Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World is set in a dystopian future where the World State creates humans in a very inhumane way. Through this process, society is able to create people who are trapped in social classes for their entire lives. Free thinking is discouraged to say the least and individuality is suppressed to the fullest extent. Amidst this culture of conveyor belt worshiping and drug induced happiness we meet a character that transcends his cohorts. Bernard Marx is an extremely intelligent and aware person in a world that demands conformity and through this contrast we see Bernard as a complex character living a very simple world. Due to this we see Bernard in two different lights; his need to conform and his inward questioning.
Bernard works for the Director of Hatching and Conditioning (DHC) and disagrees with the core principles that drive the Director to do what he does. It would be unwise for Bernard to openly disagree and disrespect the DHC and doing so would probably end with Bernard being sent to Iceland. Bernard blends quite well because he has to. He is inwardly torn but he still behaves (for the most part) as a functioning member of the society that has been created. Bernard partakes in very normal activities such as flying a personal helicopter, chanting “Orgy-Porgy” with a group of adolescents, and observing Savages in their natural habitats. Although Bernard is a free thinker and a non conformist, but by obtaining a doubleness of character he can maintain a certain image and stay alive in A.F. 632.
Bernard Marx is different in many ways starting with his stature and complexion. He is a strange looking boy who is shorter than most of the others in his caste. Everyone blames extra alcohol in his blood for the way he appears, they say something went wrong on the assembly line which caused him to turn out odd in appearance. No matter how much he tries (although there is never any reason to believe that he does try) he will never change the way he looks. Another distinction that Bernard Marx cannot hide is his own last name. While it does not cause any problems in the novel Huxley purposefully names this inwardly thinking character after the most famous Communist mind of all time. However, the rest of his “undesirable” characteristics are much less objective and when they are on display Bernard is a shocking character. He does shocking things like have conversations, look at the ocean, and limit his sexual promiscuity. Bernard Marx is a radical when he is alone or with Lenina and he constantly questions why society has to be the way it is.
All in all, Aldous Huxley created a character in Bernard Marx that combines the conformity of the time with a sense of curiosity and desire for change. As a perfect example of “streaky bacon”, Bernard is an extremely relatable character that shows the reader the loss of self that can occur due to conformity. Huxley creates a doubleness of character while also creating a sense of irony through the moral standards of the novel and showing Bernard's reactions to these. In a very inhumane society, we see Bernard as an extremely human character.