Brave New World
The Comprehensive Review Of Brave New World By Aldous Huxley
In the science fiction novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley shows a “revolution of revolutions” resulting from technological advances. He does so by portraying a future BNW society that is supposedly perfect in every way. Everyone is happy. Everything exists in perfect order. Huxley, however, focuses on warning the reader about problems that may develop in the future such as promiscuity, lack of intimacy, etc. This future is indeed a “revolution of revolutions” in that societal norms go through a radical change into completely innovative, but sometimes corrupt, forms.
This revolution is a direct result of a “Nine Years War:” a war so devastating that it nearly extinguishes life on earth. Near the end of this period, humanity as a whole grows tired of war and destruction, and therefore decides to search for answers through other means. The answer is found in advanced technology. Attributing their new foundation to the industrial enterpriser, Henry Ford, the BNW society begins to take shape. Its motto becomes “community, identity, stability,” and anything that promotes social disorder is quickly eliminated. This element precludes individuality and will later incite conflict. Everyone thinks the same, acts the same, and generally lives the same in their respective class orders.
This is made possible through developmental conditioning. From the moment of conception, a human is subjected to technological conditioning that continues throughout their lifetime. All their thoughts and actions are conditioned to a set pattern. Two techniques of instituting this are those of Pavlov and Skinner. The BNW society takes advantages of their findings to modify the behavior of all people through various stimuli, response systems, rewards and punishments. One example is the electric shock treatment of babies, training them to dislike and avoid flowers. As adults, they will then avoid nature and contact, therefore, with lower class people. Another ongoing process is the use of Sigmund Freud’s hypnopaedia method. This “sleep teaching” conditions people to think a certain way for the rest of their lives. They become brainwashed.
The most prominent tool in attaining this revolution is genetic engineering. During embryonic development, people are “manufactured with distinct characteristics to maintain the stability of society.” In essence, a person’s social class and intellectual capacity is predetermined at birth. Their likes and dislikes are already programmed. Individual thought and freedom, as a result, are nonexistent. The main focus is conformity and stability. Everyone gets what they want, which is also programmed, and everyone is happy. If the opposite ever happens to occur, “there’s always soma.” This drug dependency is the ultimate source of instant gratification and connotes a “quick fix mentality.” It indulges the senses, instills happiness, and therefore promotes stability.
John the Savage, however, detests all aspects of this revolution. Having been brought up on the Reservation, he is not brainwashed by BNW conditioning. On the contrary, he does possess individuality, free choice, and an imagination. He recognizes these precious gifts of life and is astonished when he encounters civilization. John also realizes that “if one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.” This is the way he feels after a while in the city. He cannot stand the lack of meaningful relationships, the lack of individuality of thought, and constant need for instant gratification.
Ultimately, this forces him to move into the lighthouse to seek seclusion. John subsequently begins to punish himself, apparently trying to purge his soul of the BNW society. He tries to become an individual again, familiarizing with nature and his spiritual side. However, his location is later discovered and he realizes that he cannot escape the brave, new world. This epiphany causes him to commit suicide in the end. The sad part of this final act of desperation is that it has no effect on the BNW citizens. They continue to live their lives the way they had been. These people are too brainwashed to even fathom what message John the Savage had tried to impart.
This event and others signal Huxley’s warnings about a change toward the BNW society. Aside from the conspicuous demand for conformity and stability, the new World State centers on materialism as well. BNW citizens focus on objects and their perfection. In their minds, “flaws impede happiness” and things of the past hold no value. Huxley also emphasizes the dependence on soma. This instant gratification is merely taking the easy way out of things. Whether it is pain, anger or frustration, soma is the answer to BNW citizens. Soma, moreover, leads to happiness and happiness leads back to the central goal of stability. If people are happy and get what they want, there is no social chaos or threat to society.
In the BNW society, there is also a degradation of values. Intimacy is nonexistent and in its place is polygamy. People treat sexuality like a common pastime and derive no feeling from it other than pleasure. Family is another nonexistent concept. People miss out on valuable experiences, moral lessons, and certain emotions they would have if they were in a family. As a result, they do not develop spiritually. On the contrary, they are more self-centered and see another’s death, for instance, as insignificant. Yet the most disturbing element in the revolution is the lack of individuality. There is no freedom of thought or expression of ideas, and this causes things like art and literature to be banned.
Surprisingly, many of the elements of Brave New World are present in today’s world. Materialism, for one, is present everywhere. It can always be seen in advertisements, commercials, and magazines among other places. Some people tend to think that the more things you have, the happier you are in life. Drug abuse, secondly, occurs in today’s society as well. Although it is not as widely depended on as in the Brave New World, drug abuse still persists and is present almost everywhere. The most noticeable similarity, however, is the presence of genetics. In today’s world, the science of genetics is growing as more procedures are being done to modify human life and development. If progress keeps up, people may be able to do what is done in Brave New World.
Overall, Aldous Huxley shows the reader how the BNW’s “revolution of revolutions” does not benefit humankind in the end. Although perfection is almost reached scientifically, BNW citizens take a step back intellectually. Furthermore, the “ends do not justify the means” in that individuality and free will are compromised in the process. In general, Huxley’s Brave New World shows us what not to evolve into.
Consumerism in Fight Club and Brave New World
Chuck Palahniuk and Aldous Huxley make a vastly fascinating portrayal of the image of consumerism in their works. Miriam Webster, in her dictionary, defines consumerism as “the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services.” Consumerism has more than one aspect. It can be materialistic, technological, or self-consummation. The industrial revolution was basically the event which set people towards consumerism. Both novels, indirectly, represent a picture of American Capitalist community which is dominated by consumerism and perfection.
In Fight Club, a one sees that characters are fighting one another. However, this is not totally right. Their true motifs and what is fought for transcend the fact that they are only fighting. All characters in the novel are haunted by consumerism. They all adopt the idea of Renewal by all its aspects. In fact, this mechanism results in turning them into victims to their societal customs as if they are locked in unrestrained movement of consumerism. They all try to fulfil their desires by doing so. They seek only joy and nothing more. Nevertheless, they don’t get satisfied. Their appetite for buying and purchasing new things is always at higher rate. “The things you own, end up owning you” (Palahniuk, 1996)
The Novel depicts another dimension of contemporary American growth which is the pursuit of perfection. For them, perfection might be in the body of a human being or in anything else like a house, for example. “A minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.”(Palahniuk, 1996). In modern American community, the phrase “the perfect man” is a man who is rich, stylish and adequate. Moreover, a man who possesses a great part of luxurious furniture; consequently, influences the surrounding people. America’s infatuation with perfection and beauty, and its fascination with consumerism are two sides of the same coin as the novel hints; the two are overwhelmed with the passion to be “perfect”. In other words, the characters in the novel sell themselves in the purpose of seeking perfection. This devastated passion of the figures in the novel consequences in transforming them into “products”, merely like a piece of furniture in an apartment.
In Brave New World, there is a logo which says “Community, Identity, Stability”. The whole system of this World State is established according to those elements. This system is conditioned. The characters are conditioned and systemized to consume. They are learned that when goods get broken and require mending, they have to get rid of them. “Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches “(Huxley 52). People in the World State are acknowledged as inferior and minor beings if they don’t possess the most recent and extreme goods. It is the same case in America; the highest percentage of citizens see substantial properties as stuff that can be simply disposed of and interchanged. A way of identifying people is by what they possess of the finest goods and not frivolous ones.
The social system of Brave New World and the American community, nowadays, share a lot of similarities, but they are different in one critical aspect, knowledge. People in the novel are mechanized; they don’t have control of their actions. They are modified to never ask, but always consume. Citizens lack consciousness and freedom of choice because they even don’t know what independent individuality and freedom mean. In contrast, this is not a regular case in America at the current time. People are conscious for what they do and basically responsible for their actions and decisions. Self-determination and reliance is the primary distinction between America and The World State of Huxley. Huxley’s World State doesn’t give the permission to read any book or even to any connection to knowledge because if it is allowed, this will lead people to think and examine the world around them. ”You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books” (Huxley 60).
Fight Club and Brave New World are both emulations for the modern American society aspects of perfection and consumerism. The image of consumerism and the prosecution of perfection is greatly portrayed throughout the novels. In Palahniuk’s work, consumerism is like a fashion, lifestyle, and a token that distinguishes superior people from inferior ones. In addition, perfection was being sought in each dimension of life. On the other hand, In Huxley’s work, consumerism was an essential part of the conditioning system of the world. People are taught to consume. It’s much like an unconscious consumerism because people are mechanized to do so. In this systemized World State, you are perfect as long as you consume. Perfection was achieved parallely with consumerism and throughout controlling people’s lives and minds.
The Future of the World in George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
1984 and A Brave New World the authors explain how society is always evolving in a multitude of ways, and in ways that do not live up to the world’s standard. Postman goes into detail to explain how the two stories explore the fears of what our world may come to. In reality society has to accept that the world will change drastically eventually, just as it has changed for over hundreds of years in the past. Postman provided intriguing examples of how the societies are corrupt just like in Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, and ultimately I have to agree with him. We live in a society that we are more interested in what is on our phones then the written word of brilliant writers. Society would rather not ask in questions in fear of the answers given to them, we have become a world filled with sex, drugs, and money. It’s a horrible reality but it is our reality, Postman states that people feared we would enter a world like 1984, books being kept from us, externally imposed oppression, truth would be concealed from us, and a captive culture. In reality, we are living in Huxley’s world where teens would rather look at a TV screen then learn from their teachers, just having sex is easier than a relationship, and people do not ask questions in fear what they will be told. People in relationships are too scared to ask for more in fear that the person they love will hurt them, and they would rather be unsatisfied in a relationship then lose the person they love. People fall in love with drugs and alcohol that numb their pain, and people become greedy for money. Postman and Huxley are both right that in this world we are to absorbed in electronics that we forgot to enjoy the world, and that in the end the things we love will destroy us more than the things we hate
John Versus Bernard In Brave New World
In Brave New World, the dystopian world is made up of levels of humans who, from the making, are told what to think and how to act. Literally. Bernard, an Alpha male who doesn’t fit into the society, is unhappy with his life. John, a “savage” who was born from two Alpha’s and has been living in the Savage Reservation, thinks the new world is truly despicable. Although the two of them had a shared hate for the society, their views on the world and how they reacted were completely different.
Bernard, being self-conscious about how he looked, began to act as a kind of recluse among his fellow Alphas. When he got jealous or started feeling any emotions, he expressed them rather than taking soma, like the rest of the society. The fact that he didn’t take soma and that he had different opinions than the rest of his group members led to the Alpha’s rejecting him and calling him things like ‘strange’ and ‘weird’. Of course, this meant he was rejected from such activities like sleeping with several females as the other males did, and he got jealous, which riled him up. He often vented his feelings to his one and only friend, Helmholtz. He often bragged about his accomplishments and exaggerated greatly, leading to his friend disliking such things about him.
John was the son of the Director and Linda and was born in the Savage Reservation. He wasn’t accepted in the society of the savages because of his mother being a “whore” and his skin color. He knew little about the outside world and only came to know of it when Lenina and Bernard took him and his mother out of the Savage Reservation. He was a spectacle among spectacles. He was born rather than created, belonging to no group, and acting and thinking like a savage. From the moment he arrived he did not like the society his mother and father had been raised in: no children, no sense of having something that’s your own, a oneness that you share with your entire caste with no personal identity.
Although both males had a liking and a hatred for the society they lived in, their reasons and ways of thinking completely changed. Bernard hated the society because he simply didn’t fit in. However, when he brought John back with him from the Savage Reservation and got famous and ladies, he began to love the society he lived in and even took several doses of soma. John on the other hand first found the society amazing; technology he had never seen, beautiful girls, such as Lenina, sports, and wonders he had never been shown in the Savage Reservation. However, when his mother, Linda, began dying because of how much soma she took a day, he began to see things as they really are and began to despise such a society, He even saw how horrid and corrupted the people were, starting with Lenina. See, Bernard only disliked the society because he simply didn’t fit in, which is why his opinion completely changed when he began to get fame. John thought it was amazing at first because everything was so new to him, but he quickly saw that it was wrong and imperfect.
Once their opinions on the society they lived in changed, so did their actions. In the book, we see that Bernard becomes cocky, standing up to people like he would never have dared do before. He begins hitting on ladies everywhere that he goes and even tells an important Alpha “do you know who I am?” He brags to John and Helmholtz about all his successions with ladies and sports, something he used to have little to no experience with before. Once John sees the truth about this supposedly perfect reality, he turns into a complete recluse. He doesn’t want to leave, he doesn’t want to be interviewed by anybody, and the only people he will talk to are Bernard, his mother, and Helmholtz. When Linda goes to visit him, finally having figured out that John was in love with her but seeing it the way she has been taught to see it since birth, he lashes out, beats her up, and calls her a whore.
After getting in trouble with the ruling government of such a society, Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all going to get relocated to an island. Bernard has a panic attack and begins saying how that’s not fair because “it was all them! I didn’t do anything!” John, however, practically begs to be sent and to stay as far away from the nearest civilization on that island, receiving permission to do so. The book doesn’t continue to tell us about Bernard and Helmholtz, but I suppose they just kept on living normally on the island with the rest of civilization. While John practiced his habits and culture that he had learned in the Savage Reservation, he becomes a circus act, and the entire society comes and visits him in his lone lighthouse. He gets overwhelmed and after the second visit and seeing Lenina, commits suicide.
All in all, what divides John from the society is the fact that he sees it how it really is, having come from the Savage Reservation where everything is practiced “the old way.” John attempts to fit in and try to live like the castes do, but he finds it a huge sin, and prefers to live alone in his lighthouse. Bernard didn’t like his society because he was jealous of other Alpha males who had what he didn’t, which didn’t matter anymore when he got what he wanted and more.
A Review of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Its Similarity in Society Today
Many authors have postulated about what the future holds. Some, like Orwell, claim that our leaders will become dictators and humanity will be guided by hate and fear. Others, like Huxley, posit that humanity will be infatuated with its own technologies to the point of oppressing themselves. As we aren’t ruled by a benevolent dictator, or by fear or pain, it is Huxley’s vision in A Brave New World that is closest to our reality, rather than Orwell’s hypothesis that humankind will be ruled by totalitarian leaders and a seemingly endless supply of war and pain.
Today’s culture is vastly dominated by artificial spontaneity and electronic displays. We carry what is perhaps the most ingenious device ever made in our pockets, yet we actively choose to waste our lives in a fleeting attempt to entertain ourselves. In Huxley’s Brave New World, the members of the World State constantly seek different ways to be happy. They are actively encouraged to take soma, an addictive hallucinatory drug that, when taken, alleviates all of the world’s pains. Although most addictive drugs are banned in today’s society, this doesn’t mean that we don’t drug ourselves into believing that we are happy. Instead of soma, we drug ourselves with social media. We spam each other with what we perceive as a “scathing commentary”, when in reality it’s really just arbitrary gibberish, masquerading as insight.
In Huxley’s Brave New World, Huxley points out that the citizens of the World State found it much easier to pretend that everything is fine, that it’s a lot easier to buy into the fantasy than it is to live in reality. And so it is in the today’s society. Most people don’t read because reading makes them happy, they read because they want to be sedated, because it’s less painful to pretend, because most people are cowards. We’ve turned away from anything real, we’ve turned it off and begun binging on social media that does nothing but brainwash us. We’ve taken out the batteries of humanity and creativity and have tossed them into the ever expanding dumpster of the human condition. Our individuality has been lost, we’ve been living in trademarked houses, trademarked by the same companies that produce those hypnotizing bipolar numbers that never cease to jump up and down on our electronic screens. Huxley’s worst fears have come true: we’ve been given so much information that we’ve been reduced to passivity and egoism.
Huxley was correct. We’ve become a culture built on nothing but trivialities, always captivated by the next trend, always preoccupied with our portable echo chambers. We certainly have not been able to break our “infinite appeal for distraction”, and as a result, we live in Huxley’s Brave New World.
Evaluation of Brave New World, a Novel by Aldous Huxley
Through themes of depersonalization, scientific development and death; Aldous Huxley’s satirical novel ‘Brave New World’ critiques modern society. Brave New World is a totalitarian novel, free from war and greed, where Huxley manipulates many techniques to deliver the ideas that hypnopedia brainwashes society to control them, drugs are used to influence an individual’s emotion and thought and death is an inconsequential event that should not be mourned. The main idea that Huxley endeavors to deliver to readers is that they must be cautious of how much power they give their government over new influential technologies and science.
Through setting, Huxley’s novel ‘Brave New World’ set 500 years into the future, shows themes of depersonalization of society through the use of Hypnopedia and conditioning. The connection of Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and modern day society is seen when both views see consumption with a holy connotation. The world state constantly consumes because of the conditioning and brainwashing. Hypnopaedic teachings such as the quote, “Ending is better than mending. The more stiches, the less riches” (Huxley, chapter 3, page 27), ensure that the world state continues to consume and that happiness is found by owning merchandise. Conditioning also create humans with no individuality; “that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny”. (The director, chapter 1, page 8) People don’t choose their jobs or career and are given the job based upon their birth, each person is conditioned to behave exactly like each other and are happy with what they are given. The hypnopaedic teachings and conditioning is similar to the media, TV and advertisements that influence civilization to consume and act obediently without question. Huxley claims that media consumption is brainwashing society to control them.
Aldous Huxley’s dystopia expresses scientific development as a factor contributing to the dumbing down of mass population. Huxley uses symbolism in the form of the narcotic ‘soma’ to control the masses; the therapeutic drug soma is used to tranquilize while sedating any extreme human emotion and stops the characters of ‘Brave New World’ from questioning their controllers. Soma causes characters to escape any moments of discontent and for the government to reinforce control on characters; “Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles.” (Huxley, chapter 5, page 42) Soma is distributed by the government in masses, in order for people to consistently work, without complaints and to become monotonous drones for the World State. Soma directly relates with modern day chemical treatments of clinical depression or Anti-anxiety pills, where the drug is used to stop a person from emotional duress or analytically thinking. The narcotic represents a powerful form of influence that science and technology has on contemporary society because if the masses are content, people will be unable to question what the government does.
In the novel, Huxley showcases death as a natural event in which the death of an individual is of no importance. There is no aging and people stay youthful. Huxley uses understatements to show readers that death is inconsequential. The differences between Brave New World and modern day society is that the death of an individual in modern society is grieved and mourned while Brave New World celebrates it. Death changes perspective, creates spontaneity, urgency and the need to accomplish things before death. Huxley’s novel shows death in an inconsequential manner so that society will not fear it and therefore go against the World State; “Undoing all their wholesome death… as though anyone mattered as much as all that! It might give them the most disastrous ideas about the subject, might upset them into reacting in the entirely wrong, the utterly anti-social way”. (The nurse, chapter 14, page 110) Huxley claims that since death is not something to fear, the people of the World State will continue to work and consume until death. This contrasts strongly as death for modern society will only prompt the desire to act with creativity and impulsiveness.
Thus, Aldous Huxley’s novel ‘Brave New World’ is a satiric novel which criticizes the consumption of modern day society. Brave New World is seen as the imminent form of current humanity’s economic values of supply and demand, where society mainly consumes and works under the control of government. Through media consumption that aids to stupify and control people, narcotics that act to avoid reality and sentiment and death that is not mourned; Huxley’s dark prophetic novel is cautionary to those who believe and rely on their government without any questions against their actions.
The Theory Of No Free Wil In The Novels The Chosen, Brave New World, And In The Bible
I chose to go to Sutter Middle School in 6th grade even though I only had one friend going, Kaley Poon, my best friend. A week or so passed and then we meet Zoe Maggio. We had an instantaneous spark as if we were destined to meet each other. Together we formed the ultimate trifecta. Even though I chose to go to Sutter, I suspect it was predetermined so that I would meet Zoe. It was just a matter of where, middle school or high school. Similarly, in Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen, the two main characters, Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, meet under normal circumstances that eventually turn bad. It seems unlikely that the two of them will become friends, but fate works to bring the two together in friendship. The novels The Chosen and Brave New World, along with the Bible and my own personal experiences, all support the theory that we have no free will.
Chaim Potok uses Danny’ s relationships with Reuven and his father, Reb, to demonstrate that everything is predetermined. All his life he had been conditioned by his father to become a tzaddik. However, Danny redirected himself as he got older and began studying psychology instead. Although it sounds like Danny had the choice to choose what he becomes, it was never his fate in the first place to become a tzaddik. According to Reb, he said “I have known for a long time, ” that Danny was not meant to be a tzaddik because “the Master of the Universe blessed me with a brilliant son”. Because Potok writes that “the Master of the Universe” made Danny brilliant shows how Danny’s desire to not follow in his father’s footsteps was predetermined for him. In regards to his relationship with Reuven, it could be said that their friendship was chosen for them as well. The first time they meet was at their softball game, where Reuven pitched the ball to Danny and he hit it directly at Reuven’s eye. This caused him to have to go to an eye ward where he begins to dislike Danny more and more. The first time Danny came to visit Reuven in the hospital Reuven was unhappy about it and told him to “go to hell”. When he told his dad what he said, his father became angry and told him that he needed to forgive him and “make him your his friend”. The second time Danny came back to visit, Reuven was “surprised at how happy he was to see him”. Because Danny was happy to see Reuven again after his father told him to make him his friend, demonstrated that their friendship was chosen for them by David Malter.
In addition to The Chosen, the theory of no free will can be seen in the Bible. The story of Oedipus states that when he was a baby his father left him in the woods to die because he heard of a prophecy that said Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother. However, he was picked up from the woods and raised by another family. Not knowing he was adopted, when he heard of his prophecy he left his adoptive parents to prevent the prophecy from coming true. As he was fleeing from his fate, he killed a stranger and married his widowed wife. That stranger turned out to be his biological father, justifying that there is no escaping fate. Along with the Bible, pre-determinism also plays a big role in the society used in Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World. In the utopian city, the development of humans is controlled by the World State, and the majority of the population is unaware of it. Each person is raised in a hatchery, where the government controls every stage of their development. In the Social Predestination Room, their DNA is controlled chemically to stimulate or to retard their physical and mental growth to create a biological class structure. The controllers use hypnopedia, sleep teaching, to brainwash people into accepting the values and tenets of the “Brave New World”. Every factor of a person’s development and being is predetermined by the workers of the World State. Ultimately, everything is predestined for a person whether it be chosen by fate or other people.
In conclusion, The Chosen, Brave New World, the Bible, and my Grandma all prove the theory of no free will. A typical person may think they are choosing to act in ways that follow the identity they have shaped for themselves. Yet, those “choices” are still the result of an abundance of predetermined factors about them and their place in the world. For instance, a group of people can all enter a corn maze and start off in all different direction. While they are walking each of them will make different choices, whether they choose to go left, right, or straight, in the end, everyone will go out the same designated exit.
A Look at the View of the Idea of A Dystopian World through the Novels, Brave New World And 1984
Dystopias of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World
A dystopia is an imagined place where everything is unpleasant or corrupt. It is the opposite of utopia; a perfect world. The idea of a dystopian world has always been a common topic in literature. In the latter half of the twentieth century, two strikingly different novels had come out that both predicted a totalitarian type future that would be considered an ideal society. The first was Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, written in 1932, which tells the story of Bernard Marx, a man who is alone in his unhappiness with the genetically engineered, brainwashing future that he lives in and desires to break free from the required promiscuity of his society. The other was the 1949 novel written by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Winston Smith questions the ideals of the Party and Big Brother and falls in love with Julia, with whom he rebels against the strict government rules while attempting to stay hidden from the Thought Police and avoiding Room 101. While Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World have different ideas for what the future holds, they both address the issues of a totalitarian government, the lives of those affected by the government, language, and promiscuity in a politically ideal world.
Totalitarianism is a system of government in which one political party takes control, grants neither tolerance nor recognition to other groups, and suppresses opposing politicians and opinions. In both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, a totalitarian government is present. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the country of Oceania is run by a totalitarian government known as the Party, led by Big Brother. One of the main goals of the Party is to control the minds of its people. This is made evident through the Party’s slogan, “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past (Orwell 37).’”. The Party holds complete power in the present, which allows it to control the way the citizens of Oceania perceive the past. This is due to the fact that every history book reflects the Party’s way of thinking and that it is forbidden to own photographs or documents of one’s past, leaving most subjects with an unclear recollection of what truly happened. The blurred memories are beneficial to the Party as the people of Oceania will believe anything the Party says. The Party achieves their high status by controlling the past. This is because the memories that people do have cannot be proven. While Winston is sitting in the pub, he recalls that, “And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested (Orwell 97).” What the Party says is always right, no matter what someone else thinks. This is made clear when Winston is looking at a children’s history book with a portrait of Big Brother on the front, “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tactically denied by their philosophy (Orwell 83).” The Party’s decision is always final and what they say goes. The Party’s philosophy allows them to control the minds of the people of Oceania, as everyone is too fearful to go against them.
The totalitarian administration run by the Director in Brave New World is less sinister than the one seen in Nineteen Eighty-Four, however, there are some similarities. Like Airstrip One, the World State also feels that the government should be in full control. Mustapha Mond, the Resident Controller for Western Europe, justifies why the government is a positive by saying, “Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axels, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment (Huxley 36).” The Controllers all believe that the government knows best, not the individuals. With the government having full control, nothing can go wrong. The World State gains control of these people by making them believe that they are in control. The opening lines reveal the State’s motto, “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY (Huxley 1).” While there is community and stability in the State, there is almost no sense of identity. The individual ceases to exist because of the State’s control over its people. This control comes easily to the World State because lessons of the past are ignored and forgotten, similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Mustapha Mond alludes to this when he instructs his citizens to disregard history and focus on the future, “‘you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk (Huxley 29).” It is better for the society to neglect the past. This is because if they did not, the people would be less willing to participate with progress that science was making. History is “bunk” because it deals with human emotion, something that is no longer a part of society in a totalitarian government.
The effect of a destructive totalitarian government is the lasting impression that it leaves on the citizens. In both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, the corrupt governments effect the lives of the people living in society. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, both Winston and Julia are against Big Brother and The Party, however they must pretend that they are not or else their lives will be endangered. This is alluded to in the third chapter of book two where it says, “If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones (Orwell 135).” Even though Julia spends a majority of her time attending lectures and demonstrations, distributing literature for the Junior Anti-Sex League, preparing banners for Hate Week, and making collections for the savings campaign, she still does not approve of Big Brother or the Party. The way she rebels against them keeps her from being suspected of being against the Party. While Julia is able to rebel against the Party, many people fall to their power. Winston has managed to persevere and stand above the influence of the Party and tells Julia, “They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them’ (Orwell 174).” The Party has made Winston already accept the fact that death is inevitable. Having his own thoughts allow him to feel that he has already won, even though he knows that he never will overcome the Party and has accepted that fact. Winston has also accepted that he can never be free. He knows that as long as he is alive, he will still be overseen by Big Brother. While in his cell, Winston thinks that, “To die hating them, that was freedom (Orwell 294).” Winston has so much hate for Big Brother that he feels the only way to be free is by paying the ultimate price. Even though not many would know that he hated Big Brother, it would still be an accomplishment for him if he died while still hating him.
Brave New World also looks at the lives of those living in a totalitarian society and how it affects them. John, the son of the Director and Linda, has grown up outside of the World State and detests living there, as he feels he is unable to adjust to the society. While talking to Mustapha Mond, he says that, “I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin (Huxley 211).” The restrictive yet safe society of the World State does not allow one to have the full human experience, which includes good and bad moments. John wants to be able to go through all those experiences, but with the way the Controllers run the World State, he is not allowed to do so. The totalitarian government of the World State has an effect on the lives of its citizens from a very early age. As infants, they are electrocuted for touching books or flowers. The Director’s reasoning for this is, “‘They’ll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an “instinctive” hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. They’ll be safe from books and botany all their lives’ (Huxley 17).” For the rest of their lives, these infants will live in fear of books and flowers because the World State has not allowed them to appreciate it. Instead, the State has these individuals living in fear of literature and nature, forever impacting their lives. The individuals living in the World State are forever trapped, as they have never experienced anything outside the state. Bernard asks Lenina, “‘Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina (Huxley 79)?’” Bernard does not see Lenina as being free because she does not understand that she doesn’t have the freedom to be anything but happy. Like most of those living in the State, Lenina’s life is corrupted because she believes she is free and happy solely because she is told that she is.
In both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, the importance of language is evident. In Nineteen Eighty-Four exists the invention of “Newspeak”, a reduction of the English language to the minimal. When describing his ex-wife to Julia, Winston says, “‘She was – do you know the Newspeak word “good-thinkful”? Meaning naturally orthodox, incapable of thinking a bad thought (Orwell 138)?’” The Party created Newspeak in order to make Thoughtcrime impossible, as no one would be able to think something negative, especially about the Party or Big Brother. “Good-thinkful” is another way to say that someone cannot think of something bad and is an example of one of the words created with Newspeak that makes something that should be negative sound like a positive thing. The Party uses this not only through Newspeak, but also through the use of doublethink, which is the acceptance of different beliefs at the same time. At the beginning of the novel, doublethink is used when describing the different Ministries, “The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order (Orwell 6).” This description of the Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Peace, and the Ministry of Love is an example of the use of doublethink. The Ministry of Truth is nothing but propaganda used to make the Party and Big Brother look good. The Ministry of Peace is concerned only with war, something not associated with peace at all and the Ministry of Love deals with crime and punishment, however, the language used to describe the three ministries make it seem as if they are actually better than they are. The Party controls language and is constantly changing it. Syme warns Winston that, “‘By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be (Orwell 56).” The Party’s manipulation of language will change the way that everything is read. Things will no longer mean what they are supposed to because they have been changed to mean something more pure. The Party does this in order to avoid defiant thoughts.
Language is greatly affected in Brave New World, mainly the plays written by William Shakespeare. The works of Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers, are almost non-existent. Mustapha Mond is speaking about historic events when he says, “‘And a man called Shakespeare. You’ve never heard of them, of course (Huxley 44).” People have never heard of Shakespeare before because the Controllers see it as dangerous to society. This is because it offers an alternative way of thinking, such as having freedom or knowing the truth. The meaning of the words “freedom” and “truth” are distorted. The citizens of the World State have no freedom and do not know the truth. This is why Shakespeare has been banned from the World State; it symbolizes the human values that have been abandoned in the World State. While walking past the School Library with the Head Mistress and Dr. Gaffney, John asks if young people read Shakespeare and Dr. Gaffney replies, “‘Our library,’ said Dr. Gaffney, “contains only books of reference. If our young people need distraction, they can get it at the feelies. We don’t encourage them to indulge in any solitary amusements (Huxley 142).’” Young people are not encouraged to read about anything that is not in favour of the World State. Many people are also programmed to believe that everything the Controllers and the World State say is true. If they say that everyone is happy, people will be happy, not because they are, but because they have been told that they are. After John reads Romeo and Juliet to Helmhotz, he remembers, “How Helmholtz had laughed at Romeo and Juliet (Huxley 193).” Helmholtz laughs at the play because it deals with real human emotion, something that the society in Brave New World lacks. Shakespeare is a master of real human emotion, however, no one understands what real human emotion is because the World State is against people feeling true emotions.
Both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World are also filled with promiscuity. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, promiscuity is frowned upon. This is one of the problems that Winston has with the Party. Chastity was deeply rooted in everyone by the Party, as sex is only used for procreation as a duty to the party. This is why prostitution is illegal in Airstrip One, however, Winston retells a time he had with a prostitute in his diary, “She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without any kind of preliminary, in the most coarse, horrible way you can imagine, pulled up her skirt (Orwell 70).” Although prostitution is illegal, Winston found himself going to prostitutes because his ex-wife, Kathrine, did not enjoy having sex with him. She would only do it because it was her “duty” to the party to have a child. However, once she and Winston discovered that they could not have children, she left, leaving Winston to resort to prostitutes to fulfill his urges. Winston does not care for the Party’s position on chastity. Before having sex with Julia for the first time, Winston tells her, “‘Listen, the more men you’ve had, the more I love you. Do you understand that (Orwell 132)?’” Even though Julia has slept with a countless amount of men, Winston does not care. He hates the Party and Big Brother so much that he loves how impure Julia is in the eyes of the Party. The Party views sex as a wrongful act. Winston realizes that, “The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be killed, then to distort and dirty it (Orwell 69).” The Party seeks to abolish sex entirely. This is because sexual intercourse encouraged private loyalties, something that the Party does not approve of.
While promiscuity is frowned upon in Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is celebrated in Brave New World. People in this dystopian society begin engaging in sexual acts from a young age. While the Director is showing new students around the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, he asks the nurse what the afternoon’s lesson was, to which she responds, “‘We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes,’ she answered. ‘But now it’s switched over to Elementary Class Consciousness.’ The Director walked slowly down the long line of cots. Rosy and relaxed with sleep, eighty little boys and girls lay softly breathing (Huxley 22).” In the World State, children are encouraged and even forced to partake in sexual activity, even though they do not understand the full meaning of it. The World State is also looking to dehumanize the act of sex through simulators. Mustapha Mond asks the Director, “‘Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?” enquired the Assistant Predestinator. ‘I hear the new one at the Alhambra is first-rate. There’s a love scene on a bearskin rug; they say it’s marvellous. Every hair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects (Huxley 29).” Simulated sex helps dehumanize the act. The state is looking to dehumanize it because there will be no competition for loyalty. Instead of loyalty to an individual, everyone will be loyal to the state. However, even though the state is conditioning its people to dehumanize the act, there are some that still lean towards monogamy. Lenina admits to Fanny that, “‘I hadn’t been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn’t (Huxley 36).” Despite the conditioning to be promiscuous, Lenina finds herself longing for a mate, as does Fanny. This shows that despite the State’s wishes, the act cannot be dehumanized.
While the dystopic futures of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World are seemingly different from each other, they have several similarities. Both address the issues of a totalitarian government, the lives of those affected by the government, language, and promiscuity in a politically ideal world. Nineteen Eighty-Four’s grim, darker future aims to show the disastrous effects of war while Brave New World’ s seemingly lighter future proves that true freedom allows for some pain and suffering.
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
We all want to be free, but not all of us are that lucky. Some of us are left behind, because were different physically or mentally. Freedom is something that cannot happen in Brave New World, unless we are given individuality. Those who are left by themselves, and have completely different ideals, thought, and morals are the true ones free. The author Aldous Huxley defines people into groups, being the Alphas, Beta’s, gammas, delta’s and epsilons. This society can be described to be an effort to eliminate all individuality. This means that everyone would lose their rights to express and portray their opinions and reactions to different things. In the book they address this as “the human condition.” This world focuses on diverting everyone away from the feeling of individualism, so they cannot be free and will be restricted forever mentally. But despite the society trying to divert the feeling, people still end up becoming aware of this, and this may lead to many people wanting to rebel against this government. So, it should be expected that individuality will stir in a restricted society.
Bernard, an Alpha male, is led to the feelings of individualism despite his group status. Bernard is an intelligent human. But because of his unique body structure he feels excluded and starts to wonder onto a different path compared to the other alphas. As said from many people out there, “Appearances are often deceiving” (Unknown). This quote represents how different our world is compared to the world state and how people should be acting in the world state. In our world people try not to judge others based off* the appearance of another human being, but in the world state, people are encouraged to judge others if they were to act weird, look weird, or were just different. Due to almost everyone looking the same, people that are somewhat different physically and mentally like Bernard and are left by themselves. As said from a girl facing the same problem as Bernard “I’m the one girl in the group that gets left out of everything just because I’m quiet and don’t have a boyfriend like everyone else.” (Unknown Person on the Whisper App) This quote represents the feelings Bernard was going through when he was feeling left out. This quote shows how people in our world can also act the same as people from the world state sometimes, because no one is perfect. They feel very isolated from the world causing them to question themselves and explore more about their making. After isolation people are left to reflect on themselves making them feel more lonely and depressed. Due to all this time left alone we can clearly see how Bernard started to see himself and understand how much of a different person he is, compared to the rest of the alphas. This helped him evolve his thoughts/ ideas on different things. As said from an American educator Rosalind Wiseman, “social isolation is one of the most devastating things you can do to a human being” (Rosalind Wiseman). This quote shows how Bernard being left alone was one of the worst things you could have done to him. Loneliness caused him to think differently and forced him to do something bad in the books of the world state.
John the Savage is another character that we see in the novel who portrays individualism. John grew up like no other, both an outsider to the world state and the savage reservation. Despite John growing up in the savage reservation he is still treated as an outsider because of his mother who was from the world state. John never becoming a part of either society making him feel isolated from everyone else. As said in the text “John ends up becoming a hybrid of the two cultures, singing new world songs while sculpting old world clay pots” (Huxley 125-126)
This allows him to understand and want to be with Bernard since their thoughts are so much alike. John is also seen to be left alone because of his ideals and traditions. “It amazes me sometimes that even intelligent people will analyze a situation or a judgement after only recognizing the standard or traditional piece.” (David Bowie) This quote explains how people usually judge others if they were to wear any traditional clothing or sing traditional songs.
His traditions being “for a girl to be committed to 1 man and 1 man alone.” this was very strange and unheard of in the world state. People like Lenina laughed when he said this, since Lenina was the opposite of his ideals. John was so committed to this belief that he even gave up the opportunity to be with the person he liked. John is so committed to this belief because of his individualism. Being alone has now made him into someone who only believes in himself and him alone. As spoken from the novelist Franz Kafka “Isolation is a way to know yourself” (Franz Kafka). John isn’t going to trust many people out their because they are so different from him. The people that ignored him have turned him into this person who would use isolation to completely understand what the society is doing to people and how he can change as a person to be different from it. Isolation is the best way for someone to understand what is needed to change and see what is right to be “free.” In the end John continues to go on with his traditions and proves how loyal he was to his morals that he killed himself and gave up on the person he loved.
Lenina Crowne also shows a bit of rebellious behavior towards the world state.” Said by GBatiste, “sometimes the harder you love someone, the more you push them away” (GBatiste) This quote represents how the more Lenina wanted John the more he stayed away from her. Due to this addiction Lenina had for john(COMMA NEEDED) she started to pick up real feelings for him. Lenina is unlike any male protagonist in the novel because she doesn’t have any intent to show her individuality. From a very young age Lenina and her friends were forced to follow the ways of the world state, mostly when it came to love and sexuality. From a very young age, people are forced and encouraged to do “erotic play.” As stated from text “In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, two children, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focused attention of scientist’s intent on a labor of discovery. A rudimentary sexual game. “Charming, Charming!” the DHC repeated sentimentally.” (Huxley 26) People are then judged if they do not encourage or enjoy love or sexuality. Those who do not like these things, are then isolated from the other people, a good example of this would be Bernard. He never enjoyed these two things and didn’t even want to have sex with Lenina, but still did(COMMA NEEDED) due to peer pressure. Lenina is very much alike to John the Savage and Bernard. When she moved on from Henry Foster and goes to John instead, she starts to lust over him and him alone, for so long that without her even realizing it she falls in love with him. “The simple true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad.” (John Mason) Lenina had spent a large amount of time with both Bernard and John. Due to all the time she had spent with them, she started to pick up their habits, morals, or ways of thinking because of what John Mason told us. She spent too much time associating with those type of people. People in this society are not meant to fall in love with each another. Instead of love they made sexual drugs. These include sexual chewing gum and soma, two different types of drugs used to help increase the sexual hormones in people and give them more pleasure. Since Lenina changed she is a rebellion of the world state and is put into the same category of Bernard and John the Savage.
In conclusion, people in brave new world aren’t all free. People that are hit with the true feelings of individualism are the only ones who can call themselves free. The embodiment of freedom now come from Bernard Marx, John the Savage, and Lenina Crowne. So it should be expected that individualism will stir in a restricted society because these 3 people were changed.
Huxley’s Ambiguous conclusions of Brave New World
In his novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley uses acute detail and comprehensive explanation to convey theme and symbolism. His use of explicit interpretation provides readers with a forthright account of emotion, thought, and opinion of not just characters, but of the meaning of the novel as a whole. Huxley’s writing style and tone are representative of the exact and specific world in which the story takes place, the “World State”, where every aspect of citizens’ lives are controlled, down to even the color they wear. Though this style is effective in describing aspects of the state, Huxley pairs it with a certain ambiguity to cast shadow over the denouement of his novel, leaving readers in uncertainty that may be confused with inadequacy. “Just under the crown of the arch dangled a pair of feet . . . Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east…” In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley appropriately concludes his novel with the vague description of John’s suicide, as it provides closure through irony, shows finality using poetic language, and denotes emotion through symbolism.
As Huxley’s novel is composed of distinct detail, his contrasting, ambiguous conclusion incorporates irony to opportunely end the novel by illustrating the view of death in Brave New World. The lack of explicit mention of John’s death contributes to the tone earlier set in the novel that dying is not a big deal, but rather a cause for treats. The use of the phrase “dangled a pair of feet” does not directly state John’s death, but provides enough detail for readers to assume his suicide. This signifies that death is not acknowledged in the new world, that it is, generally speaking, ignored. John’s death is not viewed as significant in the novel because the characters have been conditioned not to associate it with negative emotion, though as readers, we do. This contrast provides an appropriate conclusion because it reestablishes the theme of suffering, or lack thereof in the society. Along with the incomplete reaction to his death is the acknowledgement of the theme of freedom and confinement, as John chooses to leave the new world he is introduced to and found to despise through hanging himself. Suicide is never mentioned throughout the novel, and is very well an idea the citizens of the World State are not even aware of. The irony of the use of suicide and its uncertain and rash nature show John’s hasty escape from the world and its confinement through a rather explicit, yet ambiguous fashion. Huxley’s ironic use of shadowed detail provides contrast as well as closure to the novel, and appropriately concludes Brave New World, because it powerfully incorporates the theme of suffering, as well as freedom and confinement.
Another major theme of the novel, technology and acuteness, is shown in Huxley’s simile of John’s feet as a compass. “Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east…” This comparison may lead readers to the idea of technology, a compass, and acuteness, the ongoing description of his feet using the cardinal directions. Not only does this quotation provide a final innuendo to the World State and all its values and truths, but to John’s conformity, even in death, to a world he despised but could not escape any other way than through suicide. The simile Huxley uses depicts a finality to his novel, not only through John’s demise, but through the final allegiance to technology and the World State. This certitude lends a sense of desperateness and unease to John’s suffering not recognized in the new world, for their conditioned ignorance does not allow them to identify with loneliness. This isolation, reiterated by his death, shows that in the new world, all that is different dies. The ambiguous simile used to describe John’s death provides significant conclusion to Brave New World not only through mention to conformity to the state, but through John’s isolation and his identification with readers rather than citizens of the state, in his finality, his escape from the “brave new world”.
Throughout the novel, Huxley uses rhythm as a symbol for violence; John repeatedly yells “impudent strumpet” at Lenina when she takes her clothes off and he beats her for being a whore. Lenina comments on the rhythmic drums when her and Bernard first arrive at the savage reservation, along with the rhythmic whipping of the savage for salvational religious purposes. Most explicit in the novel is the description of the “orgy-porgy”, during which they “[beat] one another in six-eight time.” Similarly, the use of rhythm to denote violence is also present in the ending, as the repetitiveness of his feet represent the violent, however ambiguous, ending John faced. “. . . the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south-west, south, south-east, east…” Although the new world is conditioned not to recognize death as significant nor particularly harsh, the symbolism used in his patterned wording allows readers to capture the emotion of his demise, as it is not passive as suggested by the text, but violent, providing a rightful response not capable by the new world. Huxley appropriately concludes his novel using rhythm as a symbol for violence as it induces emotion not capable to the society and its citizens, but to a careful reader.
Aldous Huxley’s contrasting writing style is precise, well thought out, and symbolic in its structure. His effective writing employs every aspect of his work to emphasize the meaning and theme of Brave New World. Though Huxley’s words may seem vague compared to the rest of the novel, careful reading shows that the novel did not merely end; it concluded. Though ambiguous, the last page of the novel appropriately finished the story and left readers with a reiteration of theme and symbolism from throughout the text. In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley accordingly completes his novel with John’s suicide by engaging irony to show contrast, using poetic language to demonstrate entirety, and employing symbolism to create emotion.