Our task in this project was to recreate a scene from the book Brave New World in a graphic novel form. Most students were paired into teams of authors and artists, though several worked alone and handled both aspects of the task. The authors wrote a paper analyzing one of the main characters in the novel and used noun-phrase apposites and concessive theses to make their arguments. Artists focused on key choices of moment, frame, image, word,and flow in creating a graphic novel about the chosen scene. Our exhibition featured both an art show of our graphic novels, and a seminar discussion about Brave New World.
To Think Freely, Or Not To Think Freely
Brave New World, a classic novel, describes a society thrown into dystopia. In the dystopia of Brave New World society, Bernard is faced with various challenges that reveals to us that his differences are not confined to his appearance; he also has the ability to think freely , which is repressed by the government in Brave New World society. While Bernard is a part of Brave New World society, I will argue that this society has failed to control Bernard because he, unlike his love interest Lenina, has the ability to think freely.
In a society of perfectly flawless people, Bernard's flaws marks him out for ridicule and undercuts his Alpha Plus status. Fanny, a 19 year old nurse, while talking to Lenina about Bernard, states, “[Bernard was given] ‘Alcohol in his blood-surrogate’” (Huxley, 88). This was Fanny’s explanation for Bernards every extremity.”Bernard himself is painfully aware of others' responses to his diminutive physique and his lack of confidence originates from anxiety about rejection; Bernard's feelings about his difference develops into an inner resentment nurtured by his own egotistic frame of mind that produces much emotion but little action. By allowing Bernard to have an inner resentment for himself, his society has failed to control him, through conditioning, which makes him the opposite of Lenina. As a result, he feels like an outcast. Although he wants to be an individual, to feel strongly and act freely, Bernard shows little courage.
Proud of her sexual attractiveness, Lenina, a lupoid purple-eyed woman (Huxley, 16), seems at first a conventional woman of a society; in which comfort, pleasure, and materialism are the only values. However, Lenina emerges as a conflicted character; she is more complex than she seems initially .Although she may not acknowledge it, Lenina rebels against her conditioning for sexual immorality, the belief that "everyone belongs to everyone else." (Huxley, 42) Before dating Bernard, Lenina had a prolonged exclusive relationship with Henry Foster; even in returning to normal sexual behavior, she again rebels, choosing the societal misfit Bernard Marx. Without completely understanding her motivations, Lenina explores the emotional territory outside recreational sex with the far more daring Bernard, the supposed rebel. While Lenina rebels against the sexual morality for her society, Brave New World hasn’t failed to control her. This domination of Lenina’s feelings and actions is exhibited when Bernard and Lenina vacation in the savage reservation. After seeing a woman in the reservation with child, Bernard utters “Imagine yourself sitting there with a little baby of your own. . .” Lenina quickly shuns the idea and stammers, “Bernard! How can you?” (Huxley,112) The idea of a viviparous relationship between an adolescent and an adult is anathema.
Living in the Brave New World society, Bernard longs for more, hopes for a better life, and desires freedom. Even though Bernard is a citizen of Brave New World society, his society has failed him due to the fact that he has the ability to think freely. Ultimately, Huxley portrays a society that can not wrap their minds around the idea that even the most advanced technology can’t control a person.
Self-Assessment. Write a full paragraph (5 sentences minimum) for each question below. Use at least one piece of evidence from your essay in each paragraph.
What do you think is the strongest element of your paper? (concessive thesis, NPA, use of semi-colons, use of evidence, etc)
The strongest element of my paper to me would be how I took account of all the feedback I got and applied it to my paper. One way i took feedback into account was when Matt introduced the Npa’s, Concessive thesis, use of semicolons and the parallel sentence structure. This feedback added to my papers initial idea by showing me a way to use more complex sentence structures to really prove my point. One example of this would be my concessive thesis, “ While Bernard is a part of Brave New World society, I will argue that society has failed to control Bernard because he, unlike Lenina, has the ability to think freely.” I wouldn't have been able to come up with such a solid idea to write about if it wasn't for me taking all of the feedback I got to heart.
What do you think is the most beautifully worded sentence you wrote, and why?
Throughout my essay, I looked at every word I wrote and tried to find a better way to express my idea. This resulted in some beautifully composed sentences; but, there was one sentence that was truly beautiful and stood out to me. “Without completely understanding her motivations, Lenina explores the emotional territory outside recreational sex with far more daring Bernard, the supposed rebel.” I love just how this sentence flows and is composed and the word usage is just a cherry on the top. Ultimately, my lust for perfection resulted in beautiful sentences.
How did the grammar lessons help you structure your writing more clearly? Be specific. If not, what other ideas or lessons might have helped you more?
The grammar lectures helped me really move forward not just in the essay but in my learning. At the beginning of this character analysis I was initially unmotivated and had no idea what to write about. Yet after the various grammar lessons, I was inspired to make beautiful work. The different ideas we learned about, NPA’s, concessive thesis etc… ,added to my flow and helped me to interpret different ideas into beautiful sentences. I will most definitely use these newfound skills in future projects.
What overall grade do you think you should get for each of the following elements? Use a letter grade. Be specific and explain why.
Introduction: I believe I deserve an a- because it could be better but it is one solid intro.
First body paragraph: I feel as I deserve a solid a on my first paragraph because it is beautiful work that 4 people along with me revised.
Second body paragraph: On my second paragraph I truly deserve an a+ because of the composition word choice and the overall flow of it.
Conclusion: My conclusion is definitely the weakest part of my essay but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. On my conclusion i know i deserve a b+
Overall, what grade should your paper receive? Why? Be honest with
Overall , the composition of my essay along with my word choice and how I incorporated the grammar lessons in my essay so they would add to the flow. This essay is one of my essays that I am most proud of. So I feel as I deserve a solid A (95%).