Helmholtz represents a sharp contrast to his close friend, Bernard. Unlike the flighty, whiny Bernard, Helmholtz shows himself to be emotionally stable even in his deep dissatisfaction. Bored with mindless recreational sex and soma-taking, he simply abstains, saving his energies for what he believes to be more valuable activity. In this, Helmholtz shows himself to be a more serious rebel than Bernard.
Helmholtz voices the inarticulate feeling of meaningless in the life of brave new world citizens. Helmholtz has something to say, he believes, but he cannot find the words within him. In his struggle to find meaning and expression for his feeling of emptiness, Helmholtz emerges as one of the most fully human and engaging characters of the novel.