Brave New World: Chapter 18

The last chapter paints a hopeless portrait of the future for the Savage, and indeed mankind in general. The Savage chooses to live as a hermit, alone in a deserted area where only an old lighthouse remains. It’s this location where the Savage plans to purify himself and “to escape further contamination by the filth of civilized life.” He does this by carrying out a traditional Reservation religious ceremony in which he calls on God for forgiveness for his lust for Lenina and lack of concern for Linda’s troubled death. Soon the Savage begins to beat himself with a whip, punishing himself for the world’s transgressions.At first, he is undisturbed and left to live in peace, but soon inquisitive visitors find him, wondering what on earth he’s doing. Soon noisy reporters camp out on the land in order to make a feely about him. Huxley admits, “Pain was a fascinating horror.”Eventually the Savage becomes so disgusted with the whole situation he retreats to the lighthouse, hoping to find solitude. When eager reporters follow him inside, they find his corpse hanging on the stairway. Despite his best efforts to change it, it seems the world will never know the same freedom he has grown to love. Now that world has convinced him that it’s pointless to live. The system has overcome this individual, in spite of his liberty-seeking intentions.