Brave New World

139

The Effect of Technology on Humanity in the World State

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

Humanity can be defined as a combination of ones own morals, benevolence, and experiences in life. There are a multitude of things that could quickly diminish humanity, including technology. In many instances, technology could be a positive impact to society.

However, if used for the wrong reasons, it could be a catalyst in the eventual disfigurement of humanity. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, one of the most important aspects of human life is the technology involved in the World State. In the novel, technology has a negative relationship with humanity as seen through various types of technology such as, scientifically generating children, hypnopedia, and Soma.

One of the most important aspects of an individuals humanity is their benevolence. Most of the time, an individual will develop their good-heartedness based upon life lessons provided by parents. In the novel, however, the children are scientifically developed in a lab through a process called bokanovskification. This process is used to increase the number of embryos generated from just one ovum. (Huxley, 1932, p.17). Towards the beginning of the novel, the Director of the fertilizing center gives a tour to children in which they are flabbergasted at the mention of the word parent. The Director is forced to explain, In brief the parents were the father and the mother (Huxley, 1932, p.32). The citizens have little knowledge on what a family is, which means that the important life lessons that should have been communicated by the parents have not been. The citizens must rely on the false sense of humanity that was given to them by the government in their fertilization process. Additionally, in this section of the novel, Huxley greatly speaks upon the topic of technology and how it can make an individual even less of a human. In the process of bokanovskification, the scientists will categorize the embryos into certain hereditary classes.

The Director describes the creation of the lower castes: Reducing the number of revolutions per minute The surrogate goes round slower; therefore passes through the lung at longer intervals; therefore gives the embryo less oxygen. Nothing like oxygen-shortage to keep an embryo below par (Huxley, 1932, p.24). Essentially, their humanity is superficially created for them through the scientific process which means that the human does not have the ability to improve or alter their humanity. Today, this can be seen through the dangers of gene splicing to cut out certain diseases in offspring. If this technology is used incorrectly, this will create a negative impact on what it means to be human and the child will not get to decide for themselves who they want to be. Ultimately, by creating these children in the lab, they are taking away their ability to shape their own benevolence which damages their humanity. Secondly, humanity is centered around the decisions that an individual may make and the morals that are developed. In the novel, the citizens are incapable of making their own decisions due to conditioning. The process of hypnopeadia is described as, Theyll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday.

A hundred and twenty times three times a week for thirty months (Huxley, 1932, p.35). If a human is taught how to perfectly act, then the worth of ones humanity will diminish. People will not be focused on being good because they will be previously manipulated to act or believe a certain way. In this sense, Huxley is showing how technology can be utilized to brainwash and diminish the worth of a human. A real-world example of this could be Pavlovs conditioning, in which the brain responds to a certain neutral stimulus upon sound or sight. Furthermore, the conditioning does not allow one to know right verses wrong. In one scene, nosy children are watching over John the savages deathly ill mother in the hospital which he describes as disgraceful. The nurse replies, Disgraceful? But what do you mean? Theyre being death-conditioned. (Huxley, 1932, p.184). The children, who do not know they are doing wrong, are being taught that death is normal to escape the mourning that may prolapse ones death. They will not be capable of developing what is right or wrong nor grow as a person due to anothers death. An individuals humanity will be directly affected since they will not be learning from certain aspects of their life.

All in all, the individuals will not be capable of learning from their mistakes or knowing right verses wrong which leads to the disfigurement of humanity. Lastly, perhaps the most controlling type of technology, Soma, greatly impacts the experiences of the citizen. Soma functions as a drug, in which the citizens have been conditioned to believe is an all-powerful substance to solve all their problems. A large part of the development of ones humanity is the perception that a person has about the world. To be truly human, one must be capable of understanding the suffering as well as the evil of the world. In the novel, the citizens describe their escape as,the warm, the richly colored, the infinitely friendly world of soma-holiday. How kind, how good-looking, how delightfully amusing everyone was! (Huxley, 1932, p.79). The power of Soma is putting the citizens in a trance where nothing can harm them mentally. This creates superficial happiness and blocks out suffering. There is no possibility of knowing what true happiness is if one does not know the feeling of true sorrow. The citizens are unable to truly formulate their humanity because they do not have a worthy perception of the world around them. The technology, overall, has a harsh impact on humanity because it disfigures what it means to be human, which Huxley is attempting to state multiple times in the novel.

Moreover, Soma is utilized so frequently that there is not a moment in which the characters are able to fully view the world on their own free will. It is not uncommon to hear one character telling another, you look glum! What you need is a gramme of soma (Huxley, 1932, p.65). The perception of the outside world is majorly misguided and ones humanity has little ability to progress and be worthy when it is forgotten. A real-world example of this would be drugs, alcohol, sex, and other items with addictive qualities, which blur the perception that one may have of the universe. If perception is disfigured, then humanity is not worth anything. Overall, technology, as shown by Huxley, can greatly discolor ones view of the world which prohibits them from improving their humanity. In closing, scientifically generating children, hypnop?¦dia, and Soma are all forms of technology that document a negative impact on the humanity of society. Huxley is attempting to show how technology can greatly diminish a humans worth and make an individual much less human. Huxley repetitively states how technology can erase the perception, worth or even identity of a person. This is like todays society and it could be argued that it also has a negative impact on humanity today. All in all, the relationship between technology and humanity is entirely negative and could lead to drastic measures if it is not controlled.

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187

Aldous Huxley and Drugs

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

First, everyone can become a victim of drugs, whether they are illegal or legal. Even the author Aldous Huxley, wasnt even able to resist drugs. In the 1950s, Huxley became popular for his interest in mind-expanding drugs like mescaline and LSD, which he seemed to take over a period of ten years. Sybille Bedford says, he searched for a drug that allowed him an escape of himself and that it would be physically and social harmless, if it would be taken with care.

Even though you can see that Huxley knew exactly what he was talking about when he described the experiences of people taking the drug Soma. In Brave New World only the two legal drugs exist, alcohol and Soma, even though alcohol can only be found in the reservation. In contrast to the book we find lots of legal drugs in today’s society that don’t seem like drugs. Things such as, alcohol, medicine, caffeine, nicotine, etc. You wont find any illegal drugs in the Brave New World of Huxley because all the drugs they take are ordered by the government. In our world however, there are many drugs that are illegal and if you get caught selling them or taking them you will most likely get in trouble. For example there is LSD, Meth, Cocaine, Heroine, Crack.

Next, Another difference between the two worlds is the attitude society has towards drugs in the New World and in ours. Society in Brave New World is used to taking soma by their first hypnopaedia lessons, where they are instructed what is necessary for the stability of their system. The lower classes, e.g. the epsilons, deltas and gammas, take regular doses of soma every day. The upper classes can mainly choose on their own how much and how often they need to take soma to flee to the world they would like to be in.

In Brave New World societys opinion, soma is something that belongs to everyone, and a without it they cant survive. The ones who want to live without it have to accept a life as an outsider of society. In todays society, legal drugs are mainly used to calm down,or forget about stuff, like cigarettes. As a kid you drink alcohol at parties or smoke with your friends. You also take medicional, and some people take anabolic substances to achieve better results in their athletic activities. Most illegal drugs are taken just to become high or to feed the dependence youve created.Society in our world is used to seeing people take legal drugs because they are allowed to be taken in public places. Illegal drugs, on the other hand, make you an outsider of society.The people in the New World get soma for free because it is, as already mentioned, all ordered and offered by the government.In comparison to that you have to pay for drugs in our world, and most of them have expensive prices that are only affordable to people with enough money.Legal drugs, however, arent as expensive as the illegal ones.This has the consequence that many people have to commit crimes and go into prostitution to buy the drugs they depend on. Yet each time they get what they want, they become more and more sick.Although everything for the people in Brave New World is great and everyone is happy and uninhibited if they get their lovely soma, they are also often dependent on the drug.Brave New World government supports soma to ensure passiveness of its people and thereby the stability of their created world. Alcohol, on the contrary, seems like an illegal drug in the New World because you become an outsider by drinking it, though it is not forbidden by the government.In our world legal drugs are tolerated by the government, but they are age-restricted.

All in all you might say both worlds wouldnt work without drugs, which more and more people need to calm down with the help of drugs. People in the Brave New World have fewer things to get attached to then our society today, but you can see how much just two things can affect an entire world.

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145

Utopian Society in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

Published in 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote the fictional Brave New World. Huxley uses a utopian world with characters of different social statuses to portray what would happen to an individual’s freedom when those in power, such as the Government, have the ability to misuse science as well as change societies thoughts. Huxley uses different characters to portray issues of human sexuality that we can even see today.

He shows how these issues on sexuality are formed by the pressures on a society whose sex is controlled by those of higher power as a means of stability for mass consumption and power. Huxley tries to connect this to the real world by showing the tragedy that follows a society when our basic human rights are taken away and our perception is altered to the point that we no longer portray our emotions.

Society in the New World is controlled entirely by the World State. Huxley shows how they are able to genetically engineer people by explaining the bottling room where babies rather born by conception are mass produced chemically in a laboratory type setting. Conditioning is essential as it will determine the jobs and social status they will be placed in depending on their chemical levels of strength and intelligence. Huxley shows how the World State conditions everyone through shock therapy and hypnopedia. The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time (Huxley, 2014, pg. 25), in order for the individuals to be prepared to live in a certain class of the caste system; that is the secret of happiness and virtue liking what youve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny. (Huxley, 2014, pg.13-14). The World State uses these forms of conditioning as a way to try and eliminate all emotions and change people’s thinking in order to maintain a stable, functioning society. No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy to preserve you, so far as that is possible, from having emotions at all (Huxley, 2014, pg. 40). The World State also tries to ensure that all individuals stay happy by conditioning them to believe that everybody belongs to everybody else (Huxley, 2014, pg. 108), meaning, they are conditioned to be sexually active with as much as they want with as many partners as they want; this is because the World State knows that sex is equal to happiness, and happiness is equal to stability. Huxley, through the use of children, shows a type of conditioning called erotic play in where children are taught from a young age to engage with each other in a sexual manner; this little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play. Id noticed it once or twice before. And now again to-day (Huxley, 2014, pg. 28) This is so that they can instill in them from a young age to learn the behaviors of sex, so they may engage at a young age in order to find happiness, but sterile. Guaranteed sterile (Huxley, 2014, pg. 10). The World State is able to as well make the decision to sterilize some women for the intent for them to not conceive, and for those not sterile they provide birth control and abortions as a means of contraception since they still need eggs for their mass consumption.

Huxley portrays one of the characters Lenina, as almost equal to the conditioned citizens of the World State. She has learned to not have feelings of love, or any other emotions and uses her sexuality as means to feel happiness just like other citizens in the World State. Huxley also introduces us to John Savage, another character, to portray the only person different from the rest because of the fact he has a mother whose name is Linda. Since he was conceived, he was never conditioned by the World State and experiences all the emotions of fear, love, passion and read books on Shakespeare to learn of how sexuality was portrayed and used in the past.

When Lenina travels to the savage reservation they end up meeting John, where he eventually travels to London, unknown territory he has only read about from his books. This proves to be a very different world than what John was expecting and since he grew up reading Shakespeare and unconditioned, he struggles to find a place in the New World and eventually falls in love with Lenina, he eventually tells her this when she comes to his room; How much I love you, Lenina he brought out almost desperately…Its like that in Shakespeare too. If thou dost break her virgin knot before all sanctimonious ceremonies may with full and holy rite (Huxley, 2014, pg. 172-173). Johns only true knowledge about sex and how to have intimacy only comes from his readings of Shakespeare, making him full of emotions and feelings of love, unlike Lenina who lacks these intimate feelings. Still wearing her shoes and socks, and her rakishly tilted round white cap, she advanced towards him. Darling. Darling! If only youd said so before! She held out her arms (Huxley, 2014, pg. 175-176). Lenina tries to make John want her by using the only methods she knew how which was to seduce him to have sex with her. However, this fails because of his emotions of passion, love, and respect for her and yells at Lenina. Lenina runs out to escape his madness, and fullness of emotions she’s never seen anyone exhibit before. Stupefied by soma, and exhausted by a long-drawn frenzy of sensuality, the Savage lay sleeping in the heather. (Huxley, 2014, pg. 236). In the end we can see how John becomes overwhelmed with emotions and tired of fighting his sexual desires, and ends up giving in and conforming to the rest of society. Someone began to chant Orgy-Porgy and begans to draw John into the sexual ritual where he ends up conforming. After he realizes what he has done, and feeling full of guilt and shame, he hangs himself (Huxley, 2014, pg. 237). Huxley shows this last scene to portray how Johns passionate feelings towards love and intimacy are swallowed up in a society that has been conditioned to use sex for a means to find happiness, with all emotions drowned out.

Brave New World should change people to see how members of our own society have already fallen into these same types of sexual habits where we have completely disconnected feelings of love and intimacy from sex. We have seen this portrayed on the topic of porn in our society, and how it typically shows penetration only, rather than the passion, love and desire that is associated with intimacy. Brave New World can also change societies thoughts about homosexuality, how it used to be seen as a mental illness and that stigmatization was fed into society and is slowly overcoming stigmatized norms, becoming more widely accepted. Brave New World can be useful to show as a comparative of how our Government can influence individuals in the sense through the use of sexuality in ads, media, celebrities, and politics. Looking at this extreme world Huxley portrays can make people see how our Government has already, and continues to control societies thought on about what is socially acceptable in terms of human sexuality. Huxley shows how when only a single individual stands out against a mind-altered society they end up consumed by their ways which ultimately leads to a tragic ending for not only the individual, but society as a whole.

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266

Brave New World Compared to 1984

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

Brave New World and 1984 are similar in illustrating a dystopic version of society, where the state strips individuals of their deepest humanities. The two governments illustrated, however, choose very different ways in which they control the individuals to achieve their societal goals. Brave New World succeeds in this, by the government making life satisfying for its people, through their conditioning, consumerism, sex and drugs (soma).

The people believe that they are happy in the society which they live, and dont realize that they have been stripped of the opportunities to seek love, endure pain, consume things like art or religion, which are all things that make us feel fully human. The governmental party of 1984, accomplishes this by trampling outer Party members into allegiance through economic distress, fear, surveillance, and dumbing down the language.

Brave New World is a novel about a future society where everything is under the authority of the government. The current hype in technology is paraded around as individuals have their own helicopters and can travel from place to place very quickly. Children are not born, rather they are incubated using embryos from females that are then fertilized. During the gestation process their social status is pre-determined, this allows the government the ability to ensure that any one social group, does not have the ability to grow larger than the other. This creates equality amongst the groups. Once children are incubated and born, they are continually conditioned to consume goods in the capitalist system and to support society by participating in activities. By not allowing the citizens to have extra time on their hands, this leaves not time for contemplation or fruitless thoughts. Because the only focus in this society is the present and future, history is neither taught nor is it recorded. In this society you can have sex with whoever you want and whenever you want, because sex in this culture is purely for enjoyment and recreational purposes. Citizens in this society dont have parents or siblings, and they dont get married. If one starts to feel any type of human emotions or overwhelmed, they take the drug soma, which makes them feel relaxed and worriless.

The novel 1984 is different in its view of the future and how the governmental control would affect society. Opposed to the society of Brave New World where technology is readily available to all its citizens, 1984 only allows the use of technology to the Party and upper castes of the government. Modern conveniences are not for everyone in this society, the rest of society has to do with broken-down housing, terrible food, and artificial gin. Everywhere in society they endure the fear of being monitored, in each home they have telescreens which watch their activities and continually display governmental ads to help continue the brainwashing and conditioning. The government uses the Ministry of Truth to control history by re-writing it to suit their needs at any time. The government in this novel is known as Big Brother.

While 1984 and Brave New World both depict a government focused on totalitarianism, they each approach it in their own way. Huxley focuses on the happiness of its citizens by keeping them satisfied with their lives, as well as encouraging sex and the use of drugs. On the other hand, Orwell uses media to endure fear and violence into its citizens in order to control the society. The telescreens are never allowed to be powered off and the citizens are in a state of perpetual anguish, that they may be caught for a thought crime and punished. In contrast Brave New Worlds focal point is making citizens happy with the life and class that they were assigned. They are conditioned from the time they are born, throughout their childhood, with the social views and thoughts that are predetermined for the class in which they were assigned. This keeps everyone focused on the trivial things in life, without looking for a deeper meaning in life. If everyone is satisfied or content with life, then no one will have a need to rebel against it. While both governments use different forms of control in order to maintain the society in which they live, the main difference lies in the use of punishment or reward as its motivation.

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130

“Look on my works ye mighty and despair!” [Shelley]: A Comparison of Three Dystopian Novels.

June 13, 2019 by Essay Writer

“Brave New World”, “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” all use their dystopian worlds to engage in moral discussion, critically assessing the morals that the world deems to be ‘correct’. In the face of destruction, the characters in the novels must evaluate their morality, the right course of action that will sustain mankind is unclear. Aldous Huxley, John Wyndham and Alan Moore each invite us to examine how the world presently behaves in order to prevent devastation in the future. Their imagined post-apocalyptic realities attempt to prevent the vanity of mankind from steering into an abyss. If we scrutinise our views now, we can prevent, for instance, a possible controlling autocracy: no one will need to ask the question “Who watches the watchmen?” (Chapter 1, p.9, Panel 7)#. In each novel, mankind itself brings about the brink of extinction. The underlying cold war tensions of the Cold War in “Watchmen” and “The Day of the Triffids” show how the vanity of man and the tendency of individuals and nations to consider themselves ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than others creates the potential for disaster. As a consequence, man is reminded of his own contingency. Because of the arrogance of their creators, these empires of man are contingent and easily removed. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias may proclaim that he is “king of kings”, but “nothing beside remains”. The vanity of man is ultimately his downfall and the reason for humanity’s volatility and fragility. The crisis in each of these dystopian novels raises questions about morality. Where Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia” posits the solution of an imagined perfect society, which provides a contrast to his 16th Century civilisation, these dystopian novels conversely focus on the negative in the current moral value system and take it to its logical conclusion.Although writing in very different times, for each author the central theme is a debate over morality. Huxley’s “Brave New World”, published 1932, exists on the border between dystopia and utopia. The novel’s morality system appears justified to the inhabitants of its civilisation, but seems decidedly dystopian to the majority of readers. Unlike George Orwell’s “1984”, in which the Continent of Oceania is obviously flawed, the society Huxley creates is significantly more ambiguous Huxley’s advanced society revolves around the concept that “Everybody’s happy nowadays”# (p.79) because the world is supposedly perfect. Additionally, everyone is encouraged to take a drug that stimulates happiness known as “soma”2 (p.78). Parts of the belief system are nevertheless presented negatively. The novel suggests that handing out antidepressants to the population is probably not the solution to society’s problems. Tom Andrews contends that “To count as a dystopia [an imaginary place], must be an expression of fear” (p.ix). By exaggerating contemporary views, Huxley implies that eventually we will be reliant on antidepressants for our happiness. This aspect of “Brave New World” is certainly expressing fear and so can be seen as decidedly dystopian.Thomas More suggests, similarly, that happiness and pleasure should not be based on artificial substances or objects. The Utopians assert, “once you get used to [artificial pleasure], you lose all capacity for real pleasure, and are merely obsessed by illusory forms of it”# (p.74). More asks, “what about those people who accumulate superfluous wealth, for no better purpose than to enjoy looking at it? hes their pleasure a real one, or merely a form of delusion?” 3 (p.75). he gives this example, an equivalent of soma, as a pleasure that is ultimately detrimental. However, as opposed to just negatively analysing contemporary values, More provides a more positive account. He makes a direct comparison between current society and the Utopian society, whereas “Brave New World” sheds a disapproving light on contemporary values by progressing such values into a disastrous future. More gives an account of two “real pleasures” 3 (p.76). he contends that, “Mental pleasures include the satisfaction that one gets from understanding something” and “Physical pleasures… are those which fill the whole organism with a conscious sense of enjoyment” 3 (p.76). More highlights problems with society, which transcend the 16th Century, but provides a positive solution in the form of his Utopian island. hen contrast, “Brave New World” posits a solution by describing its opposite.Huxley’s society aims to promote universal ‘happiness’ by promoting sexual promiscuity. Common morality is reversed in “Brave New World”. Promiscuous sex is far from taboo: it is almost compulsory. As the character Fanny asserts, “het’s such horribly bad form to go on… with one man” 2 (p.34). She tells Lenina, “she ought to be a little more promiscuous” 2 (p.36). Huxley’s society has been designed so that everyone is happy all of the time. het is believed that sexual freedom will contribute to the people’s overall well being. By “hav[ing]” 2 (p.38) anybody one wishes, no one is “compelled to live through a long time interval between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfilment” , thus sparing people from “strong… horrible emotions” 2 (p.38). However, whilst More concedes that “sexual intercourse” 3 (p.77) is a form of “physical pleasure” 3 (p.76), he does not go so far as Huxley suggests society may go. “Brave New World” amplifies changing attitudes to sex and implies that eventually people will be “hav[ing]” 2 (p.38) anyone they choose. The sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and the spirituality of sexual intercourse will be made redundant. Huxley’s world goes so far as to encourage “erotic play” 2 (p.27) in small children. Huxley’s contemporary morality is under threat, and he seems to be warning society through his seemingly utopian world. The fundamental concept behind this sexual activity is encapsulated in the phrase “everyone belongs to everyone else” 2 (p.37). According to the novel’s societal codes solidarity is condoned and being alone is disallowed. This premise allows and encourages everybody to take part in promiscuous sex, which supposedly removes the unfulfilled desires from the human psyche that cause distress. The phrase “everyone belongs to everyone else” suggests Socialist values. Within the lore of the novel, the countries of the world have been united into one harmonious continent, in a Communist fashion. Where More’s “Utopia” is arguably a beneficial Communist system, Huxley’s world appears to focus on the negation of human freedoms that such a system on a large scale invokes. hen “Utopia” More describes a “shopping centre in the middle of [each of the town districts]… [in which] the products of every household are collected in warehouses, and then distributed according to type among various shops” 3 (p.60). This system of pooling resources closely resembles Communist collective farms. Huxley’s society once again appears to be progressing ideas, in this case Marxist socialism, to their logical and negative conclusion. The brave new world in the novel, at times, looks as if it could be an utopian world in which everyone is happy due to the Communist system; however the novel ultimately ends with “a pair of… dangled feet… just under the crown of the archway” 2 (p.229). hen that the savage hangs himself in the dénouement, the novel highlights the problems that Huxley’s society produces from concepts about sexual freedom and functioning almost like a Socialist society.In “Day of the Triffids”, published 1951, traditional morals are called into question in discussions on repopulation. As everyone has been blinded, it seems necessary to start having as many sighted babies as possible. hen “Brave New World” monogamous relationships are not considered ‘correct’. A similar attitude is also present in Wyndham’s novel. Doctor Vorless states, “We can afford to support a limited number of women who cannot see, because they will have babies who can see. We cannot afford to support men who cannot see”. he concludes, “hen our new world, then, babies become very much more important than husbands”# (p.120). Traditional loyalties have become redundant through circumstance. Josella thinks that “if [she was] those people in there… [she] should divide us up into lots. [She] should say every man who marries a sighted girl must take on two blind girls as well” 4 (p.124). People are forced by their situation to change their attitudes towards sex and marriage. hen the face of adversity, an intense moral debate is undertaken. After Doctor Vorless’ speech, a woman inquires, “are we to believe that the last speaker is advocating free love… he am asking if he suggests the abolition of the marriage law” 4 (p.121). her moral stance competes with the pragmatism that Vorless advocates. Not all the moral codes can be correct. Wyndham shows that on the brink of destruction complicated moral decisions must be made in order to survive. The woman claims, “There is still God’s law” (p.121) 4. She pursues a blind faith in religion and does not adapt to circumstance, which is her eventual downfall when she later creates a Christian society that is destroyed.“Brave New World” similarly suggests that faith in God is counter-intuitive in modern civilisation as it is “old”. Both authors call into question the reality of God and belief in Him in modern life. Mustapha Mond says, “[religious texts] are about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now” 2 (p.204). Religion is outdated and the continuation of belief is stultifying modern society. henstead, Huxley’s imagined society places its faith in the work of Sigmund Freud and in henry Ford. These figures represent human ideas that have revolutionised the world and the way we think about it. The inhabitants of “Brave New World” have combined these two figures into the concept of “Our Ford” 2 (p.27) and sometimes, when talking about psychology “Our Freud” 2 (p.33), which represents everything that the two men created and developed. Freudian ideas such as the Oedipus complex influence Huxley’s civilisation and are fundamental to the novel’s society. Mustapha Mond asserts, “Our Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life” 2 (p.33). As a result of this theory every human is developed ‘in vitro’ so as to eliminate ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ whose presence supposedly filled the world with “madness and suicide” 2 (p.33). The abolition of marriage and perhaps the destruction of the family unit are the destination of Doctor Vorless’ pragmatic society in “The Day of the Triffids”. Philosophy may be seen as ‘right’, considering the situation, but is obviously not ideal morally. Wyndham assesses society’s current moral values and concludes that they may lead to catastrophe. The widespread blindness that has afflicted the population of the Earth, it transpires, is due to a malfunctioning satellite weapon. The protagonist, Bill Masen, says that there were “unknown numbers of satellite weapons circling round and round the Earth” and asks us to “suppose that one type happened to have been constructed especially to emit radiations that our eyes would not stand… Then suppose there were a mistake, or perhaps an accident… which starts some of these things popping…” 4 (p.247). When creating a dangerous universe of satellite weapons, Wyndham describes the Russo-American tension during the Cold War, which saw the invention of henter Continental Ballistic Missiles (heCBMs) and other such satellite operated destructive devices. When Masen deduces, “we brought this lot down on ourselves” 4 (p.247) Wyndham implies that humanity has become carried away with technological advances and that some in particular have the potential to undo human existence. he brings the nuclear arms race to its dystopian conclusion in “The Day of the Triffids”, emphasising the need to acknowledge nuclear weapons as a serious threat to mankind. “Watchmen” shares this concern with the progression of technology and specifically the threat of nuclear fallout. The conclusion to Chapter 4 quotes Albert Einstein: “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking… The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. hef only he had known, he should have become a watchmaker”1 (Chapter 4, p.28). Though humans have created weapons with enormous destructive capabilities, we have not grasped the need for extreme care. That Einstein wished that he had had nothing to do with creation of the atom bomb underlines its ominous nature. “Watchmen” encapsulates the darkest element of nuclear weaponry through the motif of the Doomsday Clock. Throughout the novel the clock moves closer and closer to midnight as nuclear apocalypse comes ever closer. Both “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” use their imagined dystopias to show how the technologies of man have progressed a step too far and that unless a dramatic alteration of values occurs eventually disaster will ensue. The historical context of the novels may explain the focus on nuclear technologies. In 1953, 2 years after the publication of “The Day of the Triffids, the Doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes to midnight, the closest the world has ever been to theoretical destruction, which may explain Wyndham’s concern with nuclear holocaust. Additionally, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stated in 1980, 6 years before “Watchmen” was first published, that “[The Soviet Union and United States have] been behaving like what may best be described as ‘nucleoholics’–drunks who continue to insist that the drink being consumed is positively ‘the last one,’ but who can always find a good excuse for ‘just one more round’”#.What ultimately causes the downfall of mankind in each novel is man’s vanity. The nuclear arms race in “The Day of the Triffids” and Veidt’s decision to bomb Manhattan in “Watchmen” stems from the belief of a person or faction of people that they are ‘better’ or ‘more capable’ of making decisions than others. More asserts that “No living creature is naturally greedy, except from fear of want – or in the case of human beings, from vanity”, which he defines as the “notion that you’re better than people if you can display more superfluous property than they can” (p.61). For More the problem of human vanity must be erased in order to create his Utopia. The Utopians are free from this need to impress or better the other inhabitants, which More suggests makes them purer and function better than citizens of other nations. Huxley reveals a similar opinion through the exaggeration of current values, as opposed to explicitly stating the flaws in human nature. The oligarchy of ‘World Controllers’ in “Brave New World” shows human vanity at its worst, as they consider themselves more capable of making decisions than anyone else. Whilst More’s society runs on a similar system, he gives a positive account of society. hen “Utopia”, “The population is divided into groups of thirty households, each of which elects an official” (p.51). More concludes that a communal society maintained by a few controllers may be the solution to the problems of government, but suggests that it is elected by a secret ballot, in contrast to Huxley’s autocracy. The government of the novel appears to be utopian, as it unites the world under one way of thinking, but ultimately destroys human liberty and prevents any other way of thinking. Huxley highlights the detrimental consequences of excessive progression of technology as another failing of human vanity. Perhaps affected by a first hand look at commercialism in America during the writing of “Brave New World”, Huxley shows how attempts to make living easier through technological advances can go too far. Creations such as the “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre” manufacture and condition babies into different castes. They are sorted into one of five different social classes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and semi-moronic Epsilons. Each baby is created with a pre-destined choice of class. Their life is fabricated for the sole purpose of acting as a cog in the machine of society. Technological advances such as “Bokanovsky’s process” have made the large-scale production of humans achievable. “A bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo… Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before” (p.4). All the resulting humans are genetically and physically identical. The humans are conditioned so that they enjoy the jobs that they are forced to undertake. Life is made so easy that it becomes almost pointless. Every person is engineered in order to serve a purpose in society. Humanity is self-perpetuating merely for the sake of existence. The individual is rendered redundant as everyone is conditioned to serve society. Yet everyone in the novel is ‘happy’, as the World Controllers have removed anything that would lead to unhappiness. Society moves forward perfectly and efficiently. All the human advances in technology, which seem to make life too simple and to undermine the concept of freedom, make everyone live arguably perfect existences. Because of soma they are content, and play their part in society flawlessly. The limitation of individuality and freedom of speech are the price society ultimately has to pay for perfection, and as Mustapha Mond asserts, “Happiness has got to be paid for” (p.201). The sacrifice of liberty must be made in order for society to function in the way that Huxley envisages. This sacrifice is what blurs the line between utopia and dystopia in “Brave New World”. The novel seems dystopian as basic human freedoms have been disbanded, but the world actually appears utopian due to the perfect harmony and happiness present through every degree of society. David Bradshaw argues that “whatever interpretation the reader favours, it seems more likely that the composition of Brave New World proved so problematic for Huxley… because he was unsure in his own mind whether he was writing a satire, a prophecy or a blueprint” (p.xxiv). Bradshaw underlines the ambivalence in the novel. The protagonist of the novel, Bernard Marx, acts as a case study of a malfunction in the system. Marx is decidedly unhappy in his life and shows that the novel seems to lean towards some sort of satirical prophecy of the future. Huxley’s imagined society fails to make him content.Whilst Huxley differs slightly, Wyndham and Moore’s dystopias fit more appropriately to More’s definition of human vanity, concerning “superfluous wealth”. The underlying theme of “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” is the conflict between The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the USA. Each stockpile nuclear weapons in an attempt to out do the other. The vanity of each nation, in thinking that they were better and stronger than the other, causes “the margin of survival [to narrow] appallingly… from 6 August 1945” (p.115). As a result of the two nations competing for superiority, the world’s safety was put under great threat at the time of Wyndham and Moore’s writing. Wyndham suggests that “the fatal slip” would occur “sooner or later” and when it did “the balance would have been lost, and the destruction let loose” (p.116). The “destruction” refers to nuclear fallout, as all it would have taken to unleash nuclear havoc on the world was a simple “slip” of judgment in a moment of hysteria or, as “The Day of the Triffids” shows, an accident. Wyndham’s dystopia is a hypothetical reality, which acts as an example of what may happen to the world. “Watchmen” uses a similar theme, but presents it differently in a graphic form. Throughout Chapter 3, the radioactivity symbol is used as a motif to represent the omni-present threat of a nuclear winter. The cover of the chapter (Chapter 3, p.1) depicts a skull-like rise of smoke obscuring the words “FALLOUT SheLTER”, making them appear to read “ALL heL”. This imagery gives the same warning as Wyndham’s “[narrow] margin of survival” but depicted graphically; the result of the nuclear arms race is the possibility of a simple “slip” causing “ALL heL” to be let loose. The paranoia about nuclear war is, in each case, driven by the implications of the USSR and USA’s simple human vanity.Vanity is the fundamental human flaw in each of these novels, bringing mankind to its tragic and arguably inevitable end. Both “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” each refer to Shelley’s “Ozymandias” in order to explore human vanity. hen “The Day of the Triffids”, the character Coker looks back on post-apocalyptic London and says, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” (p.161). The quotation fittingly encapsulates the idea that humans should not consider their works, or themselves, to be immortal. The Houses of Parliament provide a similar image to the “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone” in “Ozymandias”. The narrator in “The Day of the Triffids” finds it “difficult to believe that [the Houses of Parliament] meant nothing any more, that now it was just a pretentious confection in uncertain stone which could decay in peace” (p.152). Each image represents how the vanity of human nature leads it to believe that their “works” will last forever. By juxtaposing the arrogance of this self-belief with a wasteland the flaw of humanity is exposed. Shelley highlights how human empires can easily fall by following the declaration “look on my works ye mighty and despair!” with the line “Nothing beside remains”. The caesural pause after this phrase provides a deadening stop to the line, showing how humanity can just as easily be stopped. Ozymnadias’ “works” are reduced to nothing, showing his quotation to be little more than vain, human hyperbole. Similarly to Shelley, Wyndham describes the “silence” and oblivion of the surrounding area of London. The narrator notes, “[he] had not seen a single living creature… since [they] started”. This observation emphasises the baron wasteland that London has become, “nothing beside remains”. Moore shows similar devastation in “Watchmen” by accompanying the same quotation – “My name is Ozymandias…” – with a completely white panel (Chapter 9, p.28, Panel 13), showing the abyss that has replaced civilisation. At the moment when the character Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias, releases an atomic bomb on Manhattan, he claims to prevent global fallout. Considering Shelley’s poem it seems odd, however, that Veidt should choose the pseudonym Ozymandias, as the character’s empire is obliterated by time. Moore is perhaps suggesting that, while appearing solve the world’s problems, Veidt is just as vain as the Ozymandias from the poem: he has no successor and no equal and in his short-sightedness and vanity just as flawed as every other powerful figure throughout history.Each of the novels shows how flawed human values can lead to disastrous consequence, if left to progress logically. Vanity is prevalent throughout the novels as the fundamental weakness in humanity, which will bring man to be the cause of his own annihilation. “Watchmen” and “The Day of the Tirffids” particularly show how, as a result of being brought to the edge of extinction, man is confronted by his own contingency and insignificance. The “two vast and trunkless legs of stone” not only represent man’s vanity, but also emphasise how easily man’s empires can be swept from existence. Ozymandias’ arrogant exclamations of greatness are supported by “nothing”, which suggests that humans should not think their creations or species to be a necessary part of the world. Like Shelley, Moore contrasts a thriving human civilisation with emptiness. Veidt attempts to confront mankind with its own volatility by destroying Manhattan with the same nuclear power that might obliterate the world. The population of New York City, seen throughout the novel, is reduced in a moment to nothing but images of destruction. Dead bodies are heaped over a large clock that has struck midnight, symbolising the doomsday clock finally striking midnight for humanity. This display effectively shows the fragility of human existence. Just as in The Day of the Triffids “hen no direction was there any traffic, nor any sound of it” (p.53). Wyndham describes the desolation of London, which was obliterated “by one mighty slash” (p.60). Centuries of civilisation can be abolished in a mere moment. The post-apocalyptic void that is left in both novels shows how easily mankind can be reduced to nothing and exposes man’s insignificance compared to the vastness of all other existence.In “Watchmen” Moore explores human insignificance when Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) travels to Mars with Laurie Juspeczyk. She claims that “Everyone [on Earth] will die” due to nuclear war and Jon adds, “… and the universe will not even notice” (Chapter 9, p.18). he has a bleak view of existence and “in [his] opinion, [life is] a highly overrated phenomenon” (p.13). hen the larger picture of the universe, human life is merely an insignificant speck: “brief and mundane” (p.17). When confronted by such epic landscapes as those on Mars (see fig.) it appears difficult to see the importance of human life, as “Mars gets along perfectly without so much as a micro-organism” (p.13). hen “Watchmen” Mars’ magnificent canyons and craters are similar to the abyss that man confronts at the prospect of nuclear war. Jon asks whether “the human heart know[s] chasms so abysmal” (p.18) as the canyons of the Valles Marineris. Moore suggests that when faced with disaster mankind can begin to understand the empty landscapes of Mars, and subsequently his own insignificance. Wyndham expresses similar ideas about the ability of nature and the rest of the universe to engulf humanity. Towards the end of The Day of the Triffids the roads are described as “strips of green carpet” (p.242). As humanity declines, nature is able effortlessly to overpower everything humans have made. Bill claims that “The countryside is having its revenge, all right” and Josella adds, “het’s as if everything were breaking out. Rejoicing that we’re finished, and that it’s free to go its own way” (p.242). Nature is the dominating force in the universe and man is constantly trying to tame it. For Wyndham, just as for Moore, man is minute in comparison to everything else on the Earth and in the universe. Both authors suggest that it is only when the extinction of the race is imminent that man realises his triviality.Moore epitomises mankind’s volatility and insignificance when at the end of Chapter 6 Dr. Malcolm Long muses after arguing with his wife: “Life’s so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing. Next week, he could be putting her into a garbage sack, placing her outside for collection”. He concludes that “The horror is this: in the end, [the Rorschach blot he is contemplating] is simply a picture of empty meaningless blackness. We are alone. There is nothing else” (p.28, Chapter 6). With the prospect of extinction this is the bleak view, which humans face in Watchmen. The final panel is completely black, representing the abyss that because of his flaws mankind confronts. het is accompanied by one of Nietzsche’s epigraphs, which can be seen as an epigraph for the whole novel: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”. Humans have ‘battled’ with the monster of nuclear power and have become “monsters” themselves as a result. Confronted with the abyss and as “the abyss gazes also”, they are drawn into its “blackness” and realise their contingency and fragility. hen chapter 6 Dr. Long’s descent into nihilism after psychoanalysing the “abyss” of Rorschach’s mind, acts as a microcosm for the larger implications of Nietzsche’s epigraph. “Brave New World” also acknowledges mankind’s fragilty. Huxley’s society has removed emotions such as love and concepts such as God and sin in order to maintain a stable civilisation. The Controller insists that “The wheels must turn steadily… There must be men to tend them, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (p.36). he recognises that human nature is volatile and subservient to its emotions. By conditioning the people of “Brave New World” out of emotion and removing emotional art, the Controller maintains that they have achieved “… stability. The primal and the ultimate need” (p.36). However, the Savage, the most recognisably ‘human’ character, suggests that the Controller’s society is in fact an “abyss”, in which people have no emotions: they have become “monsters”. When he is looking at “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre”, “By some malice of his memory [he] found himself repeating Miranda’s words. ‘O brave new world that has such people in it’”. The savage uses the phrase earlier in the novel to express awe at the prospect of civilisation, but he repeats it ironically to show his abhorrence and horror at what he is presented with. hen “Brave New World” Huxley’s imagined society has “battled with monsters” and is faced with “the abyss”. Only the savage has the free will to gaze into it and when he does he sees the real horror of what the World Controllers have created.Huxley’s Brave New World, whilst critiquing parts of society, also paradoxically entertains the possible benefits of communist ideas by weaving them into his imagined world. Many people were communists in the 1930s, partly because they believed communism would prevent another world war. Having lived through the First World War, Huxley expresses a fear of the horrors that the war brought and sees hope in communist ideals. His dystopia focuses on the importance of “stability” in society, which is essential in preventing conflict. Wyndham and Moore, however, are part of a nuclear age in which the reality of an “abyss” is much more immediate. They evaluate societal problems such as the nuclear arms race and show a disastrous future as a consequence. Despite various moral viewpoints being portrayed in these novels, an overall authorial position is never established. The texts are so ambivalent because the voice of the author is illusive, so a conclusive message is never established. None of the authors have an alternative vision of the future to offer; they all critique but refuse to create. This position is a very comfortable one to hold. Ironically, by never being concrete in their positions, they are avoiding the vanity that they all condemn by not proposing anything positive. Huxley seems, at times, to be depicting a utopia, but the unhappy presence of the savage and Bernard Marx almost definitively show Huxley’s world to be dystopian. More, on the other hand, does propose a solution through his “Utopia”. Many societal problems are addressed and a totally positive world is presented. However, by posing this solution More falls victim to the vanity that he firmly rebukes in his novel. Certainly his enthusiastic persecution of Protestants suggests that he had the arrogance to think his views better than others.

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Dystopia and Assimilation

June 5, 2019 by Essay Writer

In the year 632AF (the year 2540AD, 632 years after Ford) the world has finally eliminated many inconveniences including war, famine, dissent, disease, depression and jealousy. This conquest, however, came at a cost: cultural assimilation, consumerism, and mediocrity. In his novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley describes a dystopia where amazing scientific progress has created a culture that cannot live with the values and governments accepted today. “Community, Identity, Stability” is the motto of the governing World State. In this time, unquestioned political authority controls culture through the manipulation of available technologies.Science plays a commanding role in Huxley’s World-State, as the people are conditioned to believe, “science is everything.” Factories produce everything, from babies to drugs, making science a dehumanizing force. Technology is used to facilitate everything, even to create, control, and end every life. The novel addresses the effects of advances in technology on society. Huxley’s dystopia illustrates the dangers of technology, more obviously in his New World than he could in his own, particularly the abuse of sciences like biology and psychology and scientific processes like assembly lines and education, to achieve the ideal. Wielding science, the all-powerful political forces of this age control every aspect of life as they strive for “Community, Identity, Stability.” While everything that has been achieved by the year that Brave New World takes place owes its origin to science, science itself has been paradoxically relegated along with culture, and religion. The alphas, enjoying their unchallenged power, desire lasting stability. They recognize that this requires they rule a society of identical individuals. While the citizens are conditioned to retain the illusion that they are free and individual, the administrative alphas are aware that humanity is divided into five castes, the lower three classes being made up of sets of 96 clones. The people of the New World do not realize they are conforming because their choices, seemingly governed by their free will, are actually the same reactions every member of the conditioned class is programmed to have. Life is made simple and everyone is apparently free of negative emotions. Sex and drugs define the culture, but the people are “controlled.” Acting in the interest of sustaining their civilization, the alphas sacrifice true freedom for stability. Religion is used as a regulation in our society as it defines or morals and values. In the New World, however, the alphas have no need for a social control over their docile citizens. Religion is consequently nonexistent. On a personal level, the people in Huxley’s dystopia had no need for a belief system that attempts to explain their world and values relationships. As Mond attempts to explain, “Religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses. But there aren’t any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous […] what need do we have of […] consolation when we have soma? […] our civilization has chosen machinery, medicine and happiness” (233). The drug soma was later referred to as “Christianity without tears” (238). In the civilization without struggle, discontent, unhappiness, and failure, there is no need for religion. There are many ways Huxley’s novel suggests that his engineered society neglects individual dignity. In a society that idolizes and utilizes science, it becomes the means to sacrifice an individual’s life without their consent. The Bokanovsky Process dictates what type of human each embryo will be and in the cases of the lower castes, the Process inhibits beings’ potential in life (6). In this way, every person is “conditioned” to fit society’s needs. Prior to decanting, biological or physiological conditioning consists of adding chemicals or spinning the bottles to prepare the embryos for the levels of strength, intelligence, and aptitude required for given jobs. After they are “decanted” from the bottles, people are psychologically conditioned in their sleep. At every stage of life the society has a dynamic role in brainwashing people to make up the ideal society. Huxley’s work is often deemed prophetic, as comparisons are drawn between the world of today and his nightmarish culture of the future. Prozac and Zoloft are today’s soma, relieving people who cannot be happy in our society. The technologies of cloning, genetic engineering, virtual reality, and psycho-engineering, although in their infancy, unnervingly foreshadow a time that could have the sciences that were only fiction to Huxley as common practice. Even our government’s foundations surprisingly parallel Huxley’s society’s single-minded pursuit of happiness. Our Declaration of Independence states that this is an inalienable right, of the same importance as the right to life and liberty. What is heartening is that readers are still revolted by Huxley’s society that lacks morals freedom and religion. It is possible that with the continuing convergence of science, technology, and religion, that some day one institution will lead them all. As is true in Brave New World, scientific development is leading all forms of progress: governments adjust to regulate what is necessary of new discoveries and options, and it is the older traditions such as religion that suffer from the advances. At one point, Pope Pius IX decreed in his Syllabus of Errors that every form developing of technology was evil, even gas lamps, the use of which apparently enticed people to stay out at night and engage in questionable activities. The point during this development at which science requires interference to prevent our world from turning into Huxley’s is not clear today. Science was already made an issue of international political concern by the controversies over cloning. It inspired the first nearly global consensus in its ban, an aspect that suggest that it might take a world government, hopefully less involved than Huxley’s, to successfully regulate science that has the potential to be destructive.

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Mechanical Utopia

June 3, 2019 by Essay Writer

In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, he creates a utopian society that achieves happiness at the expense of humanity. Though thoroughly repugnant to the reader, the world Huxley creates seems almost plausible because he fashions it out of societal problems he saw in his lifetime, many of which we still encounter today. Objects and machines replace real emotions, and the result is a streamlined existence that neglects a true sense of humanity. By comparing man’s life in the “brave new world” to the machines that surround them, Huxley creates an assembly-line lifestyle in which consumerism and hedonism are paramount, and individuality falls to the wayside. The World State is a society in which economics take precedence over emotion. Almost from birth, the society conditions children to consume, and mechanization quickly becomes part of this consumption. When lecturing the children, the Director says, “imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. Nowadays, the Controllers won’t approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games” (20). Here, he shows the disdain the society has for anything which does not require machines or other complicated apparatuses, only because simplicity would decrease consumption. Obstacle Golf and Reimann Surface Tennis represent a criticism of a world in which more is always better, and people invest in machines simply for the sake of machines. The crematorium represents a similar criticism of society’s tendency to value economy over morals. When Lenina asks about the balconies on the crematorium smoke stacks, Henry brags about how they extract 98% of the phosphate from each corpse, thus making even death profitable. In Huxley’s world, machines become not only the means of maintaining society, but also a sort of metaphor for society itself. When the Controller speaks of the importance of stability, Huxley uses a mechanical metaphor for the society, saying, “the machine turns, turns and must keep on turning – forever. It is death if it stands still” (28). He goes on to describe the need for stable persons to tend the wheels of society, thus introducing the idea of a symbiotic relationship between machinery and humans. The humans depend on the machines, but the machines depend on the humans. This system gives machines an almost deity-like importance, and likens humans themselves to mechanisms that serve. If people in the World State worship anything, they worship Henry Ford, not God. Ford, as the inventor of assembly-line production, has great significance in a world where nothing is valued more than efficiency. Huxley uses mechanical imagery to show how the state has dehumanized its population in order to produce an ideal, stable workforce. The very first thing the reader sees in the book is a factory that produces people. In this factory, embryos proceed down a conveyor belt much as a car proceeds down an assembly line. Huxley shows the mechanical nature of the “decanting process” when he describes the action in the bottling room: “whizz and then, click! the lift-hatches flew open; the bottle-liner had only to reach out a hand, take the flap, insert, smooth-down, and before the lined bottle had had time to travel out of reach along the endless band, whizz, click! another flap” (5). The World State conceives of humans as interchangeable parts, and the en masse production of identical humans makes this conception a reality. The Director makes this idea of complete interchangeability clear in his speech descrying unorthodoxy: “Murder kills only the individual – and after all, what is an individual? … we can make a new one with the greatest ease – as many as we like” (99). So ingrained in each person is the importance of machinery that they use mechanical references in their everyday speech. Henry Foster does this when he describes Lenina as, “wonderfully pneumatic,” likening her to some mechanized device (29). Huxley again compares life in the World State to a machine when he refers to the “College of Emotional Engineering,” a name which implies that human emotions can be constructed like bridges (44). Even Helmholtz, who is more intelligent and independent of thought than most, finds himself unable to express his thoughts in terms other than mechanical ones. He tells Bernard about his frustration, saying “words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything” (47). Huxley drives home his theme of dehumanization through machinery when John visits the factory. He speaks of the moving parts of the assembly line, and then without breaking his line of thought begins describing machine-like people operating these parts: “the two low work-tables faced one another; between them crawled the conveyor with its load of separate parts; forty-seven blonde heads were confronted by forty-seven brown ones” (107). Though the Savage finds this scene so repugnant he vomits, those around him embrace the mechanization of the human race. In Huxley’s portrayal of the mechanization of the future, we see a soulless and emotionless world. Like interchangeable parts used in cars or guns, one person can be easily substituted for another. Indeed, for some castes, one person is not only replaceable, but unidentifiable from those surrounding him. By using mechanical imagery to portray the future, Huxley criticizes the consumerist and conformist society that we live in, and its emphasis on the economy, not the person.

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An Analysis of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

May 22, 2019 by Essay Writer

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.

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Personal Influences Behind Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

May 17, 2019 by Essay Writer

Although the stark imagery of Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World may seem difficult to match with reality, it is not surprising that the inspirations for this dark, bitter work were bred in the author’s own life and times. Born on July 26, 1894, Aldous Leonard Huxley was thrust into the world of the British intelligentsia, a world that would eventually form the framework for the totalitarian government of Brave New World, especially in its scientific aspect. Aldous was the grandson renowned biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, one of the scientists who had helped to develop the theory of evolution, and his aunt was already an established novelist by the time young Huxley was born. It was in this climate that Aldous Huxley was raised, reaping the benefits of an intellectual upbringing while struggling to cope with the pressures of belonging to such an affluent family.One event that left a permanent mark on Huxley’s mind was the death of his mother when he was 14. This, he said later, gave him a sense of the “transience of human happiness,â€? and a sense of loss that can be clearly detected in Brave New World. This is one particular instance where the more ambivalent side of Huxley’s nature is made clear through his writings. In the World State described in Brave New World, the leaders go to extremes to deny the unpleasantness of death in their quest for infinite happiness. Naturally, Huxley would have wanted to reduce the sadness of death in his own mind, so as to protect himself from the trauma of losing his mother. However, in his writings, he also explores the other side of the argument – the view of death as a natural part of life, a requirement, in fact, for humans to experience deeper and more joyous emotions. The Savages, on their filthy reservation, stand in contrast to the utopians. They are subject to misery, sickness, and death, but also capable of a state of being that, while still transient, is much more substantial than that “enjoyedâ€? by the inhabitants of London and the World State.By the age of 16, Aldous Huxley was prolifically studying medicine, only to have his dream of a medical career shattered by a detrimental eye ailment that almost left him blind. Unable to continue with his scientific studies, Huxley turned to literature, producing two successful volumes of poetry by the time he left Oxford University. In 1919, he married a Belgian by the name of Maria Nys, and began dividing his time between London and Italy, becoming something of a world traveler and making lengthy visits to India and the United States. In 1921, he published his first full novel, Crome Yellow, a witty satire about intellectual pretensions, which were prevalent at the time. In 1931, after only four months of writing, Huxley produced the book that would come to be known as his masterpiece, Brave New World. Without a doubt Huxley’s own childhood was one of the first causes of his ambivalent attitude towards assumed authority, as was observed by his friend Gerald Heard, who remarked that Huxley’s background “brought down on him a weight of intellectual authority and a momentum of moral obligations.â€?Huxley’s life was a study in confusion; at points almost contradictory in his attitudes and actions. During his youth he experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, but not for the reasons must contemporary readers would understand – in fact, his reasoning was that he saw the world as “spiritually bankrupt,â€? and thus used hallucination as a means of “spiritual enlightenment.â€? Despite this side of Huxley’s nature, his writings contain a well-written, consistent series of themes that only the most perceptive and exacting mind could be capable of creating. One of these themes, seen clearly in Brave New World, is the feeling of separation, of being somehow “not of this world.â€? As a child, Huxley stood apart from most others of his class because of his keen alertness, wit, and what his brother referred to as “superiority.â€? These traits earned him respect and love – not hatred – but he used them later in his life as the template for the characters of Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson in Brave New World, who face serious problems because they are unique from their peers. The Savage, too, represents this idea, as a human completely maladapted to the “utopianâ€? society – much as the typical reader would be if placed in such a climate.Stemming from his inherent individuality, as well as his interest in biology, Huxley firmly believed that heredity made each person unique, and that the resulting individual was essential to the survival freedom. These views were largely inspired by the scientific discoveries taking place in the fields of genetics and evolution, but also stood in contrast to concrete fact, taking an approach more spiritual than scientific. Because of this, Huxley found the introduction of Marxism, the October Revolution, and the subsequent rise of Communism unbearable, seeing it as a subjugation of mankind’s natural state as a blend of separate and unique people. Huxley’s firsthand experiences in fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini also provided material for his fictional dystopia.In Brave New World, Huxley plays on these themes while writing to a presumably bourgeois audience, while also criticizing ideas like eugenetics and behavioral conditioning. While figures like Marx and Lenin were promising national prosperity to their Communist peoples, Huxley wrote against the idea of universal happiness, arguing that such a “happinessâ€? excluded time honored traditions like family, love, and personal choice. Huxley’s dystopic world holds a rigid class structure similar to that of most dictatorships, although stronger because it is a genetically engineered class system. The “alphasâ€? are not always villains, in a traditional sense; rather, they are leaders who genuinely believe that they have the right to make the entire world “happyâ€? by denying the populace the emotional stimuli that may produce results contrary to their narrow view of “happiness.â€? The motto of the World State makes this point most clearly – “community, identity, stabilityâ€?- but at what price?Although Brave New World is often compared with George Orwell’s 1984, it is important to remember that Huxley created his masterpiece before the rise of Hitler in Germany and before Stalin instituted the purges that would kill millions in the Soviet Union. This is why tyranny and violence are featured so little in the government of Brave New World. Reflecting on this issue, Huxley later said: “the future dictatorship of my imaginary world was a good deal less brutal than the future dictatorship so brilliantly portrayed by Orwell.â€?By 1946, however, Huxley’s views had changed a bit, and in a forward to his Brave New World he discussed how he no longer wished to make “social sanityâ€? a complete impossibility. In the same year, he published his book The Perennial Philosophy, in which he described spiritual and mystical approaches to living a sane life in a sane society – clearly, the events of World War II had altered Huxley’s world view from one of cynicism to one of genuine concern. This growing compassion for the real world culminated in his 1958 work Brave New World Revisited, a nonfiction piece in which Huxley dealt with contemporary issues like overpopulation, psychology, and government.Contrary to his growing social concern, however, Aldous Huxley became quite famous in the 1950s for his interest in “mind-expandingâ€? drugs such as mescaline and LSD, which he purportedly used twelve times during his life. He chronicled his drug experiences in his books Heaven and Hell and The Doors of Perception, but also warned that these books were not meant to encourage readers to freely experiment with hallucinogens. This drug use, coupled with a changing world view, gave birth to Huxley’s final novel, Island. Island is an antithesis of Brave New World in that it describes a positive utopia, an isolated society where people have achieved a state of true spiritual happiness. However, it also reflects the darker side of Huxley’s personality, in that the inhabitants of the island religiously use a perfected form of LSD.During his lifetime, Aldous Huxley produced 47 books, garnering praise from critics all over the globe. British literary critic Anthony Burgess said that Huxley “equipped the novel with a brain,â€? although other critics argued that the “brainâ€? aspect sometimes stood in the way of the writing, since the ideas and philosophies formed the core of all of Huxley’s writings. Huxley’s merit was solidified in 1959, when The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the prestigious Award of Merit for the Novel, a prize given every five years and held by towering literary figures like Ernest Hemingway.Aldous Huxley remained nearly blind all of his life, but the visions of his mind are clear on every page of every book he wrote. On November 22, 1963, he died of natural causes – in a twist of poetic irony, on the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated. Huxley was cremated, and his ashes placed at his parents’ grave in England. Despite the changes in the political climates of the world since that time, Huxley’s writings provide a truly revolutionary view of life, equal only to the revolutionary author and the era in which he lived.

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Character Analysis: Brave New World

May 10, 2019 by Essay Writer

Brave New World, by acclaimed author Aldous Huxley, is not so much a novel about individuals as it is about a society as a whole. It is a story of a dystopia, of a cold scientific world order and the people who inhabit it. Against this harsh setting, Huxley experiments with various ideas and philosophies, using an eclectic cast of characters to move his ideas from the printed page to the reader by placing them in a human, or semi- human, context. In many ways, Brave New World is almost a story of survival – not survival as opposed to the natural world, but survival of the human race, of individuals trying to live in a world where the individual spirit is considered nonexistent. In this context, the people who inhabit Brave New World jump off of the page, each offering his or her own testimony to the inherent bizarreness of the scientifically-crafted lifestyles of this “brave new world.â€?Bernard Marx is perhaps the most compelling character throughout the first part of the book, his last name ironically being that of the founder of Communism. By the standards of the “Brave New World,â€? Marx is a dysfunctional person, his conditioning having obvious flaws. He suffers from a sort of inferiority complex, due to his small height – physically, he resembles a person of the lower class more than an “alpha.â€? While Bernard is not a “protagonistâ€? in the traditional sense of the term, he proves to be a good viewpoint character, because his motivations are clearly human. For example, just as the Director has finished discussing how the World State has eliminated “lovesickness,â€? Bernard is shown to be himself lovesick, jealous, and angry. But, ultimately, his motivations are materialistic, not idealistic – he wants for things that he cannot have. After a trip to a New Mexico Indian Reservation and his subsequent discovery of John “the savage,â€? he begins to abuse his newfound popularity and fame by taking part in all of the aspects of the World State which he had previously criticized, showing that he is a devout critic whose secret motive is to become what he criticizes – jealousy at its best. This success, however, collapses when the savage refuses to take part in Bernard’s attempts to remain popular. Ultimately, Marx proves to be an interesting and sympathetic character, but not one that the reader can easily respect.The most admirable figure of Brave New World, however, is John “The Savage,â€? who makes his first appearance roughly halfway through the book. The only character to have been raised in isolation from the World State, John’s initial entrance comes during a brutal Native American ritual, showing that he is a very primitive man in comparison with the other characters of the story. Bernard and Lenina view this ritual as repulsive, while John expresses his frustrations at having been banned from participating, marking the cultural divide between the World State characters and “the savage.â€? John, then, becomes the ultimate outsider, rejected by both the civilized and primitive worlds. In his isolation, John immerses himself in Shakespeare, a 900-year-old author utterly forgotten by the World State, thus further pushing “the savageâ€? away from the societal norms around him. This interest in Shakespeare’s works provides John with the ability to verbalize his complex feelings and emotions, and gives him a framework on which to base his later criticisms of the World State values. When he confronts Mustapha Mond, the World Controller of Western Europe, it is Shakespeare that gives John a style of speaking that is capable of competing with the clever rhetoric of the controller. At the same time, his nave, infantile perception of the “brave new world with such people in itâ€? lead to a conflict between his own values and reality, eventually causing him to kill himself in one of the story’s most touching scenes.Lenina Crowne serves as a relay between John’s complex thoughts and the more “civilizedâ€? society of the World State. A worker in the London Hatchery and Conditioning Center, where human embryos are created, she becomes the main love interest of many of the story’s characters, the two most important of which are Bernard Marx and John. She tends to be different from other women of the World State, by doing such things as dating only one man at a time, being attracted to Bernard the misfit, and, eventually, developing an explosive passion for John “the savage.â€? Ultimately, however, she fails to understand Bernard’s apathy or John’s Shakespearean system of values, and thus falls back into the ignorance that characterizes most of the World State.Brave New World’s antagonist would actually be the “brave new worldâ€? itself, although there are a variety of representatives of the World State who carry out the oligarchy’s bidding. The most prominent leader is Mustapha Mond, The Resident World Controller of Western Europe and one of only ten World Controllers. Once an underground scientist, Mond was given the choice of going into exile for performing illicit experiments or training to become one of the World Controllers – he delights in censoring scientific discoveries and exiling people with unorthodox views because of this. Interestingly enough, the word “mondâ€? means “world,â€? making a clever allusion to the limitlessness of Mustapha Mond’s power. Early in the book, he serves to articulate the history of the World State and its philosophies, and later he debates with John, demonstrating the fundamental differences between World State values and Shakespearean values. Aside from being a vehicle for rhetoric, however, Mond is a very complex character, balancing his totalitarian job with readings of Shakespeare and even The Bible. His goals for humanity are stability and “happiness,â€? to the exclusion of emotions and human relations.Brave New World, as a whole, is a novel based around ideas and concepts more than characters, but the characters themselves prove to be convincing vehicles for the ideas that Huxley tries to set forth. Each character represents a different side of the debate, from John’s traditional English values to Mond’s radical view of stability. In many ways, Brave New World should be read as a warning of taking ideas to radical levels, but it is also a fantastic way to gain insight into opposing philosophies, because Huxley makes no actual moral judgment as to who is right and who is wrong – rather, he lets the characters speak for themselves. It is this detached view of the characters that ultimately provide the book with its distinct charm.

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