Brave New World: Novel Summary: Chapter 17

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Huxley’s seventeenth chapter continues the discussion between the Savage and the Controller. First, Mond admits that not only science and art have been sacrificed for happiness, but also religion. The Controller continues, saying that although he personally believes in God, his society no longer needs God anymore. He justifies this by noting the everlasting youth of people in the society. With youth, good health, and constant happiness, there is no need for God, he says. Mond follows up by quoting a philosopher. "‘You can only be independent of God while you’ve got youth and prosperity; independence won’t take you safely to the end.’ Well, we’ve now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God...God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice."

When the Savage asserts that it’s natural to believe in God, Mond agrees but says it’s only natural to believe when one’s alone. In modern society, men are prevented from being alone and therefore prevented from believing in God.

The Savage soon becomes frustrated by the argument, tired of Mond’s continual references to the utopian world of soma which seems so fake to him. He asserts that society would have more character if it did have some tears once in a while. He closes by admitting, "I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry; I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."

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