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By being a psychologist and studying hypnopædia, (through which children from birth are indoctrinated in how to live in The World State), he is defying social norms. An encounter with people from the ‘Savage Reservation’ introduces him to John whom he brings back toLondon. As people find John different and interesting, he becomes Bernard’s ticket to acceptance in that society.
However this popularity is short-lived, as John is amazed at the superfluity and indifference of this new society to bonding, grief and humanity, and isolates himself. Without John, Bernard is again rejected by his society, and also loses his only good friend and the woman he had been attracted to. Meanwhile, John, even in isolation, attracts huge crowds of people who view him as an oddity and item of entertainment. This drives John to a frenzy that culminates with him hanging himself.
The time period is six hundred years into the future. The place isLondon. Apparently, before writing this novel, Huxley visited the manufacturing plant of the Imperial Chemical Industries and noted its processes, functioning and production line. Subsequently, most references made in the book about things that had been automated, like reproduction, for example, drew their details from his visit to this factory and the impression it left on him.