You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.
-Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 15, 2014

BNW 1997 AP Essay DRAFT

Essay draft (on paper or blog) per yesterday's prompt (see below).  Additional criterion: please use three brief quotes from the text and 3-5 literary terms/techniques to illustrate/support your thesis/main points.  Due Monday, March 17.
1979 Choose a complex and important character in a novel or a play of
recognized literary merit who might, on the basis of the character’s actions alone,
be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and
why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more
sympathetically than we otherwise might. Avoid plot summary.


John the savage
  • ·      An outcast in the world state & in the reservation
  •         Non-conformist
  •     Educated (reads old lit.)
  •          Has a sense of morality (therefore he is IMMORAL in the eyes of the World State)
  • ·      Loyal to his mother & his people
  • ·      Confused and frustrated w/ World State
  • ·      Finds the way out by killing himself.

Examples from text
  • ·      Refuses sex from Lenina and calls her a whore
  • ·      He goes crazy when his mother is dying and wants to save her
  • ·      Refuses soma- he would rather deal with his emotions naturally
  • ·      Reads & uses old literature (Shakespeare)

Literary Techniques:
  • ·      Allusion to the tempest

o   Theme is difficulty distinguishing between men & monsters
  • ·      Symbolism

o   John can easily symbolize the reader and how they would react
  • ·      Doubleness of character
  • ·      Indirect Characterization/Direct Characterization

What makes us react sympathetically?!
  • ·      The reader feels pity for him b/c he is not fully accepted anywhere
  • ·      The reader can relate to him b/c he is the most “human” of them all
  • ·      He is not an actual character, but is good enough to fool the reader throughout the novel
  • ·      The reader agrees with John’s morals & take on life

ESSAY: (about 1hr timing)

            John the savage from Huxley’s “Brave New World” is considered to be immoral by the residents of the World State. The reader is given the impression of this through direct and indirect characterization, and is proven by the fact that John is neither fully accepted in the reservation nor world state. This confirmation is the main factor why the reader sympathizes with the savage.

            As the reader is presented to John we know he is different, because he is a native from the reservation and because of indirect characterization. “But they wouldn’t let me. They disliked me for my complexion. It’s always been like that. Always.” Tears stood in the young man’s eyes; he was ashamed and turned away. Other than being peculiar to Bernard and Lenina the reader realizes that the savage is loyal to his people and believes strongly in their rituals. The fact that he has a sense of morality and is loyal allows the reader to feel some compassion for him.

            The biggest difference between the savage and the world state residents is that John is abstinent. The Brave new world is stabilized by “everyone belongs to everyone”, and this of course means belonging to everyone in a sexual and lustful way. Unlike many of the residents, John refuses to take part in sexual intercourse without having got married first, and calls Lenina a “whore…damned whore!” This is yet another reason why the reader can easily relate to the savage. In our world today, abstinence is still considered something sacred.

            Everything the world state presses on the savage, he pushes away. He is kind and allows Bernard to use him as a stool to get to the top, but gets quickly sick of it and revolts. Though he is not a real character, there are many similarities between the reader and the savage. In some ways he symbolizes us in our world today. The allusion to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is the world state monsters versus the reservation men or visa versa. It can also be symbolized to represent the people of today and how many are so evil that they cannot be distinguished between men or monsters. The world state is an exaggerated version of our world today. The savages from the reservation only form some of our population. For that reason is that the reader rallies John on throughout the novel, because they seem themselves in him. They do not want to finish their journey with their feet dangling “South-south-west, south, south-east, east…”

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