Brave New World Roles Of Women

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, a society is presented in which every aspect of life is tightly controlled and humans are more like lifeless machines. However, in this attempt at a utopian society, glimmers of humanity are shown through several characters in the novel. Though the characters surrounding the central action are male, two very important women are also portrayed. These two woman are used to not only dispute the sexism demonstrated by men, but also in response to the women's rights issues at the time the novel was written. From the surface, one may conclude that Huxley simply includes women in the plot to balance the story. However, when further examined, the female characters, Linda and Lenina, are in many ways emotionally and intellectually above their male counterpart, John, who is Linda's son and Lenina's love interest.

Our first impression of Lenina can be rather misleading in that she is presented as a typical woman in the Brave New World.

She comes across as very superficial, caring only about herself and the occasional men. In her conversation with a friend, Lenina speaks of "having Henry"� (40) as if he isn't even a person. Though she has been with him for an astonishing "four months"� (40), she agrees with her friend who suggests she "ought to be a little more promiscuous"� (43). From this opening conversation, Lenina seems to be incredibly shallow. However, when she enters the scene, Lenina is described as looking "like a pearl illuminated from within, pinkly glowing"� (Huxley 38) which invokes as sense of innocence and value. This is the first clue that Lenina is not all how she seems, but rather a much deeper woman with desires and intelligence greater than she is given credit for. She is drawn to difference, something that...