Reading Brave New World it seemed obvious to me that Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne are in some way referring to Marx and Lenin, but I couldn't figure out any clue to support this claim. Is it truly so and what are they representing? Is there any (related) symbolism in their other names (first and last, respectively), i.e. Bernard and Crowne?

  • You may find interesting that a character from a Soviet novel named Doctor Vera was called "Stalina". Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 16:19
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    This page offers some analysis of the names in the novel. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 16:28
  • @Gallifreyan that offers some insight, thanks, but I'd argue that Lenin has anything to do with conformism - he was a revolutionary. Lenina, on the other hand, conforms to the govt. Thinking about it, It could have something to do with the actual way socialist govt's were implemented though. Also looking for any possible significance of their interaction and relationship (Marx's and Lenin(a)'s).
    – Luke
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 17:19
  • Lenin's role was far more complex than mere "revolutionary". He favoured centralised control (as opposed to broader proletarian representation) and can be seen as a brutal authoritarian even from a pro-socialist perspective, e.g. in the banning of the communist Mensheviks in 1921. Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 8:15
  • There is also a one-off character named Trotsky, so I doubt it is a coincidence.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Bernard also means “Hardy” which is ironic because s he is weak and feeble. Since his first name is ironic then it’s rational to believe that his last name is as well. Therefore, Marx could be a use of irony by Huxley that underlines Bernard’s core conservative values opposite to Karl Marx’s.

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    What makes you think that Huxley was aware of the West Germanic roots of the name Bernard? Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 8:19

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