Brave New World
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Analytical Essay
In Huxley’s Brave New World, the government embodies oppression. The antonym, ‘democracy’, is entirely absent. From decanting to death, the government controls every breath and thought without asking the consent of the governed. Further, every resident has become a tool of mind control – tattling, or shunning anyone deviating from expected behavior. There is no need for violence: as the Controller puts it,
“Government’s an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with the brains and the buttocks, never with the fists.”
In such an environment, one’s personal integrity (which appears here as a set of entirely personal standards for moral behavior) is nearly impossible to maintain. However, some individuals do attempt it, perhaps without understanding why. Bernard Marx, Helmholz Watson, John, and even Lenina, all struggle to stay true to an individual code of behavior, never mind the government’s position. Despite universal nutrition, health, and erotic outlets, they variously, and truly, suffer.
They suffer acutely from a sense of disconnectedness, exclusion, and revulsion (Bernard), from creative frustration (Helmholz), from horror, outrage, and loss (John), and even from a painful sense that monogamy would be preferable (Lenina). It is entirely fair to describe their mental suffering as unspeakable, if only because they literally lack the vocabulary to articulate their pain. (The State has long since obliterated all such words.)
Their divergence from government expectation is emotionally distressing, and leads them into behaviors which appear peculiar, but which allow them to be temporarily free of their subjugation. Bernard Marx’s strategies for dealing with the conflict between his own notions of sexual morality and dislike for soma are effective but not uniformly attractive.
He begins by despising and scorning the behavior around him, but then he chooses not to leave the cushioned A.F. world. When this stance places him at risk of exile, he demonstrates a cool resourcefulness in exploiting John to blackmail his boss. His efforts end by causing his exile anyway, but as Mond points out, he has a better chance to exercise personal integrity in Iceland than anywhere in the Brave New World.
He retains his own opinions in spite of the disapproval and isolation this causes
Bernard feels pain from his perceived inadequacy and isolation from others, burdened as well with acute awareness and insight. In the first portion of the book, he makes his stand for the principles which he holds dear by means of his private, internal scorn for his co-residents’ behavior and treatment of each other. He is deeply ambivalent about this, since he does desire human connection, but he retains his own opinion stubbornly.
Take the example of the conversation on the day following his evening with Lenina. On that ‘date’, he approached as close to revealing his inner turmoil as anyone ever does in the Brave New World (to Lenina’s total mystification and irritation). The next day, he says to her,
“I didn’t want it to end with our going to bed”.
This encapsulates his powerful personal desire to have a relationship for which there exists no model in his society. His behavior does not necessarily follow his principles (he did, after all, engage in the expected erotic activity with Lenina), but he wishes it could have. As always, Bernard’s actions reveal a mixed and flawed character.
He chooses to stay on, despite his clear disapproval of the society around him
Before his trip to the wilds, he becomes aware of the imminent threat of exile. He does not perceive the advantages of this outcome, not having the benefit of the Controller’s perspective, noted above. He neither grovels, at this point, nor offers to leave for Iceland, and freedom from constant government oppression, right away. Instead, we read that,
“Bernard left the room with a swagger, exulting, as he banged the door behind him, in the thought that he stood alone, embattled against the order of things; elated by the intoxicating consciousness of his individual significance and importance. Even the thought of persecution left him undismayed, was rather tonic than depressing.
He felt strong enough to meet and overcome affliction, strong enough to face even Iceland. In addition, this confidence was the greater for his not for a moment really believing that he would be called upon to face anything at all. People simply were not transferred for things like that. Iceland was just a threat. A most stimulating and life-giving threat. Walking along the corridor, he actually whistled.”
Bernard is strengthened, by the threat of exile, in his sense of the rightness of his views and preferences. He neither gives up nor runs away. Of course, as the quote above indicates, he also does not believe that he is truly at risk. As noted before, he is a mixture of aspirations and fallibility.
He takes advantage of a serendipitous opportunity to sabotage his oppressor
The risk of exile takes on a very concrete reality, once he is on his trip, but he only finds out because he has contacted his friend to turn off his apartment scent tap. Learning of his imminent dismissal from the only world he knows seems equivalent to the current humiliation of being broken up with on Facebook or by text message.
Bernard is, as always, not eager to give up his material, comforts, nor his principles! He plots his effective revenge against the petty oppression and intrusiveness of his boss with a masterful bit of extortion.
He shamelessly uses the hapless John and Linda to humiliate the Director. He thereby creates a space (temporarily) in which he can remain both a social critic, and nonetheless enjoy as much pleasant social contact as he can absorb. We see that,
“Success went fizzily to Bernard’s head, and in the process completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) to a world which, up till then, he had found very unsatisfactory. In so far as it recognized him as important, the order of things was good. But, reconciled by his success, he yet refused to forego the privilege of criticizing this order. For the act of criticizing heightened his sense of importance, made him feel larger.
Moreover, he did genuinely believe that there were things to criticize. (At the same time, he genuinely liked being a success and having all the girls he wanted.) Before those who now, for the sake of the Savage, paid their court to him, Bernard would parade a carping unorthodoxy. He was politely listened to.”
Bernard, by his creative exploitation of the Savage’s discomfort, also postpones the inevitable punishment for his own different and unwittingly disruptive behavior. However, he shows his underlying weakness once the axe falls and Mond pronounces his sentence of exile: Bernard has to be carried off and sedated to stop his sniveling. Helmholz, by contrast, is far more dignified in his response.
Bernard is never an entirely admirable character, from start to finish. He even contemplates running away and abandoning the Savage when John tries to toss out the soma, for example. However, he does indeed have a sense of integrity, which he sticks with almost all the way to the end (he shamefully offers to sacrifice his views in his groveling final speech to Mond).
He is clearly in distress, because of the oppressive societal insistence on sameness. Furthermore, given the wiping out of literature, he has only limited vocabulary to express his therefore unspeakable pain. He has a code of behavior to which he aspires, including a courtly attitude towards females.
To hold on to his integrity, he tries to avoid soma, fumblingly attempts to establish an outmoded and prohibited relationship with Lenina, and retains a critical view of the world around him. He stays on in his world, refusing the implicit opportunity to leave and emigrate to a place where the government has only minimal control (the Falklands, Iceland, Samoa).
When presented with the ingredients of a tidy blackmail, he grabs it and temporarily gets the best of everything: girls, adulation, the freedom to criticize, and his daily three squares. His ultimate fate may also be his greatest vindication and the validation of his cherishing of his personal integrity in the face of oppression and unspeakable pain. After all, as the Controller says,
“…he’s being sent to a place where he’ll meet the most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in the world. All the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self-consciously individual to fit into community-life. All the people who aren’t satisfied with orthodoxy, who’ve got independent ideas of their own. Every one, in a word, who’s any one.”
Common Theme between Books Compare and Contrast Essay
The government institution has a tendency of using anything that is in its disposal to ensure that it is in control through hook and crook. This includes to some extent cases whereby the government uses technology to manipulate its subjects and ensure a severe handling of any disloyalty issues.
The books ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley and ‘A clockwork orange’ by Antony Burgess portray a common way in the manner in which governments use technology and other resources to manipulate its citizens both physically and psychologically. The paper analyzes successfully the manner in which the three playwrights develop the theme of government manipulation in the three texts with an effort of portraying the common results attained.
Manipulation in George Orwell’s ‘1984’
Having been set in 1949, the novel ‘1984’ was a prediction of what could happen to a country where totalitarianism became deeply rooted (Hillegas 43). The novel portrays the cruelties and oppression of citizens who were subjects of a totalitarian government of Oceania. The novel is mostly concerned about the manner in which technology has been employed to oppress citizens by regimes as well as establish control over every aspect of their lives therefore making them remain like slaves (Aubrey 50).
In the portrayal of what people can call the perfect totalitarian government, the novel examines the different techniques that the party uses to control its citizens. These include psychological manipulation of the citizens, exercising physical control on the people, and using technology to control information, history and the citizens for the benefit of the party.
The party exercises psychological control over its people by replacing individual thought with distorted psychological stimuli. The use of propaganda ensures a constant feeding of the people with lies that in turn shape their thinking (Aubrey 23).
The use of ‘Telescreens’ to enhance the propaganda is effective in that the citizens are kept aware that the authorities are scrutinizing them. “You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized” (Orwell 5).
This ensures that every move to be disloyal even by simply having a disloyal thought is completely dealt with and can be viewed as a crime against the party.
The citizens seem turned against each other using propaganda. For instance, children seem turned against their parents and recruited in the organization referred to as junior spies where they can act as watchdogs for the party by reporting any disloyalty even from their parents. People consider those who go against the party as enemies of the state.
The party employs physical control in its efforts to exert completely the control on its citizens (Bowker 220). This is evident through the manner which the party takes control of the bodies of its subjects.
As Winston observes, the party can read a tiny facial twitch to mean disloyalty, which could lead to arrest and prosecution. “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom” (Orwell 211).
In fact, the party issues decree that force the subjects of the state to undergo mass morning exercises, which it refers to as the physical jerks. They also encounter situations of long working hours at government agencies. For those who try to go against this, he/she has to face punishment and ‘reeducated’ through a severe tortured.
Winston says, “People simply disappeared, always during the night. People removed your name from the registers wiping out every record of everything you had ever done, and further denying and forgetting your one-time existence. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word” (Orwell 345). As Winston points out after he was subjected to this torture, the state takes advantage of it to control reality and suppress opposition as there is nothing more intense to a human being like physical pain.
The party uses technology to control both information and history by changing all documented truth and replacing it with propaganda. The government prohibits keeping of historical evidence, such as photographs. These leave the people with only one choice, which is to rely upon their memories for the truth (Aubrey 56). This makes them easily manipulated.
The party abuses technology, as it uses it to enhance the control and oppressive measures of the government. The party ensures that there are the telescopes and microphones hidden all across the city to keep a close eye on the citizens.
According to Bowker, this deprives them of their privacy and personal freedoms as every of their moves is monitored (230). Technology seem further used to exert control on the production and sources of information as well as inflicting torture on those who are deemed disloyal. This proves that technology when in the wrong hands can facilitate the most diabolical of evils.
Manipulation in ‘Brave New world’
Huxley in his brave new world sounds a warning on what may transpire upon giving the state a control over new and powerful scientific innovations and technology. This is because the state is bound to use them in manipulating the citizens. This can be witnessed in the manner the state uses “technology and medical interventions to control reproduction” (Huxley 45).
Another example stands out where the state uses technology to create the complicated entertainment machines and the complicated drug soma that is prove of such misuse of technology.
Brave new world is not only a warning but also a satire of the society in which Huxley is part. In this state, society’s economic values determine what a person’s happiness entails. A person is therefore happy if they can satisfy their personal needs (Howe 89). The society has influenced the psychology of the citizens to equate success to the ability to grow economically and prosper.
The citizens therefore spent most of their time enjoying themselves as well as looking for ways to attain pleasure at the expense of their personal liberty about which they are less concerned.
Like ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘Brave new world’ sends a warning by depicting a dystopia in which a totalitarian government controls the movements, bodies, minds and actions of its people in order to preserve itself and continue being in power (Aubrey 56).
The kind of manipulation is however different in the two texts in that rather than the constant surveillance, torture and murders illustrated by Orwell’s 1984, brave New world achieves the same by manipulating people indirectly through technological interventions that exist throughout the lifetime of the citizens and shape what they deem as important to them.
This makes the people so happy and satisfied to an extent that they do not think about the possibility of the oppression they seem subjected to (Meyers 64). This in other words is that they are kept satisfied to an extent that they are no longer concerned about their personal freedom.
Manipulation in ‘A Clockwork Orange’
Burgess’s belief that the freedom of choice is the most important human attribute that a person can have and that distinguishes humans from all other things in the world which include both machines and animals is the major concern of this book (Meyers 56). When the character Alex exercises his free will by choosing to do evil things, the government represses his quest.
Upon doing this, he ends up losing his ability to function as a man and he therefore exists as only a thing. The minister says, “If a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man” (Burgess 88). He loses his free will due to the manipulation of the government as well as its meddling with affairs of individuals.
Neutrality and apathy as preached by oppressive governments become the two greatest enemies of free will (Meyers 45). As exemplified in the novel by Alex’s parents who choose not to meddle in the affairs of the state but are lured into sleep by a world cast program, the state uses such mechanism as entertainment to invoke apathy and neutrality in its middle class and make them comfortable and not in a position to question anything whatsoever. There freedom is therefore taken “as they sleep” (Burgess 70) as Alex puts it.
The institution of government as portrayed in the novel which champions for free will constantly seeks to suppress individuals in favor of the majority (Howe 564).
The state is desperate to the extent that it can employ any method to ensure that it survives. By the use of technology, economy as well as the threat of violent measures, the state is able to manipulate the individual as well as take away his free will. The state values someone or something when it matters and when it is of great importance only to drop it and discard it later when it thinks it is of less importance.
“Common criminals like this unsavory crowd”–(that meant me, brothers, as well as the others, who were real pre-stoop-nicks and treacherous with it)–“can best be dealt with on a purely curative bas” (Burgess 78). It uses technology to make hardened criminals harmless and then turns against the dissidents such as Alexander whose public opinion threatens the stability of the state.
The three texts in their different contexts explore the theme of manipulation by government and the effect that this has to the individual citizens. The manner in which these governments use technology as well as manipulate the economy to attain this is similar in all the three texts.
Technology for instance, is used in all the texts to suppress any instability either by directly barring the citizens from this or indirectly. This can be seen for instance the manner in which the use of advanced technology is put in place to ensure that all the hardened criminals are made harmless in ‘A clockwork orange’ and also to ‘reeducate’ enemies of the party in ‘1984’.
This implies the direct abuse of technology by state machinery to exert torture and ensure that people do not challenge the government’s policies. However, ‘Brave New world’ uses a different approach in the manner it uses technology to exercise control on its citizens.
It ensures the production of entertainment and luxury machines, which make the citizens so occupied and happy to the extent that they cannot possibly think of themselves as oppressed. Whichever the manner of using technology to manipulate the citizens, the results are all the same: It must manipulate people, robbing off their rights and personal freedom.
Aubrey, Crispin. Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1984 and Brave New world: Autonomy, Control and Communication. London: Comedia, 1983.
Burgess, Anthony. Clockwork Oranges: In 1985. London: Hutchinson, 1985.
Bowker, Gordon . Inside George Orwell: A Biography. Palgrave: Macmillan, 2003.
Hillegas, Mark. The Future As Nightmare: H.G. Wells and the Anti-Utopians. Southern Illinois: University Press, 1967.
Howe, Irving. 1984, Brave New world and Clockwork oranges Revisited: Totalitarianism In Our Century. New York: Harper Row, 1985.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. London: HarperCollins, 1932. p. 113
Meyers, Jeffery. Orwell, Burgess and Huxley: Wintry Conscience of a Generation. London: Norton Publishers, 2000.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four: A novel. London: Secker & Warburg, 1949.
Novel Response: Brave New World Essay
Authored by Aldous Huxley in 1932, Brave New World is a must-read fascinating chef-d’oeuvre that features the manager of hatchery who wittingly introduces several boys in a research with a sole agenda of tampering with the bright future of the boys in the name of tailor-made programs.
Huxley utilizes a lot of creativity in using this approach to reach young people, symbolized by ‘boys’ in the masterwork, aiming at voicing a word of caution to them especially when they adopt scientific methods of doing things. According to Huxley, tailor-made work programs and production systems as evidenced in the novel have led to the loss of direction of many young people and more so students.
The Theme of Tailor-made Programs
The author addresses the theme of tailor-made programs through various depictions of characters in the book. He uses changes in the environment to elaborate the effects of tailor-made programs. For instance, he uses changes in the world state society of the characters to illustrate how the changes influence their lives in a negative way. For instance, he uses a character such as Bernard to demonstrate the negative impact of a change in an environment or simply the impact of tailor-made programs on young people.
Bernard is against sexual and immoral behaviors that are evident in the world state society when he first encounters them. However, when he changes the environment by meeting new friends (a symbol of advanced technology), he changes his behaviors and begins to behave like the people in this world state by getting involved in promiscuous sexual relationships.
These programs affect most of the characters that are used in the program negatively. One example of the character is Bernard who, after being exposed to a different environment, behaves differently from the way he used to behave. Another character is John who takes his life away after his views on personal values and world-state society clash.
The clash leads to negative consequences that see his hanging after he is blindly influenced to change his once adorable behavior. In addition, the use of soma is very popular among the youths. The youths use this drug to attain happiness. They have failed to understand the negative impacts of the drug on their health. Therefore, the programs lead many youths to engage in deviant behaviors that the society does not uphold.
How the theme relates with the real life situation
The theme depicted in the book rhymes with the real life situation. Many youths are prone to the use of drugs upon their completion of school. They aspire to attain happiness. They do not want to face the truth. Furthermore, peer influence is one f the problems that the youth face. When they engage in a constructive or gainful employment, they proceed to seek happiness by getting involved in deviant behaviors such as promiscuous sex and drug use.
As Huxley has demonstrates, tailor-made programs can be of benefit to the society. However, they can as well lead to more problems and challenges to those at risk like the young people and students. Many young people who have the opportunity to engage in these programs do not utilize them well.
However, they use them to expose themselves to the dangers smoking, drug abuse, and irresponsible sexual behaviors. They seek happiness instead of the truth. In most cases, these uncouth behaviors have led to their death. Likewise, in the real world, the programs have the potential of transforming youths. Nevertheless, because they do not use them well, they are misled. They end up ruining their life in pursuit of happiness. Therefore, there is the need for young people to be cautious in everything they do.
Biographical Analysis of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Research Paper
Life experiences acted as one of the major inspirations to ancient writers. Many writers came up with different writings to express their experiences and visions. The writers came up with books and articles that tried to warn the society about the effects of their actions, while others tried to educate the society on what it needed to do to better its future.
One of the writers who came up with a novel based on their experiences was Aldous Huxley. Aldous wrote the book Brave New World, which reflects an astounding outlook of the future that on the surface seems more or less humorous (Trimble 21). Nevertheless, Huxley did not intend to portray humor in his book. Actually, it is hard to decipher the message put forward in the book.
He predicted that there would emerge a regime that would strip people of their freedom. Aldous book is fascinating for he paints a picture of a society attached to a pathetic regime, which is of no use to the common person. As aforementioned, Aldous life experiences contributed largely to this writing. This paper discusses how Aldous life experience influenced the content and style the Brave New World book.
Aldous Huxley was born in1894 to a famous family that was strongly engrossed to England’s scientific and literary customs. His father was the son of Thomas Henry Huxley, a renowned biologist. On the other hand, her mother shared background with Matthew Arnold, a renowned littérateur. Given that he was brought up in a background comprising teachers, writers, and scientists, Aldous got quality education, which allowed him to amass a lot of knowledge.
Huxley was a keen learner and during his stint, he was prominent for his intellect and mastery of English (Trimble 28). Moreover, he was versed with inventions in the scientific field. In spite of his scientific knowledge being shallow, he was always determined to achieve all that bordered conventional science. His education bordered both science and literature, thus leaving him at a better position to incorporate the contemporary scientific discoveries in his literary works.
Influence from life experience
Huxley posits, “Human beings are given free will in order to choose between insanity on the one hand and lunacy on the other hand” (vii). Most of his opinions in the book reflect his views on the effects of scientific and technological advancement on the future society. After monitoring the society for a long time, Aldous learnt that people derived their happiness from things that were not worth being valued. For instance, people were happy to engage in promiscuity, sports, and utilizing mass-produced products.
Lenina claims, “How I loathe intravenals, don’t you” (Huxley 29), which signifies the level of promiscuity in the society. In pursuit for happiness, the society ended up sacrificing the most crucial fabrics that united it like family, culture, love, and freedom. With an idea of what scientific and technological advancements were, capable of, Aldous came up with the Brave New World as a way of sending a warning to a society that strongly embraced new changes without thinking about the possible repercussions.
Aldous introduces a pleasure-drug, soma. The drug is not actually a utopian wonder drug. Instead, it helps in eliminating hangovers rather than transforming one’s life.
After using the drug, Bernard posits, “It’ll be a failure again” (Huxley 61). This signifies that the drug did not transform him into learning professional. Desire by the society to look for shortcuts in everything it does compelled Aldous to bring up the idea of pleasure-drug in his book. Bernard Marx took the drug hoping that it would help him become a sleep-learning professional.
Nevertheless, it does not. He posits, “I know it will be a failure again” (Huxley 62) to show that the drug does not meet the intended purpose. Unlike in the past where people engaged in promiscuity, Huxley brings out a new form of promiscuity brought about by scientific and technological advancement. Taking pleasure-drug does not add value to human life in any way. Instead, it triggers an inauthentic and mindless “moron happiness.”
Bernard laments, “No, the real problem is: How is it …if I were free-not enslaved by my conditioning” (Huxley 61). He intended to bring out the negative effects technological and scientific utopia that people were embracing blindly. If Aldous intended to tease instead of fending off emotional primeval with the biological illusion, then he could have visualized perfect wonder drugs that enhanced or underpinned our most treasured standards (Postman 45-52).
In people’s imaginations, probably they might have been allowed to (through scientific advancements) embrace novel wonders to transform themselves into the romanticized editions of the kind of people would desire to be. In this case, the utopians could have exploited behavioral conditioning to protract, rather than destabilize, a more compassionate culture of elegant humanity and a life well lived.
Nevertheless, Aldous had a different idea when writing his book. His wide knowledge in science gave him an insight on the possible effects of future scientific discoveries. He presents Henry claiming, “Some men are almost rhinoceroses; they don’t respond properly to conditioning” (Huxley 59). This assertion shows that the conditioning may at times be detrimental. Hence, he wrote the book with an aim of warning the society against embracing all manners of scientific utopianism.
Huxley predicted that a time would come when the various castes would resist taking soma. John wonders “…aren’t you shortening her life by giving her so much?” (Huxley 104). Huxley showed that people like John had started doubting the benefits of the drug. Besides, his fear is confirmed by Dr. Shaw who answers, “In one sense, yes” (Huxley 104).
Today, Huxley’s predictions are prevalent. Currently, countries have come up with sanctions against numerous mood drugs (Postman 58). Besides, people fear to use even the approved drugs. Many people suffer from mental challenges that can be resolved using clinically approved anti-anxiety and mood-booster drugs. Nevertheless, many fear using these drugs and believe that the drugs might transform them into zombies.
This aspect signifies the level of pessimism, which the contemporary society has towards scientific development. The pessimism emerged after the society learnt that scientists had been taking them for a ride by developing drugs that did not meet their prospects.
Apart from education, another main factor that played a significant role in writing the Brave New World book was the illness that befell Huxley during his tender age. While still a teenager, Aldous suffered from eye problem that impaired his sight. Huxley had a dream of becoming a doctor. Nevertheless, as his sight continued deteriorating, it became hard for him to pursue his dream. Imaginativeness and sightlessness form part of the themes that defined his writings.
In writing the Brave New World, Huxley intended to bring out the level of blindness that was dominant in the society. Lenina asserts, “Of course they don’t. How can they? They don’t know what it’s like being anything else” (Huxley 50). Lenina signifies the level of complacency within society. His inclusion of pleasure drugs and promiscuity that cloud the society intended to portray the magnitude of blindness that infested the society.
People were blindly embracing all sorts of scientific and technological utopians without considering their effects. They believed it would help in eliminating their problems. Lenina asks Bernard “Why do you not take soma when you have these dreadful ideas. You would forget all about them” (Huxley 62). The society was unaware of the future effects of this utopia and Huxley believed that he had the duty to help it understand the repercussions of its actions.
Aldous Huxley was brought up in a background where love and culture were the social fabrics uniting the society (Smith 12). Families were united and the parents encouraged their children to study and practice all that was right. Mustapha Mond mutters, “Try to realize what it was like to have a viviparous mother” (Huxley 26), which underscores the value a family had in the past.
As the society continued to advance both scientifically and technologically, Huxley learnt that people were gradually doing away with the critical social fabrics that united society. Love and culture was gradually transforming into immorality and individualism. Huxley wrote the book to send a message that the continued technological and scientific advancements would rob the society of one of the most coveted thing, viz. love.
He writes, “Try to imagine what living with one’s family’ meant” (Huxley 27). He used satire to bring out the negative effects of civilization in a way that his readers would understand. The utopian happiness brought by scientific and technological advancement hinged on sacrifice, and to realize it, the society had to part with religion, art, and love. After enjoying parental love during his early age as well as the love of her wife in his later age, Huxley believed that love was the most critical aspect that kept the society together.
However, he felt that the demands presented by civilization were likely to tear apart love in society. He sought to sustain love within the society by showing how sexual promiscuity (brought about by civilization) demeaned love. Prior to the onset of civilization, both men and women fancied each other. Besides, they preserved sex since they believed that misusing it would mean dishonoring one another. Nevertheless, civilization allowed people to misuse sex thus treating women like prostitutes.
In his book, Huxley introduced the idea of the caste system to signify the division that was likely to emerge due to scientific and technological advancement. Mr. Foster asserts, “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas, or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future directors of Hatcheries” (Huxley 11).
The affluent people in the society would require the poor to work in their industries, farms, and homes. Hence, they would use all means to ensure that other people did not acquire education, which could liberate them from poverty. Mr. Foster confesses, “But in Epsilons we don’t need human intelligence” (Huxley 47), which proves that the affluent can ensure that the poor do not get education so that they remain their slaves.
According to Huxley, other castes developed the attitude of respecting Alphas who “work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever” (21). In this context, Alphas was the caste in the upper echelon, which symbolized the rich and educated. Aldous came from an educated background.
Hence, he had an idea of how the educated had the power to influence the uneducated. At some point, Mr. Foster claims, “Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it” (Huxley 13), which proves that the rich have the capacity to make the poor submit to all their demands. His physical blindness compelled him to expose the level of blindness towards science and technology that existed in the society.
People believed that technological advancement would have positive effects on their lives. However, according to Brave New World, scientific and technological advancements were meant to benefit the affluent at the expense of the poor. Huxley felt obliged to enlighten the society on this issue since he had the knowledge.
Writers rely heavily on their life experience when coming up with literary works. While some writers use their experience to enlighten or warn the society, others use it to castigate certain values brought about by civilization. One of the factors that influenced Huxley’s writing was his educational background and knowledge in science.
He used this experience to enlighten people on the dangers of embracing a utopian society. Another factor that influenced his writing was the blindness that affected him at a tender age. He felt that the society was blind about the dangers of civilization and he had the duty to open their eyes. His book aimed at helping the society to understand the dangers associated with civilization.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World, New York: Buccaneer Books, Inc., 1946. Print.
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, New York: Penguin, 1998. Print.
Smith, Grover. Letters of Aldous Huxley, New York: Harper & Row, 1969. Print.
Trimble, John. Writing with Style: Conversation on the Art of Writing, New York: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print.
Beauty and the Ugly
In Beauty and the Beast, the story unethically depicts how a female is seen through the eyes of a man, and how women should shouldn’t read books or it will give her ideas, it teaches children that since females are more irrational and emotional than men, then men have to watch over their every move. The story, a Disney classic, loved by everyone, is about a young woman named Belle who runs off after not wanting to marry a man obsessed with her and runs into the beast, who then grudgingly takes her in.
Eventually the beast becomes more comfortable with her, but doesn’t let her roam some parts of his castle, he falls in love with Belle and turns into the man he always was behind the curse. The film expresses many immortal messages, which are conveyed to young audiences as normal. Beauty and the Beast is the artifact I chose because it displays rape culture, obsessive relationships, and the idea of not empowering women.
In Beauty and the Beast rape culure is shown through the character, Gaston. Gaston is the hunk of the town, every girl is in love with him, but he has his eyes on one girl only. Gaston has the inability to take no for an answer, every time he asks Belle out she respectfully answers no and he always disagrees. Gaston is a misogynist, and his toxic masculinity poisons the provincial town Belle wants so desperately to leave. He always intimates in so many ways that he thinks he and Belle are destined to be together. ‘You should start thinking about??¦ your own??¦ children,’ he says in the film, gesturing at his body rather than hers. When he says that he is signaling sexual content which is not fit for children, and could be taken in a horrible way to some women.
The portrayal of the characteristics of rape culture in the Disney animated princess movies does not change over time, but does fluctuate depending on the plot and the interaction of the characters. Another example of rape culture is the theme of romantic kidnapping. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is kidnapped by the Beast and held captive in his palace. Even when she attempts to run away and is bombarded by wolves in the wilderness, the Beast comes to save her and yet imprisons her once more. However, this storyline of a happy ever after is flawed Belle was originally attempting to escape the Beast, her captor, and yet he is rewarded for taking her hostage once more. For kids to believe that kidnapping is romantic in any form at such a young age is extremely harmful to how they will grow up and learn to develop healthy relationships. Allowing a child to watch men take away the vehicle of choice for a woman teaches them it is exceptional and even normal.
Beauty and the Beast Analysis
In August of 2009, Jaycee Lee Dugard was discovered alive after she had actually been abducted in 1991, and she was still with her initial captor. Sources have actually specified that Dugard had actually established a case of Stockholm syndrome with the man who abducted her eighteen years back. A psychiatrist named Keith Ablow mentioned that “To keep one’s desperation and sorrow and rage for several years, would be too destructive to the human mind– so the human mind informs itself a story about safety and contentment to secure itself– that’s the essence of Stockholm Syndrome” (Engel).
For years, Stockholm syndrome has made an appearance in dozens of films; sometimes the entire plot focuses around it, sometimes it’s a vague recommendation. Nevertheless, one circumstances of Stockholm syndrome that is extremely pronounced, yet never ever dealt with occurs in Walt Disney’s Charm and the Beast (Trousdale 1991). Based on a French novel, Charm and the Beast was seriously well-known as being one of the very best love stories ever told, as it taught to like what is within, rather of being consumed by vanity; it was considered so successful that it was even the first animated film to be chosen for an Academy Award for best image.
Nevertheless, even with its vital and ticket office success, no one has actually addressed what type of love story Disney is promoting. The film Beauty and the Beast does not reveal a story of real love and admiration of inner appeal, however rather promotes the idea of Stockholm syndrome and falling for your abductor. When Belle goes on a mission to conserve her father, she ends up at a secluded castle, where she finds her daddy locked inside the dungeon at the top of a tower. The Monster, who rules the castle, uses to let her father go if Belle takes his location as prisoner.
His thinking for making her stay as his detainee is his hope of making her fall in love with him (and him with her) in order to break the curse upon him, his servants, and his castle. Right there we see that the Beast’s entire character inspiration is focused around Stockholm Syndrome, as he is attempting to make his prisoner, who he is holding against her will, fall for him. He is not kind at initially; he roars and yells, efficiently scaring the lady of his desires, and demands she follow his orders, just like any captor would.
Belle, on the other hand, is at first adamant about keeping her distance from the Beast, even when his enchanted furniture servants attempt to convince her that he’s really a “good guy”. Belle begins to have a change of heart after the Beast saves her from being eaten by wolves…she was almost eaten because she was attempting to escape. Even though the Beast saves her from the mean and scary wolves by bringing her back to her place of captivity, she’s so grateful for his “rescue” that she begins to think that he has the potential to be good.
A montage of cute interactions between the two characters then takes place, showing how the two are beginning to bond and feel something for one another, with barely a whisper of the fact that Belle is still being held against her will. The Beast lavishes upon her with food, music, and clothing; the gracious captor even deems a huge library in the castle to be hers, and she can access it any time she wants. How kind of him to give her full access to books inside a castle that she has no choice but to spend all of her time in.
He later creates a fancy date night for the two of them (still inside the castle) that even contains ballroom dancing. He finds out she is homesick, figures out he is in love with her, and let’s her go free. However, she later returns to the castle of her own free will in order to save his life. She professes her love, he turns into a handsome prince, and they live happily ever after at a castle that he now has permission to leave any time she wants.
Perhaps by the end of the film Belle really did love the Beast. Even so, her love was shaped and influenced by her self-created tale of “safety and contentment” altered opinion of him during her captivity in his castle. Disney’s version of this tale of Stockholm syndrome-based love seems to contain a great moral message for young girls: if you’re held captive by a hideous monster who is vying for your affection, just go ahead and fall in love, because he’ll turn beautiful.
Belle’s happy ending meant she never had to sue the beast for kidnapping, luckily for him. It’s a shame real life doesn’t follow Disney cartoons as often as it should. Just ask Jaycee. Her beast is still a beast; there was no prince at the end of her story. She got her freedom, yes, but no prince. That’s probably a good thing. It’s definitely better that beastly captors don’t change into rich and handsome men once their imprisoned object of desire returns their feelings; the justice system would never get anything done.
Authoritarian Methods of Control in Brave New World & V for Vendetta
People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people. The right to rule. What gives someone such a power you ask? Well there is a variety of different factors and qualities one must have such as strength and leadership but there is a single item that all need and that is control. Without the obedience and submission of the people governments will fail. The film “V for Vendetta” and the novel “Brave New World” both comment on the issue of misuse of technology and the control of the people.
V for Vendetta is the 2006 film adaptation by the Wachowski’s of the comic book of the same name created by Alan Moore. It is set in a futuristic dystopian world in which Britain is ruled by a totalitarian-fascist party, and follows the events triggered by a masked shadowy revolutionary known only as the letter V. Brave New World is Aldous Huxley’s controversial masterpiece, published in 1932 and is about a futuristic-dystopian world where the government has outlawed free-speech and individuality and uses psychological conditioning to control the people.
Now let me refocus on the theme at hand: control. The Norsefire party in V for Vendetta rises to power by offering the solution after a string of biological attacks on various establishments: a school, water plant and an underground train station. The fear inspired by these attacks was what made people give them the power to rule. The Wachowski’s have compared and likened the Norsefire party to the Nazi’s the world’s most famous fascist regime. The symbol of the Norsefire uses the same colours and a similar symbol to that of the traditional swastika. The Norsefire also had a similar rise to power as the Hitler regime. First Chancellor Sattler was seen as the saviour before revealing his true colours as a villain “fear became the tool of this government”. The Norsefire also engaged in genocide of homosexuals, Muslims, and ethnics. Rather than concentration camps those captured were placed in detention centres with the aim of testing biochemical and viruses. The Norsefire government represents what V is rebelling against and that is oppression and the abuse of power.
Similarly in Brave New World, the World State is built upon from the devastation of the Nine Year War, fear and confusion were the aid of both these governments and let them create and enforce their ideals. Both governments have destroyed and banned any material that goes against party policy. Brave New World has taken this to the extreme with all literature and arts having been destroyed since the beginning of the World State. The tool of control used by the World State is science, children are born from laboratories and are conditioned, and their lives are predetermined to create a unified machine. The motto of the World State accurately reflects this ideology “Community, Identity, Stability”; it calls for each class to identify within their ranking and to support the community with the aim of achieving stability. Characters like John and Valorie rebel and detest the notion of conformity.
John wishes to experience the world as it truly was meant to be “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” He hates the protected and sheltered state of the people of the world state and their dependency on soma. “Valorie is proud of being a lesbian and was captured because of it throughout her time at the detention centre she continues to fight whilst trying to stay true to herself and her identity. She leaves a note which becomes a source of inspiration for both V and Evey as she says “it was my integrity that was important…we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us”. By using the number of his room at the Larkhill detention centre V becomes a living symbol of Norsefire’s genocide and a motive for his vendetta beyond V’s rebellious goals, he also wishes to remind the people of Valerie’s message about their identity, their integrity and that they have the freedom to be themselves, no matter what anyone tells them they can or can’t be.
Freedom vs Happiness in Brave New World
There are many things that people pursue, such as wealth, prestige, or the latest technology. Of our many pursuits, the most essential are happiness and freedom. However, a question arises: can we possess both happiness and freedom? Most people may not have a clear answer for that. Brave New World, through the actions of its characters, reveals that there exists a conflict between the possession of the two ideas.
Lenina, having been conditioned to be happy, has unconsciously given up the ability to have freedoms.
From birth, she was assigned the role of beta plus, trained to not seek art, science or relationships. All of her material needs and wants are met. Nothing can make her feel sadness or desire. Thus, her motive to pursue freedom is non existent. If something against her conditioning comes up, she will feel confused and uncomfortable. While on vacation at the Savage Reservation, she witnesses the savage society, where people have families, religion, and natural aging.
She feels disgusted by it, “Too awful” (pg 116), so she goes on Soma holiday to forget about what she has seen. While over the roaring waves of the English Channel, Lenina cannot come to admire the beauty of nature, “She was appalled by the rushing emptiness… among the hastening clouds” (pg. 90). When John professes his love to her, Lenina is unable to understand his feelings, she’s only familiar with physical/sexual relationships, “For Ford’s sake John, talk sense… you’re driving me crazy” (pg. 191). Although her body is free, she lacks spiritual freedom, whether it be in terms of relationships, natural, or cultural beauty.
Opposite to Lenina, John grew up sharing the values of the Indians and William Shakespeare, which are in opposition to those of the World State. Once he comes in contact with “civilization”, he realises that his values are rejected by the “civilized” people. For example, he loves Lenina very much, but gets angry and insulted when she doesn’t understand his motives and tries to initiate sex, “get out of my sight or I’ll kill you” (pg. 194). When his mother dies, he becomes upset with the death conditioning of the children and interferes with it, “The savage looked down at him… did not even look round” (pg 207). Finally, frustrated with the “civilized” world, he tries to lead a group of Deltas by warning them on the negative effects
Conformity Vs. Nonconformity
Nonconformity is a force from one’s personal self to step outside of the norm and bring a sense of individuality to a world in which there is very little originality anymore. As a society, we are ruled by the media. They force their points of views down everyones throats without one’s consciousness even acknowledging so. We walk past billboards, view commercials, peek around all of our social media websites, and all the while our minds are being bred to be biased towards a certain fashion, a certain point of view, as far as even a music choice which is most preferable.
To step outside of this commonality in today’s society to the eye doesn’t seem too difficult. In everyone’s minds they are “unique”, “original”, and “creative”. What we don’t notice is how this seems to be what everybody believes, yet the fashion, attitude, whatever is as a phase and a trend. To truly step outside is a great leap and it’s not simply acknowledging just how original you are, it’s to live your life everyday in not simply the same consistency but in such a way that you aren’t driven to stand out or fit in.
It’s a numbness to either side of the spectrum. Being able to cope and not be judged based upon an individual’s nonconformity today is not as hard as it was in the past, however it is still picked upon.
It’s only natural to separate the one that does not belong, as seen in many animal species when an animal is bred with a genetic deformity causing it to not belong, thus being shunned by the rest of the basic of the species. Today, even, one of the main controversies is homosexuality. Despite all the recent movements and reformities of the law, gay male and females are still ridiculed. Sometimes to the point of suicide or even such bizarre, violent bullying leading to near fatal wounds and mental scars. So in a sense, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous aphorism is correct. “For non-conformity the world whips you with displeasure.” From personal experience, I cannot recall a certain point in time when my nonconformity has been looked down upon, however I do believe that I fit in such a space between conformity and nonconformity. If you were to judge based upon pure physical factors, I would say that I do not choose to dress myself in a way to stand out, simply on personal taste with a hint of outside influence. Mentally, I believe I do have an abstract method of thinking. I enjoy questioning things and learning, which is growing more uncommon in today’s generation.
Colleges tend to lean towards the unconventional way of thinking. After a professor has read so and so many papers from his hundreds to thousands of students, things can get a bit repetitive and uninteresting. A writing that stands out tends to create excitement with extra attention. This is how you show yourself, as a student, just the potential that you do harness. The ability to think outside of the box and express your thoughts and perspective in a way that invokes thought is a way to prove not only that you understand yourself, but it also is a way to even provoke questions that would allow somebody to learn something new. However abundant and appreciated nonconformity may be in today’s society in the novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, this approach to life is completely opposite. Within the “Brave New World” conformity is a method in which this society prospers and maintains control. From the time people are born in this society they are taught how to think, what to believe, and where they belong. This method forces people to grow just exactly how the government wants them to grow. This society is controlled using various methods. If you feel any sort of emotion, which would then create individuality, you just take a “Soma”.
This drug eliminates every feeling. If you feel sad, take a Soma. If you are overly excited or ambitious, take a Soma. Another method is how it is a norm to sleep around with other people frequently. In today’s society if you practice “free love” or do not have emotionally attached sex then you are awfully judged and are pegged names that deem you somebody not to get close to. In “Brave New World” the opposite is so, and if you have sex with a person regularly you are then criticized. This operates control in order to detach love from sex, for love is a feeling which would separate you in this world. John the Savage is an excellent example for what happens when a nonconformist steps foot into this society. After his displeasing trip, he tries to change the way things are run. He spreads word of how he was raised. Even hearing the word “mother” gives people there an uncomfortable feeling because they were not raised, they were not nurtured, they were engineered. After all is said and done John is banished, but before he can reach that point he simply falls to depression causing his most unfortunate suicide at the end of the book. To conform is an easy task for the simple minded. It is a meager achievement to breeze through life without questioning outside of what you are taught to accept. To go above and beyond displays a true thinker, someone worth remembering for what they believed- a nonconformist.
Orwell vs Huxley
Society was greatly under the impact of the work of Orwell’s 1984, mesmerized by its puzzling message it left on people. The result from this novel left them in panic and shock. Neil Postman, a modern social critic was a person who derailed this misconception and highlighted upon the similarly dreadful social values of Huxley’s Brave New World to base his assertions on.
This potential slump is implemented by our society’s laziness and absence of any understanding of our history, which could further drag us as a population to the unavoidable of the awful society that Huxley has sculpted, the caring injustice that starkly contrasts to Orwell’s less irrelevant injustice under force.
Work is frequently the bane of lots of people’s existence in our society, however why else would man develop the alarm clock, Picasso when stated. Our society is exceptionally lazy, for we must “take into consideration man’s almost infinite cravings for distractions.” Modern innovations such as the television only aided in heightening this impact.
Tv programs such as Honey Boo gathered more views than the Republican politician Convention itself when it initially aired, revealing the apparent ignorance and intrinsic laziness of our society.
If we catch this very same laziness, it only makes it much easier as a population for the federal government to control and abuse us for a many amount of time, quickly making the most of our prospective unfamiliarity of current occasions and other crucial news, therefore, making us, a gullible society, a simple target for the government to select through the best satisfaction as specified by Huxley’s Brave New World. In addition, our society is immature and young, specified by their consistent quarrels of each other, and for reprehensible reasons to support.
For as long as humans existed, as an innovative race, we could never obtain a high level of peace and prosperity for extended periods of time with one another, only working for the advantage of themselves and not on a typical goal. Such significant occasions include the melancholic period of the 20th century, World War 2, in which Hitler mercilessly butchered countless Jews for the service of a non-existent Aryan race when he might have utilized that exact same time to peacefully repair the issues in a more humane matter.
This event proves the animalistic and manipulative nature of humans when given some immense power. As a result, these examples emphasize Postman’s beliefs of Brave New World and reinforce the message within the novel, proving to be a completely possible prediction if we keep allowing ourselves to be “drowned in a sea of irrelevance, -to adore the technologies that undo [our] capacities to think.”
The passage of time flows on without hesitation and history is forever emblazoned in its forever extending ribbon; human history is no exception as time violently twists and turns toward the present. We increasingly find the importance of history in our education to be utmost crucial, in that way, not only do we know ourselves as humans better, but also prevent disastrous mistakes made by previous humans and civilizations again in the future.
As profound as it is, its relevance in society is slowly fading as people are slowly losing this vital knowledge to the point of being merely esoteric to select individuals. Postman predicts that because of this, he, as well as the author, Huxley fears “that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.” Scarily, it could come true, given the right pre-requisites. It’s apparent that our history is slowly disappearing from minds left and right: society itself is proof of what a terrible feat is currently being undergone if not stopped. As people glue themselves onto TV’s and other distractions, it’s seemingly impossible to persuade an audience to learn history, even if it was a short and concise lesson.
This butchering of history is further exercised by the History Channel itself. Its name, self explanatory, is not a history channel in itself, despite what it persuades you to think it appears. It has been reduced to a mere entertainment channel in which broadcasts many programs completely irrelevant to history such as several truckers traveling across Arctic regions and hillbilly folk. What purpose does this serve for history? Channels with historical content are few and far between and the History Channel proves to be a hollow shell with little historical substance from time to time as to The Learning Channel and MTV within their own rights.
The effects are disastrous that if left untreated, society will be left uninformed and unable to create decisions based on the context of history, only spearheading the collapse of society or the formation of a dystopia. This easily means that anyone or anything could easily control a mass of people without backlash, as if we were a mass of zombies. Greater contribution towards the expanding insignificance of history is the desensitization of it as well.
The desensitization of history is the decreasing emotional response toward history or an altogether different response toward the subject. Movies, novels, and even works of art provide the greatest examples of the romanticizing of history at its worst. People commonly draw conclusions that these situations depicted in these forms are greater or even worse than they actually are in reality; this results in the complete misconception of their history and thus forms a desensitizing bond toward that particular strand of human history.
If this were to occur on such a widespread scale on a very broad audience, our under-estimation of history would be merely reduced to “a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.” In the end, we would be subject to complete control of an oppressive force if we haven’t possess the knowledge to counter those who wish to rule the government, essentially a society without a base to support itself if deprived of its roots.
As grim as Huxley’s Brave New World’s take on society is, all is not lost as we have the willpower to support ourselves all the way through the discords of time. Huxley and Orwell feared that our society was too lazy for its own good. This may be true to an extent, but perhaps reasons behind this explanation are that we are simply far too advanced. It may well be understood that society has gotten too complacent as we reached far levels higher in groups such as technology than our ancestors have ever hoped to achieve within their lifetime.
This probably resulted in a more lenient tone amongst society in most modern areas such as the United States and viewed to be problematic by a few contemporaries. Collapse seems far too unlikely to occur under these conditions. We are people who are standing on top of pillars of previous civilizations who helped shape and perfect the ideal society, however, it is debatable that such a society is able to foster such minds to think beyond normality and thus spawned many enriched works of literature such as Brave New World and 1984. With such a rich human history combined, theories like these may question the boundary of what reality is and what fiction is.
We also believe that the history of ourselves would soon fade from existence due to society’s toll on our humanity. However, it simply isn’t possible for history to disappear off the face of the Earth for reasons that transcend upon human personality. As we are human, we cannot control our influences that shape who we are and evidently our interests. These interests could be anything and history is a prime example of one of the multitudes of interests in the world.
This is manifested by the constant discoveries of many historical artifacts and evidence that further supply our thirst for history, to obtain a complex view of the world that was once modern. We can’t assume everyone is void of this knowledge, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn the basics and fundamentals of it, as challenging as it may seem. Postman may believe that society may soon fall as we know it, but it proves no means that we are ignorant, cynical, and dimwitted by nature.
In conclusion, Postman was a social critic who based his social ideas on Huxley’s Brave New World. It was under the assumption that society’s laziness and the seemingly esoteric knowledge of history amongst people would prove to be catalysts towards disaster and strengthen the ideas of a bleak society, namely a society controlled through our pleasure.
However, reality is a threshold that holds this idea in place as it must be taken account of the uniqueness of human beings and the analysis of truly how advanced our society is and the long strides it took to get where we are today. Postman often pondered on the thought of what we would do to society, but the question still remains of what would society do to us?