Brave New World
Novel Kindred by Octavia Butler and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is the significance of literature in society
A recurring theme throughout the novel Kindred by Octavia Butler and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is the significance of literature in society. Literature and literacy, in both novels, are limited in order to maintain social order and prevent rebellion. Both set in dystopian societies, the two books primarily emphasize how freedom is obtained through literacy and literature; however, while Brave New World emphasizes intellectual freedom, Kindred focuses more on opportunities for physical freedom.
Both dystopian societies restrict literature in order to preserve social stability. In Brave New World, the intellectual freedom of citizens is severely limited. World State’s inferior citizens are conditioned to have barely intact mental capabilities to prevent them from realizing their unjust position in the social order. Trained for a purely occupational lifestyle, they lack the ability to think for themselves and rarely are literate. This is because, in the eyes of Mustapha Mond, the only way to prevent rebellions from the lower caste is to take away their ability and resources to form such ideas altogether. The entire social order of World State depends on the ignorance of the lower caste, as shown when Mustapha Mond says, “It would upset the whole social order if men started doing things on their own”. Additionally, certain books are strictly forbidden even to those of a higher caste in fear that books contradicting their “modern” way of life will influence the citizens of World State. World State’s strict guidelines for literature clearly has a prominently negative effect on the intellectual freedom of their citizens, as most cannot even fathom a world outside of World State. John, as a person with extensive intellectual freedom, clearly does not fit into the atmosphere and lifestyle of World State because of his knowledge of literature. Upon entering World State, he notices several of its practices that he finds bizarre and dehumanizing in comparison to the world of Shakespeare, which he regards as the norm. When he voices his concerns about the morals of the World State, he is expelled to prevent further conflict. This demonstrates how the World State ultimately limits its citizens of intellectual freedom in order to prevent ideas contradicting that of its strictly regulated society. In Kindred, masters restrict literature from their slaves almost entirely. For slaves, literacy opens up many opportunities for freedom. For example, maps are powerful literary materials that slaves can potentially use to escape their plantations and gain their freedom. For example, Dana is blackmailed by Rufus to “…put the map in the fire…” in exchange for him sending a letter to Kevin. Due to his growing attachment to Dana, he selfishly forces her to burn her map in order to prevent her from having a tool that may aid her in escaping. Not only this, literacy is strictly prohibited since “they might escape by writing themselves passes”. In Kindred, literature is essential for slaves to create opportunities for freedom.
In both Kindred and Brave New World, there are people with intellectual or physical freedom who attempt to challenge their society with contradicting ideas. John from Brave New World, who possesses a rare amount of intellect from literature, utterly believes that the World State is unnatural and dehumanizing and challenges its perfect stability with his contradicting ideas. Disgusted by the World State’s unnatural and artificial society, he draws on his extensive knowledge of old literature to create his own ideas about “natural” life. For example, his idea of love and relationships, a topic he views through a very Shakespearean viewpoint, completely differs from the World State, where relationships rarely last and sexual activity is not regarded as intimate as well as starts from a very early age. He expresses this to Lenina when she tries to seduce him, screaming “‘Whore!’… ‘Impudent strumpet!’”. John also expresses a deep dislike for soma after his mother’s declining health is completely clouded from overdosing on the drug. He is blinded with rage and throws away the hospital workers’ soma after his mother’s death, asking them if they “like being slaves?”. However, Dana from Kindred uses a different strategy; she challenges her society by teaching other slaves to read and write in hopes of giving them new opportunities to potentially gain freedom. Though this is a punishable offense that could result in her being whipped and possibly killed, she does this selflessly in order to provide other slaves new possibilities. She also passively challenges her society with her education, as most slaves and even masters of her time period are illiterate or have little education. Weylin seems to feel uncomfortable and unusually harsh towards Dana, to which Nigel says, ‘That’s one reason he seemed so suspicious and mistrustful. Educated slaves aren’t popular around here’, meaning that Weylin felt uncomfortable because of her superior education. Masters of plantations not only maintain the illiteracy of their slaves to prevent escape and rebellion but also do this for a sense of superiority, which Dana challenges with her ability to read.
Ultimately, Dana from Kindred and John from Brave New World do not succeed in their endeavor to create change in their societies with their literary knowledge. Though John’s idea of how society should be is far more fair and natural as opposed to the World State’s heavily artificial way of life, his attempt to persuade the rest of the citizens in the World State does not work because of the individuality of his stance as well and previous conditioning of all the citizens. Because of how alone John is in thinking that the World State is not the ideal society, citizens do not take his ideas seriously, such as when he attempts to dissuade the hospital workers from taking soma. Additionally, the extensive amount of mental constraint in the World State’s citizens both before birth and after birth simply allows for little change in mindset. The fixed ideas of the World State are firmly embedded in each citizens’ head, as shown when Mustapha Mond says, “‘Try to imagine what ‘living with one’s family’ meant.’ They tried, but obviously without the smallest success’. Clearly, despite his efforts, John does not create lasting change in his society. Dana, however, creates a slightly more lasting impact in her society by teaching slaves how to read and write to expose them to opportunities for freedom. However, this did not necessarily change her society in a substantial way; though Carrie and Nigel because literate under her guidance, they did not necessarily act upon their skill and remained slaves on the plantation up until presumably when Rufus’s plantation burns down. Therefore, Dana is only partially successful in challenging her society because while she did succeed to teach multiple slaves how to read, she was not able to make lasting change in society with her literacy.
In both dystopian societies, literature is limited to maintain social stability. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, we see the effects literature has on intellectual freedom, while in Octavia Butler’s novel, Kindred, literature plays a larger role in physical freedom rather than intellectual.
The Use of Representational Mediums in Brave New World and V For Vendetta
Composers employ various elements of their representational mediums to elucidate their critique on the impact of political corruption on the individual and broader society. Through their differing textual forms, composers highlight the abuse of political power through acts such as coercive conformity and social conditioning in forbidding the state to see the significance of the individual. However, society possesses a higher independent power that can challenge tyrannical authority and its oppressive demands that sacrifices one’s individuality. Author Aldous Huxley, applies the medium of a satirical novel in Brave New World (1932) to convey his condemnation of dictatorial states, which propels responders to understand the value of individuality and how the abuse of political power can limit the human experience. Director James Mc Teigue draws upon his quasi-historical film through cinematographic techniques in V for Vendetta (2005) to further represent the threat of covert political motivations in driving unjust acts, and suppressing individual liberties. Through both a satirical novel and quasi-historical film, both composers effectively use their mediums to concurrently represent their differing political viewpoints, which propels responders to understand the complexity of the political environment and the negative and positive effects of its exploitation on individuals and broader society. Composers employ an intended contrast of styles to emphasize how ones’ individuality is subtly negotiated for totalitarian stability.
In Brave New World, Huxley utilizes a satiric perspective to represent authoritative brutality through the idea of soma and social conditioning. Huxley exposes the tyranny of conformism through the sardonic use of exaggeration of the happy tenor within “the warm, the richly coloured, the infinitely friendly soma-holiday. ” While highlighting Huxley’s cynical take on the consumerist ideology and drugs, the emblematic anaphora allows responders to question the war against drugs, where authority is still unable to eliminate its presence in modern society. These devices are recurrent in the novel representing the abuse of censorship as a political act, which is made evident within “the mind that judges and desires and decides- make up of… our the state suggestions!” The understatement of ‘suggestions’ emphasises the sternness of the commandments from the state, and the manipulation of the government in instilling an obedient culture within the social classes. Hence, suppressing the intellectual mind that can powerfully catalyse a revolution against authority. In addition, this systematic totalitarian ideology highlights Huxley’s satiric take on the Marxist ideology, which claimed social equality but rather feeds the power vacuum of oppressive dictators. Thus, Huxley effectively uses satire to represent his competing perspective on the impact of political acts and its motivations on individual liberties and society as a whole.
In addition, to indoctrinate the population with a cult of culture aimed at conformity is a political act that weakens civil opposition and limits individuality. A broadened representation on the abuse of political control is emphasised through the satiric use of reversal within the asyndeton “community, stability and identity. ” Deliberately placing significance on the term community, before identity, reinforces that stability is maintained by coercing an individual to government subordination and depriving the citizen of individuality. This notion recurs through the assonance, “everyone belongs to everyone else” which objectifies and dehumanises the individual to be merely the property of another. However, Huxley emphasises the power of the cooperation between the individual and society that can challenge tyrannical authority and its oppressive demands that sacrifices one’s individuality. Lenina gives evidence to this within the rhythmic statement, “when the individual feels, the community reels” highlighting that political acts will never truly impact everyone, as one’s ideas can be contagious upon the rest of the community and can shake the stability of the government. Thus, Huxley employs satire as a mechanism to propose his critique and dystopian perspective that emphasises that politics is a double edged sword. That is, oppressive political acts such as coercive conformity cannot impact an individual when society stands against tyrannical dictatorships and its injustices.
In V for Vendetta, director, James Mc. Teigue employs the medium of a quasi-historical film and through cinematographic techniques, represents his perspective on authoritative brutality. The diegetic wails of terror and close-up shots of Evey’s panicked expression as she is held at knife-edge by the secret police assists with Mc. Teigue’s depiction of a dictatorial government’s abusive oppression. Chiaroscuro lighting casts Evey into intense light, emphasising her vulnerability, which positions the audience to consider the dreadful impact of such tyrannical control. However, through the protagonist V, Mc. Teigue represents his underlying concept that acts of political oppression will not impact the individual and broader society, if used as a catalyst to challenge political rule. This concept is further captured through V’s costume, his mask illuminated by low-key lighting, and the close up shot of V orating, “People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people. ” Thus, emphasising the forceful impact of negative political acts and its motivations in creating V to “become a monster, ” has enhanced his courage to challenge political oppression. This relays, unjust political acts are not an obstacle affecting the individual or society, rather they can become the driving force which unites a community to fight for vigilant justice and overthrow dictatorial states to advance for the better.
Teague’s satirical representation of the government’s exploitation of the media for political purposes is intended to manipulate the audience to question the extent to which they themselves are victims of such deception and censorship. In the context of the patriot act resulting from the paradigm shift after 9/11 which gave broad ranging powers to the American government to survey suspected terrorists, the director represents political figures to be of barbarous nature. The mid-shot angles and diegetic sounds of swords clashing, captures the satiric use of reversal as government officers attempt to rape a civilian, which highlights Teigue exposing the hypocritical nature of authority in challenging the idea of civil protection and safety. Also, through the mise en scene of propaganda posters and curfew signs along with news broadcasts through the media, the director represents the extent of manipulation political acts impose on society. Showcasing a montage of news broadcasts through fabricated issues, such as “civil war, ” “water shortages”, “avian flu” and “airborne pathogens, ” represents the abuse of media to instill fear within the populace, hence, coercing them into obedience. As such, Mc. Teigue positions viewers to consider the corruption of the media and political leaders within their own contexts through a confronting representation of the media’s dishonesty in this quasi-realistic state.
Government authority and the people cooperate in a symbiotic relationship in shaping the political environment and driving society towards advancement for the better. However, technological and scientific advancements are exploited at the hands of authority to impose decisions that negate one’s individuality and coerce society under government subordination. Huxley effectively uses his satiric medium to ridicule such actions and create awareness on the importance of people power. Mc Teigue provides insight into the perspective of a hero, who was deemed a historical assassin to highlight the need to challenge authority that suppresses individual liberties. Through various forms and mediums, audiences gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the political environment and that resilience is necessary to defy against the individual and social impacts oppressive political acts pose.
Huxley And Turkle Synthesis
The evolution of technology has changed the modern day society in many ways. From the creation of the fundamental wheel to the latest iPhone XS, technology has made both a positive and negative impact on how people view life. The two texts Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and “Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle depict how society reacts to the excessive amount of technology they experience regularly. The futuristic novel by Huxley indicates that humans will be completely controlled by soma, the menacing drug developed by technology, and the non-fiction article by Turkle present circumstances where humans have already started being steered by this upcoming complication.
The use of soma and technology leads to the complete deterioration of the realism that comes from life because of the pseudo happiness created. The utilization of soma and technology are shown as continuous, which makes it convenient to get a hold of. Soma, in Huxley’s novel, plays a major role in maintaining citizens to be happy. As presented, “there is always soma, delicious soma” for when people start to feel unhappy or uncomfortable, they won’t start acting out of line. This shows how there is always soma present, especially when society gets overwhelmed and maybe on the verge of thinking for themselves. Soma stops its users from thinking and makes them happy, so that they wouldn’t realize that there is no reality in their life. Turkle also talks about this topic, but with how our phones are always on us, and how we constantly use them to escape reality. “If you’re spending three, four, five hours a day in an online game or virtual world (a time commitment that is not unusual), there’s got to be a place you’re not” (Turkle 273).
Unfortunately, there is no place we are not, because the convenience of technology has allowed us to spend hours upon hours of our lives in another world that isn’t our own. This takes away from the authenticity of our lives which we create ourselves, not some app for role playing. In addition to their convenience, soma and technology blur reality. When in discomfort, soma and technology are desired, which end up creating a sense of fabricated happiness. Soma, a pill which causes the human to all negative emotions is considered “the perfect drug. Euphoric, narcotic, [and] pleasantly hallucinant. ” This is considered a happy and pain-relieving drug which hallucinates its users. With fake happiness being created, this perfect drug blocks humans from understanding the highs and lows of life. Turkle’s text also revolves around how technology blurs reality by showing how fake happiness gets in the way of veracity of life. The truth is that many adults make fake accounts and lure kids into all sorts of awful things. All the kids however, “they nurture friendships on social-networking sites and then wonder if they are among friends. ” This shows that kids, who want to make friends in social media, believe they are happy, but do not know what making a friend truly is.
Despite making friends online, no one can be sure, whether they are “real” friends, and this blurs the sense of reality because no one can tell whether the people they interact with online are truly “real” or not. Soma and technology also create a gap from reality, which changes how people view the truth. Huxley demonstrates how soma makes its users escape from reality by “swallowing half an hour before closing time, the second dose of soma has raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds. ” This shows that when citizens take soma, their mind is not stable and cannot view things accurately, which is a tremendous cause of the citizen’s inability to think. According to Huxley, a society that does not think, is not violent. The inability to think deteriorates the society’s perspective of real life. Turkle mentions technology as real vs. not real, and introduces if non reality affects humans. Turkle talks about how Rebecca and Turkle were visiting the Galapagos and how the tortoises were not moving. Rebecca “thought it was a shame to bring the turtle all this way from its island home in the Pacific, where it was just going to sit there in the museum, motionless, doing nothing. Rebecca was both concerned for the imprisoned turtle and unmoved by its authenticity”(Turkle 265). Rebecca believed that a fake tortoise would rather be suited better for a natural environment than a real tortoise.
This shows that her solution to making the tortoises be active is to make robotic ones.
The fact that people would go to visit the Galapagos Islands to see robotic turtles instead of real ones proves how technology takes away from the authenticity of our lives. Overall, both authors, Huxley and Turkle, portray technology in a powerful but negative manner to show how people are blinded to the realism that comes from life by the pseudo happiness technology creates. Soma and technology are shown as controlling and erroneous by how they create pseudo happiness, not giving its users even a glimpse of reality. Huxley and Turkle both warn their readers that technology will get to a point where it will be able to control people without them even questioning it.
The Depiction of Female Body and Reproduction in Brave New World and Handmaid’s Tale
‘The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet.’
This statement by Margaret Atwood in her new introduction to the 2017 version of A Handmaid’s Tale rings true through two key themes, women’s bodies and reproduction, within her own afore-mentioned novel and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Specifically, in her introduction to Brave New World Atwood notes that all dystopias & utopias ‘must answer the same questions’, including ‘what do they do about sex and child-rearing?’ (Atwood, 2007). Both novels are speculative fiction and express their authors’ fears about the future. Huxley does so by placing aspects he dislikes within his current society on a trajectory to envisage where they could end up: a future wherein viviparous reproduction is replaced with babies manufactured on a factory line – capitalism taken to the extreme. Comparatively, Atwood used historical basis for every mechanism of the authoritarian Republic of Gilead, including many biblical allusions, such as the use of Handmaids. This results in contrasting events: in Brave New World the idea of viviparous reproduction is disgusting, whereas in the Handmaid’s Tale viable wombs become highly prized in a world of low fertility rates. However, despite their many differences, both books have become increasingly relevant to current society.
How are children produced?
Within dystopia, authors employ varying techniques to disturb their readers. Accordingly, there are many disconcerting moments within Brave New World and A Handmaid’s Tale, particularly regarding production of children. The former opens with a school trip to ‘the Hatchery’, where babies are made in a process entirely devoid of human care along a factory line – Huxley even uses ‘metres’ as the measurement of in what stage the foetuses are at. With adjective phrases like the gloves of workers in the Fertilizing Room’s being a ‘pale corpse-coloured rubber’, Huxley utilises words from the lexical field of death to convey how wrong the methods of the World State are. He juxtaposes the light being ‘frozen, dead, a ghost,’ with the ‘rich and living substance’ used in fertilization to condemn the unnatural process in the Hatchery. His fictional ‘Bokanovsky’s Process’, the splitting of an embryo into ‘96 identical twins’, clarifies why he made this so unsettling: as a warning against capitalism. The Hatchery’s Director states that this is ‘the principles of mass-production at last applied to biology’: homogenisation of humanity to the highest degree, a thought disgusting and terrifying to Huxley, who strongly believed in human individualism.
In contrast, in The Handmaid’s Tale Atwood constructs a society wherein a combination of tragic events has drastically reduced the fertility rate, leading to a dystopic authoritarian control of fertile women’s bodies. The protagonist Offred, whose real name Atwood left unknown because ‘so many people throughout history have had their names changed or have simply disappeared from view’ (Atwood, 2017), is forced to become a ‘Handmaid’: a ‘two-legged womb’, as she describes herself, forced to live with a Commander and his Wife to try to have a child with him. She has three chances at this with different men until she is brutally sent off to the Colonies to presumably clean up toxic waste until she dies. As Alanna A. Callaway points out, the traditionalist pseudo-Christian regime attempts to ‘imbue their mission and status with honour’ (Callaway, 2008), by having the Aunts call the Handmaids ‘sacred vessels’ and ‘ambulatory chalices’. However, this still makes fertile women into objects. Atwood’s use of first person narrative in the form of oral history allows the reader to understand how this has disembodied Offred. Atwood uses metaphor, ‘I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping’, to demonstrate how Offred has become defined by her womb. Furthermore, her diction emphasises how distressing this is, with her use of words like ‘congealed’, connoting how the rest of her body has formed around her womb in a way that partially immobilises everything inside her; the harsh alliteration of ‘cloud, congealed’ further promotes this. Therefore, her entrapment within her role as a fertile woman in an extremely patriarchal society has also trapped her in a body that she no longer has ownership of.
Although the reproductive methods in Brave New World greatly differ from those within The Handmaid’s Tale, they are still dehumanising. Huxley describes a swarm of twins (created by Bokanovsky’s Process) as ‘human maggots’. Partly this may be a joke based on their interest in the decaying body of Linda; however, it also suggests not just a lack of individualism, but that physically they are less than human. In this way, they are like Offred, who laments at how her body is no longer an ‘instrument’: she has lost the autonomy which contributes to her humanity. Moreover, in her introduction to Brave New World Atwood points out that, ‘despite the dollops of sex-on-demand, the bodies in Brave New World are oddly disembodied, which serves to underscore one of Huxley’s points: in a world in which everything is available, nothing has any meaning.’ This disembodiment may be exacerbated by the disconnect between sex and reproduction but is caused by the lack of contrast in the lives of World State citizens: whatever or whomever they want, they get. On the other hand, in The Handmaid’s Tale Atwood points out how a lack of human contact, as Offred wants ‘a real body, to put my arms around,’ means she feels that ‘without it, I too am disembodied.’ Together, these novels suggest a balance must be struck for normalcy with sexual relationships.
Furthermore, Huxley and Atwood both describe how women’s bodies become warped by different types of objectification. Employing Marxist critique, one could see how Atwood describes women’s bodies being used as currency, as the Handmaids imagine gaining freedoms through the guards with, ‘some trade-off, we still had our bodies.’ This is particularly dire considering at that point all female-owned bank accounts were cut off, so no woman has access to conventional currency; they become further defined by their bodies as their lack of freedoms intensifies. In Brave New World, Huxley uses the character of Bernard to criticise the objectification of women, as he becomes annoyed when men discuss (the main female character) Lenina’s body; he feels they are ‘degrading her to so much mutton’, and that, even worse, ‘she thinks of herself as meat.’ At this point Bernard is ostensibly the moral centre of the book, perhaps even Huxley’s voice as criticism of his society. However, Bernard later describes other women as ‘too pneumatic’, meaning too curvy. Here he is not just commenting on a woman’s body but actively judging it, in a moment of gross hypocrisy. Similarly, Gilead’s Commanders are known to ‘preach purity in all things’ – clearly an important part of their role as emphasised by Atwood’s use of alliteration. The way that they then use brothels highlights general hypocrisies of those leading strict authoritarian regimes, but specifically male hypocrisy regarding sex and women’s bodies.
In both novels, we can see how male objectification of women results in women seeing themselves as items. As established earlier, Offred feels ‘determined’ by her body (specifically her womb); likewise, Lenina views her ‘pneumatic’-ness as her key defining feature, saying, “Everyone says I’m awfully pneumatic”. The word ‘pneumatic’ is a pun by Huxley, as the word literally means filled with air, but is used in the book to mean a voluptuous woman. This suggests Lenina is physically attractive but completely vapid. When one considers how there is no equivalent word used by women to describe men, Huxley’s misogyny becomes clear. Furthermore, all other female characters have an equal obsession with their physical appearance, as shown by how much they care about clothing. Lenina and her friend Fanny discuss it together, and Linda admires Lenina’s clothing when she meets her, proving this has been a priority for women for many years. All of Lenina’s successes in life rely on her body: she is only ever going on dates with men or talking to her friend about said events. Huxley uses dialogue to demonstrate how unintelligent she is, because she only speaks using phrases learnt during hypnopaedia as a baby. Boring and generic, she represents the rest of her society. Perhaps it is this role as an extended metaphor that prevents her from becoming a fully-fledged character like the male ones. Peter Edgerly Firchow disagrees, maintaining that, like Bernard and Helmholtz, Lenina is a ‘fairly complex character’ simply because ‘she falls in love’ (Firchow, 1994). He then acknowledges that she still ‘does not realise what it is that has happened to her’ – of course, this implies that she remains to be stupid. David Leon Higdon argues instead that, by ignoring the rules of colour-coded dress (she wears green despite not being a gamma) and being in a monogamous relationship (for four months with Henry Foster, despite the World State’s motto of ‘everyone belongs to everyone else’), either she is ‘self-consciously a rebel against her benevolently totalitarian world as are the men, but left undeveloped because Huxley could not conceive of a woman rebel, or Huxley allowed gross inconsistencies onto his pages that threaten the integrity of his closed system and the themes of his work’ (Hidgon, 2002). He feels Huxley takes a ‘mean-spirited revenge’ (Hidgon, 2002) on her, with her hypnopaedia-learnt dialogue, unwanted sexual advances to John the Savage, to her presumed violent death at the end. I would agree more with Higdon’s interpretation – Lenina may not understand her feelings towards John, but Huxley also does not understand the female character he has created.
Moreover, Lenina’s development in both cases is through attachment to a man, not by personal discoveries and intelligence, as the developments of Bernard and Helmholtz are. Although Huxley mentions that clever men and women are banished to islands together, there are no alpha-plus or well-educated female characters that we meet. Alpha-plus citizens are the only ones to not be mass-produced via Bokanovsky’s Process, so only they have a chance at individuality – meaning as far as the reader can see, only men in Huxley’s Brave New World may become individuals. A possible exception may be Miss Keate, a headmistress. However, her role is not as an intelligent character, but to be a sexual object to Bernard, to show how his discovery of John the Savage leads him to gain access to better partners. This objectification is added to by Huxley’s substitution of her first name to ‘Miss’, which happens to no other character. The lack of intelligent female characters is manifest from the beginning of the novel, with the all-male class visiting the Hatchery. This prevention of female education becomes a conscious choice in The Handmaid’s Tale, as most women are no longer allowed to read – even shop names have been replaced with pictures of what they sell. In both cases, women are thus further defined by their bodies not their minds. Atwood uses Offred’s discontent at this, then her fixation on the first word she has seen in years – she spends ‘tens of minutes, running my eyes over the print: FAITH’ – to criticise the Republic of Gilead for enacting this law. Conversely, the subtlety and lack of condemnation of the absence of well-educated women in Brave New World implies this is another product of Huxley’s misogyny.
Additional mistreatment of female characters arises from the blaming of them for anything to do with reproduction. In Brave New World, again this is subtle: it is only women who are sterilised, either as foetuses (‘freemartins’) or through ‘Malthusian drill’, even though it may be easier to sterilise the men, and without side effects – freemartins have ‘the slightest tendency to grow beards’. Similarly, in The Handmaid’s Tale, sterile (relating to men) is ‘a forbidden word’, and ‘there are only women who are barren and women who are fruitful, that’s the law.’ If a Handmaid cannot have a child with her prescribed Commander, it is her fault, even though she is proven to be fertile and the Commander is likely not, and she is punished by a slow and painful death cleaning waste in the Colonies. Consequently, each month Offred checks for blood ‘fearfully, for when it comes it means failure.’ In one of the most unsettling moments of the novel, part of the Handmaids’ training is to shame one of the women, Janine, for having an abortion (now illegal under the Republic of Gilead) after being gangraped as a teenager. One of the aunts asked whose fault is was, and the Handmaids reply, ‘Her fault, her fault, her fault’; the Aunt finishes with the pseudo-religious answer, that God allowed such a terrible thing to happen to ‘teach her a lesson.’ This scene exaggerates a common process within rape allegation proceedings that still occurs to this day: people asking, ‘what was she wearing?’ and other questions that blame the victim. Atwood then uses Offred’s physical description of Janine, ‘she looked disgusting: weak, squirmy, blotchy, pink, like a newborn mouse’ to explain why ‘for a moment, even though we knew what was being done to her, we despised her.’ This conveys the lack of empathy and selfishness cultivated within Gilead. The simile, ‘like a newborn mouse,’ provides another example of dehumanisation due to authoritarian regimes, much like Brave New World’s ‘human maggots’. Furthermore, men have no obligation to cover themselves: Offred notices Nick’s ‘bare arms sticking shamelessly out’. On the other hand, women must always be covered; even in summer, the Handmaids have long-sleeved nightgowns, ‘to keep us from hugging ourselves, bare-armed.’ The repetition of ‘bare arms’ highlights the double standard. Furthermore, the irony is that normalising bare flesh can prevent it from being sexualised, as Nick’s naked arms indicate.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: an Analysis
Brave New World was revises due to the actuality of these concepts. “The prophecies made in 1931 are coming true much sooner than I thought they would” (page 238). These prophecies came to life, before the author had proposed. He claimed “the nightmare of total organization, which I had situated in the seventh century after Ford, has emerged from the safe, remote future, and is now awaiting us, just around the corner” ( page 238). Many had criticized such topics after the creation of the original Brand New World , and claimed the future would recognize more with “1984”. However, we are seeing now that this is myth, Brave New World forecasted the future more accurately.
I am no scientist; however, I remember attending a seminar at Gannon University last year. This seminar was dedicated to these ideas. Scientists now have the means to create a desired race. Parents are now able to choose the genetic makeup of the child, along with the gender. This book, along with the ideas presented at this seminar, reveal to us that these ideas are already reality. One doesn’t have to guess when they will occur, because they already are occurring. Although, governmental intervening has not occurred with this new technology, it is only time before this is true.
I mean, logically thinking, why would they create technology? Certainly, not for the good of the economy, rather to have a way of controlling it more and more. According to Huxley: “Whenever the economic life of a nation becomes precarious, the central government is forced to assume additional responsibilities for the general welfare. It must work out elaborate plans for dealing with critical situations, it must impose ever greater restrictions upon the activities of its subjects and if, as is very likely, worsening economic conditions result in political unrest, or open rebellion, the central government must intervene to preserve public order and its own authority” (page 245). The role of governments has certainly changed over time, it was once reserved to serve the people, however, now it is utilized to reserve only its own power of dictatorship.
Huxley claimed: “In the second half of the twentieth century we do nothing systematic about our breeding, but in our random and unregulated way, we are not only over-populating our planet, we are also, it would seem, making sure these greater numbers shall be of biologically poorer quality. In the bad old day’s children with considerable or even with slight, hereditary defects rarely survived. Today, thanks to sanitation, modern pharmacology, and the social conscience, most of the children born with hereditary defects reach maturity and multiply (page 248).
These ideas reinstate what is already known to mankind. It is apparent, that mentioned persons are living quite longer, considerably. However, it is not are right to discontinue such cases, some persons with deformed features, are the happiest amongst us. Taking away these rights, would be against the Constitution. However, governments aren’t concerned about keeping these rights, rather taking them away one by one. Technology can conclude such deformities now, even before the birth of these children. Many parents opt to abort these cases, which is one secret maneuver the government has already implemented to their goal. However, most people do not realize this, they do not see that the government wants to create a pure race, which is why these technologies were created in the first place.
Although this may be a work of fiction, it does leave one with an unsettling feeling. Especially, since these ideas are happening as we speak. The author speaks heavily on overpopulation and the expectancies of controlling such issues. A remarkable point included: “In an undeveloped and over-populated country, where 4/5 of the people get less than two-thousand calories a day and 1/5 enjoys an adequate diet” (page 249). He then goes on to claim that industrialized countries are even seeing decline in IQ and physical vigor.
These ideas are very prevalent in our world today. But is totalitarianism the answer to fixing such solutions? I don’t believe so, we as people should figure solutions to such problems, not the government. For it is certain their way will be violent and unconstitutional. We can clearly see the dire need to control populations, other countries have done so, such as China. China allows for a certain number of children to be born, I feel this measure could be taken. However, instead of the government intervening, why cannot we just agree to keep this for ourselves.
I feel that totalitarianism principles are very possible in our future. Page 269 of Brave New World speaks about Hitler’s rule in Nazi Germany. It claimed there was one thing different that Hitler did that differed from previous dictators. One thing which made his techniques both successful and possible. He concluded that this was that he utilized all “technical means for the domination of its own country.” Such examples included radios, speakers, and the inability for man to have independent thoughts. I feel these ideas are already incorporated in our society today.
Last week I watched a video called The Corporation, this film showed what corporations were designed to do and how they have considerably. One aspect this film revealed was in regards to Monsanto. As many know, this corporation is responsible for much of the food produced throughout the country. Fox news was designated to do research on a specific chemical this company produces and the safety of it. The reporters concluded that it was linked to several cancers and declining health in general. They claimed they would not lie about their research, so Monsanto threatened them. A lawsuit arose, and one might think Monsanto would be the one in trouble. However, it was concluded that revealing false information via news, television, or journals, is not illegal. What this goes to show, that the government is already controlling our minds. They fill our brains with many lies and mislead us to the truth. These ideas are already incorporated in the system; citizens must be educated themselves and not rely on such programs to conclude the truth. Just as Hitler controlled what was aired and considered truth, the U.S. government is doing the same thing. But most people do not realize this, and that is where the problem occurs.
Another great point made, was that Hitler believed the masses were “incapable of abstract thinking and uninterested in any fact outside the circle of their immediate experience” (page 272). This heavily relates to my example above. Hitler could brainwash an entire nation to conform to his ideas. Many people argue that they would not be involved in such instances, however, one cannot simply speak unless directly involved. I feel that America is blind to what control they are already being subjected to.
The “land of the free” is far from free. The government is controlling are food supply, our economy, and most importantly us. They feel that people are incapable and unconcerned with issues of the world, however, that is not true, to an extent at least. In my opinion, anyone trusting in the government 100% are completely ignorant and blind to what is going on. I feel the government certainly uses propaganda to revert are attention. Such propaganda as the recent Cleveland shooting. Propaganda is the use of information, that is generally biased, which is utilized to promote a certain way of thinking or concept. This propaganda, is used to control us. Many instances have been occurring recently, these issues are blown out of proportion and is used to hide more serious issues occurring. Recently, we saw this instance of a man killing a man on social media. Much hysteria fled through news and social medias. Although, the body of this man was not revealed after he committed suicide, and his live video on Facebook revealed something quite strange. There was not a single drop of blood on the victim’s body, however, just a pile flowing on the space next to him. In my opinion, this was not real. The government most likely used this to distract our minds from something they were doing. Many may think these views are crazy, but I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
“Democratic institutions are devices for reconciling social order with individual freedom and initiative, and for making the immediate powers of a country’s rulers subject to the ultimate power of the ruled” (page 263). Also on page 264: “given a fair chance, human beings, can govern themselves, and govern themselves better, through perhaps with less mechanical efficiency than they can be governed by “authorities independent of their will.” These two quotes reveal the answer to the last question to this assignment. This questioned is concerned with the idea that people would be granted “guaranteed happiness”, but who is to say this is guaranteed. The government in a totalitarian state does not offer this sort of happiness. As we have seen in the past, it leads to controlling of all aspects of life. What happiness does this generate, in my opinion, this isn’t life anymore? As stated above, people can govern themselves better, for if government was to impede on our rights, life will be in their best interest, not our own. We can already see the greed and power behind such governments, why should anyone feed more into this. We are rational beings, and deserve our free will that was granted to us first by God, and secondly by the Constitution.
Brave New World and 1984 by George Orwell: an Analysis of the Inferiority of Women
Expendable or Indispensable?
“You’re nothing more than a dishwasher, a cook, and caretaker.” Subjected to conventional domestic duties, women before the 1920s were not granted freedom in exercising rights given to their male counterparts.. Thought of only as mothers, it was not until they were granted suffrage that women were able to display their significance and influence to their societies. Similarly, the dystopian novels that are meant to predict our irreversible future reflect the moral conduct of the past. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, women are not equal to men due to their diminishing importance in society. Similarly, 1984 by George Orwell presents women as inferior individuals, generally stymied by the stereotypes which make them essential members of society. In both dystopian novels, gender inequality exists due to the sexual objectification and cliched roles of women in each society, compared to the esteemed, authoritative figures of men.
The women in the novels are presented as subordinate to men and are given little regard in societal matters. The women are the providers, while the men consume what the females have to offer. According to M. Keith Booker of DePauw University,
Concerned with the clash between individual desire and societal demand, dystopian fiction often focuses on sexuality and relations between the genders as elements of this conflict…Brave New World, and 1984 all focus on sexuality as a crucial matter for their efforts at social control. And it is also clear that this focus comes about largely because of a perception on the part of these governments that sexuality is a potential locus of powerful subversive energies. (Booker)
Sex is either advocated or deprived from the citizens at the cost of women; to control the society and prevent emotional connection between human beings. In Brave New World, women are held to a promiscuous standard and are used by men to maintain superficial happiness, ridding of the traditional binding love in a relationship. When Lenina explains that she has been with Henry for four months, her friend Fanny scorns, “It’s such horribly bad form to go on and on like this with one man” (Huxley 41). The values of society are injected into women, who are chastised for staying with one partner, while males are free to socialize with whomever they please. The male-dominated government is able to control the women’s views on sexuality, therefore commanding utter control in the World State, just as Booker explains in her article that sexuality is a controlling factor. Similarly, in 1984, loveless marriages are forced upon society and are the sole technique to produce more loyal, brainwashed party members. When Winston is dreaming about the past, he remembers, “The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the Party” (Orwell 65). When that duty becomes an impossible endeavor, Winston’s relation to Katharine is otherwise pointless, as they share no friendship or love, so they separate. Both novels imply that if each society did manipulate sexuality to control their population, women would hold insignificant roles and not benefit society in any way, and men would be able to run their world independently. However, while Brave New World outlines their decreasing importance to society in comparison to the rising male authority, 1984 uses women to show how strong the male leadership of the government is.
Where the word “mother” sparks reactions shock and controversy, the word “father” elicits no response in Brave New World. The elimination of biological mothers produces a world which only looks at women for expendable pleasures. For instance, when the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is distinguishing between how male and female reproductive cells are maintained in the incubator, to an all-male tour group, he points out, “ ‘The week’s supply of ova [is] kept’…‘at blood heat; whereas the male gametes,’ and here he opened another door, ‘they have to be kept at thirty-five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heat sterilizes.’ (Huxley 5). Whereas men are given freedom to keep their genes, and therefore biological and future identity, women’s ova are purposefully sterilized to prevent their passage to further generations, perhaps through accidental pregnancies. The women’s power to produce life, the most organic and natural instinct for a women, is completely eliminated, making their ancient societal role abate and their current importance dwindle. Furthermore, their objectification is further amplified when, in reference to Lenina’s body, Bernard notes, “I should say she was pretty…pneumatic too!” (Huxley 60). This blunt characteristic that Bernard attributes to Lenina mirrors some consistencies of the current society of America, where looks can often be more important than personality for some individuals. Rather than learn more about Lenina and form a connection, which is shown to make the society “unstable,” Bernard uses a superficial, sexualized term to descried her features. Also, the citizens have soma to keep them happy, and do not need rebellious pleasures like in 1984, so women are therefore even more “disposable”. By teaching future generations that women are physically and emotionally inferior to men, individuals in the society such as the D.H.C. and Bernard, make the two genders unequal.
In 1984, women are dominated by the stereotypes placed upon them. Although the term “mother” applies very loosely to some of the females in society, woman are expected to follow their husbands or the higher power that is held by men, making them appear dependent and vulnerable. For instance, Winston’s ex-wife Katharine claimed that they had sex as “their duty to the Party”. In Oceania, sex is ostracized as a pleasure and functions only as a way to further the success of the Party and the rule of Big Brother. Katharine’s only way to contribute to the party was to create a child, and when she was unable to do that with Winston, she left. Whereas in Brave New World, the citizens of World State are able to use soma to escape sadness and other negative feelings, in Oceania, the members are not given such an option. Instead, they find such escape in women like Julia, who are a rare type, and dare to rebel against the government with its own Party members. Whereas in the World State, to rebel is to have one partner and abstain from sex, in Oceania, it is quite the opposite. The essential role of women to continue the legacy of Big Brother contrasts with the World State’s eradication of mothers and natural births. Without the mothers and rebels, Oceania would have no new party members to brain wash or any way for frustration and anger to be released, benefitting the males of society. The stereotypical role of the women allow the men to rise to a higher position in the Inner Party and gain even more control.
Gender inequality is heavily present in modern day America, and even more so in fictional dystopian novels. Characters such as Julia and Lenina are used by their government and by other citizens at the cost of their dignity and morality. However, by showing females as the inferiors in Brave New World and 1984, authors such as Huxley and Orwell inevitably predict the role of women in our future. The growing sexualization and stereotyping that was present in America’s past is very likely to cycle into the future if our society develops towards a dystopian model, made evident by Booker’s claim that “sexuality is a potential locus of powerful subversive energies” for those types of government (Booker). A society which manipulates the birth-given characteristics and advocates the constant subversion of one gender will inevitably create a society built upon gender inequality.
A critique of the Literary Elements in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In the passage from the novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley uses metaphors and powerful diction to characterize John and Mustapha Mond and their opposing views on societal and life values. Through the two characters’ dialogue, Huxley portrays Mustapha Mond as someone who does not believe in enduring any kind of unpleasant emotions within a civilized world. Meanwhile, John is characterized as someone who looks up to God as a reminder to keep his morals intact and believes that suffering is a humane part of life.
The passage begins with John expressing his views on God and the reason for his existence, arguing that if there was a God in this society, people would not let themselves be “degraded by pleasant vices”. The word “degraded” and “vices” signify disgrace and immorality, revealing that John is disgusted by the society’s system that encourages taking soma, a drug that is used to escape all responsibilities. He explains that God is the source that gives people patience and courage, which are the moral qualities that he lives by. Mustapha Mond counters by denoting the lack of purpose in putting oneself to “bear anything… unpleasant” and mentions that it would “upset the whole social order”. Huxley emphasizes the conflicting views of the two characters as Mond judges John’s beliefs as unnecessary in this civilized society. John asserts that self-denial is important for “chastity,” which is a strong belief in his religion, completely opposite of the usual behavior in the new world. As expected, Mustapha Mond discourages the practice of abstinence; he believes that stopping oneself from fulfilling desires will create “passion” and “neurasthenia” which are pointless feelings that will only create “instability” and cause destruction to the civilization. Mond’s objection to chastity reveals that he does not care about being humane and having useless emotions creates unhappiness or dissatisfaction.
Mond believes that “nobility” and “heroism” have no role in their society because wars are nonexistent, and everyone is happy with doing whatever their “natural impulses” desires. In his short speech, he concludes that even if there are upsetting feelings, soma will solve everything quicker and easier than “moral training”. He mentions that “half your morality” can be carried in a bottle and metaphorized soma as “Christianity without tears”. This huge dependence on drugs to fix all unpleasant emotions suggests that Mond has no intention of practicing morality; he just wants happiness quick and easy without thinking about anything complicated. On the other hand, John is familiar with the “tears” and passionate feelings, so he believes that everything that is viewed unpleasant in the new world is a valuable part of life. He quotes Othello to discuss the rewarding aspect of suffering in life, in which the suffering is worth enduring because of the “calms” after “every tempest”. He tells a story about a man who worked hard to get the girl that every man wanted to marry to further justify the pleasure and fulfillment after going through hardships. Mond, once again, sees no reason for suffering if they got rid of anything that could cause pain or discomfort. John, disappointed in Mond’s reply, criticizes him for getting rid of “everything unpleasant” rather than putting up with it. John is angry at Mond who fails to see the beauty of life and will just simply push away anything he dislikes, instead of trying to endure or “take arms” against the troubles. John concludes his lines by claiming that Mond makes life in the new world “too easy” where people are unable to express any passionate emotions that defines the meaning of life; he believes that even hardships are a necessary part of humanity.
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