Brave New World
As man has progressed through the ages, there has been, essentially,
one purpose. That purpose is to arrive at a utopian society, where
everyone is happy, disease is nonexistent, and strife, anger, or sadness
are unheard of. Only happiness exists. But when confronted with Aldous
Huxley's Brave New World, we come to realize that this is not, in fact,
what the human soul really craves. In fact, Utopian societies are much
worse than those of today. In a utopian society, the individual, who among
others composes the society, is lost in the melting pot of semblance and
world of uninterest.
In the science fiction book Brave New World, we are confronted with a
man, Bernard Marx. Bernard is inadequate to his collegues. So he resorts
to entertaining himself most evenings, without the company of a woman.
This encourages his individual thought, and he realizes that independent
thought is rewarding, and that he must strive to become a real individual.
Although this is true to a certain extent, Bernard does not realize that he
would much rather attain social recognition. At least, not until the
opportunity presents itself. Thus, through a series of events, Bernard
uses the curiosity of the society to his advantage, fulfilling his
subconscious wish of becoming someone important; a recognized name in the
jumble of society. This ends when the curiosity of others ends, and as a
supreme result of his arrogant behaviour, he is exiled.
The instigator of this curiosity as well as the author of Bernard's
fame (and folly), is an outsider know as the Savage. The Savage is brought
in from outside of the utopian society by Bernard as an experiment. He
faces "civilized society" with a bright outlook, but eventually comes to
hate it bitterly.
Lenina, the supporting role of the novel, is the most pronounced
example of the ideal citizen. She adheres to the principles of the society
without so much as a second thought.
In the utopian society that Huxley presents, everyone is happy. There
are no differences. Everyone is brought up to be happy, and most do not
even know what sadness or anger is. All is cured artificially through
surrogates or drugs. Even happiness alone is not unique to the individual.
Soma, the hallucinatory drug, the 'perfect drug' that is used by all, even
induces the same kind of happiness. The only variant is to what extent
this happiness overwhelms the user (one or two half-gramme tablets?).
"Everybody belongs to everyone else" (127) is the basic psychology of
the society. This suggests that an individual owes everything to society,
but society in turn owes everything to him or her. This applies to all.
No one capitalises on the efforts of others and no one performs excessive
manual labour for minimum wage. Everyone is the same.
In Huxley's perfect world, sex is a mundane undertaking. It happens to
each individual almost every night. And no one knows what marriage is.
They simply have each other and move on. All for one and one for all.
Everyone is the same in bed.
The inhabitants of this society are not given any sort of mental
flexibility. If you spend time alone, or think, you are considered
strange, and are considered an outcast. Nobody wishes for this, and so
correspondingly nobody commits this unspeakable crime. Everyone goes out
at night with a different partner, or takes a few grammes of soma and goes
to bed for a soma-holiday. Nothing new, nothing different.
Each person of this society has a predestined future. They all
develop in their fetal stages inside a jar, where they are provided with
their needs, are vaccinated against all known diseases. Also, special
treatments are performed to aid in the mental growth (or standstill) of the
individual after 'birth', according to their future occupation.
"The first of a batch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane
engineers was just passing the eleven hundredth metre mark on Rack 3.
A special mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation. `To
improve their sense of balance,' Mr Foster explained. `Doing repairs
on the outside of a rocket in mid air is a ticklish job. We slacken
off the circulation when they're right way up, so that they're half
starved, and double the flow of surrogate when they're upside down.
They learn to associate topsy- turvydom with well being; in fact,
they're only truly happy when they're standing on their heads." (32)
All two hundred and fifty beings will be the same - they will look
alike, talk alike, act alike, have the same job, and generally be the same
people inside different media. One never knows which is which.
After birth, all children are mentally conditioned to think and act
with the same motives. Through hypnopaedia, all of the basic rules of the
society are learned by the children, and they learn to repeat and obide by
There are no chances for anyone to develop any differences. Or if they
do, they are exiled so that they cannot influence those around them.
Nothing changes, including the government and the lifestyle of the
Last and most importantly, the Bokanovsky method of reproducing causes
great numbers of genetically identical human beings (up to 96 at a time
from a single egg alone). As well, the same ovary can be used to produce
over seventeen thousand individuals with the same basic genetic background.
Everyone is the same. Same birth, same upbringing, same lifestyle. Any
differences are remedied immediately.
Huxley presents the ultimate in utopian societies. But nobody is open
for mental growth. All are limited to set barriers. Although this would
appear a perfect society at first, it becomes obvious later on in the novel
that the race will no longer evolve. Nobody will have new ideas. Nobody
will improve on society. Nothing will change. This is not what the human
race desires. It desires to acquire knowledge, unceasingly and
neverendingly. Without this advantage, we will go mad.
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