John’s Story: A Brave New World Comparison

Dear readers,

“Good morrow” is the first quote we hear from John, the young man in Brave New World who discovers English people for the first time in his life. “A most unhappy gentleman,” he says, and goes on to tell his story. In the Brave New World Netflix UK show, is a bundle of curiosity. In the book, however, John is like, I hate twins, meaning he doesn’t like the uniform clones everywhere. But something really weird happened to John in the show. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

I can’t just talk about John without covering the gist of the whole show. I forgot to add that Helmholtz, Bernard’s friend, is a woman in the show as well. Like what the hell is with the producers changing up the source material in the name of a certain look? Like I understand the need for progress, but quit trying to change the source material.

With John, I kind of wanted the whole “Good morrow” thing to get crazier. John is depicted as an American, not a British born boy, but at least is decent enough to do some good. In the show, he warms up to one of the Epsilon Jack workers, CJack60, as he is called. The guy hands John a thing of meat, and he eats it. John is hanging out with Epsilons in the dining hall, something unheard of in the book. John originally said he hated “twins”, and wretched all over the grass. In other words, John got terribly sick because everybody looked alike. In the book, see the prior post on Linda, John hit one of the Delta boys by his dying mother’s bed. Well, John never hung out with Epsilons in the book, so why? Why was he hanging around Epsilons, and it seems CJack60 is going to be more prominent, but we gotta watch more. John watches a training video to understand the New London lifestyle, but in the book, he flies around and explores the city. The big problem with John in the book is the problematic portrayal of him speaking Zuni and other Native tongues, using the words in the stereotypical fashion. But then he laces his insults with Shakespeare. Weird. John tals to Lenina and calls her an “impudent strumpet” in a classic Elizabethan insult. He went off on her for being who she was, and taking off her clothes, she was about to just have him like civilized people do in the Brave New World, when he went off on her in the following manner: “Strumpet, fitchew.” No such insults were in the show, and what is with CJack60 hanging out with John at all? Perhaps John understood something about Epsilons we don’t understand. But will John fall for Lenina and then call her a whore? that’s the worst of it, but no Elizabethan insults could possibly have been hurled at her. In any case, stay tuned.

Beth