bernard, the Savage, and Helmholtz are brought into Mustapha Mond’s study. Helmholtz is in good spirits,... (full context)
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...his youth, he was nearly exiled for conducting unauthorized science. At the mention of exile, Bernard starts groveling tearfully, begging not to be sent to Iceland. Mond orders that Bernard be... (full context)
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With Bernard out of the way, Mond points out that being exiled to an island is, for... (full context)
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...requests one with a bad climate, more suitable for writing—and then goes to check on Bernard. (full context)
Chapter 18
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Helmholtz and Bernard, on the way to their island exile, stop by the Savage’s apartment to say goodbye... (full context)