"Brave New World" takes place in a futuristic society in which people are grown as nearly identical embryos in bottles and conditioned to remove strong desires, the need for human relationships and strong emotions. Members of society take a drug called soma to help keep them docile.
Bernard is a member of the upper class who invites Lenina, another member of his class, to join him at the Reservation, an area inhabited by native people that is not subject to the strict rules of society. While at the Reservation, Lenina and Bernard encounter people who display signs of aging, something not seen in the World State. They also meet John, a man raised at the Reservation who Bernard learns is the son of the World State Director. Bernard takes John and his mother Linda back to the World State. Upon returning, Bernard and John become very socially popular. When John refuses to meet some of Bernard's important guests, Bernard's social status falls.
John begins to fight against the constraints of the society, questioning the dehumanization process and encouraging citizens to fight back. As a result of John's actions, Bernard and a friend are exiled, and John moves to a remote lighthouse to indulge in whipping himself to rid himself of his sins. By the end of the story, John is so despondent over his submission to a society that upholds social stability over the beauty of the human condition that he hangs himself.