John is called "the Savage" initially because he was not living in the civilized world, but on the "Savage Reservation." But consider the following points:
- John is the only character in the novel born naturally of a mother, as opposed to being born in a laboratory from a test-tube procedure.
- John maintains a familial relationship with his mother, while the other characters never know their parents (and don't seem to care).
- John's reads Shakespeare as a hobby, while the other characters use drugs and sex as their only sources of recreation.
- And finally, once in London, John abhors society and claims that freedom and individuality should never be sacrificed for the sake of stability.
John is labeled a savage in Brave New World because he rejects the society's values and prefers to live as people did in older times. Even though he rejects what society tells him is "civilized," John is closest in mindset and experience to what we consider "civilized" today. That's pretty ironic, wouldn't you say?