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Brave New World


As man has progressed through the ages, there has been, 
essentially, one purpose. That purpose is to arrive at a utopian 
society, where everyone is happy, disease is nonexistent, and strife, 
anger, or sadness are unheard of. Only happiness exists. But when 
confronted with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, we come to realize 
that this is not, in fact, what the human soul really craves. In fact, 
Utopian societies are much worse than those of today. In a utopian 
society, the individual, who among others composes the society, is 
lost in the melting pot of semblance and world of uninterest. 
In the science fiction book Brave New World, we are confronted with a 
man, Bernard Marx. Bernard is inadequate to his collegues. So he 
resorts to entertaining himself most evenings, without the company of 
a woman. This encourages his individual thought, and he realizes that 
independent thought is rewarding, and that he must strive to become a 
real individual. Although this is true to a certain extent, Bernard 
does not realize that he would much rather attain social recognition. 
At least, not until the opportunity presents itself. Thus, through a 
series of events, Bernard uses the curiosity of the society to his 
advantage, fulfilling his subconscious wish of becoming someone 
important; a recognized name in the jumble of society. This ends when 
the curiosity of others ends, and as a supreme result of his arrogant 
behaviour, he is exiled. The instigator of this curiosity as 
well as the author of Bernard's fame (and folly), is an outsider know 
as the Savage. The Savage is brought in from outside of the utopian 
society by Bernard as an experiment. He faces "civilized 
society" with a bright outlook, but eventually comes to hate it 
bitterly. Lenina, the supporting role of the novel, is the most 
pronounced example of the ideal citizen. She adheres to the principles 
of the society without so much as a second thought. In the 
utopian society that Huxley presents, everyone is happy. There are no 
differences. Everyone is brought up to be happy, and most do not even 
know what sadness or anger is. All is cured artificially through 
surrogates or drugs. Even happiness alone is not unique to the 
individual. Soma, the hallucinatory drug, the 'perfect drug' that is 
used by all, even induces the same kind of happiness. The only variant 
is to what extent this happiness overwhelms the user (one or two 
half-gramme tablets?). "Everybody belongs to everyone 
else" (127) is the basic psychology of the society. This suggests 
that an individual owes everything to society, but society in turn 
owes everything to him or her. This applies to all. No one capitalises 
on the efforts of others and no one performs excessive manual labour 
for minimum wage. Everyone is the same. In Huxley's perfect 
world, sex is a mundane undertaking. It happens to each individual 
almost every night. And no one knows what marriage is. They simply 
have each other and move on. All for one and one for all. Everyone is 
the same in bed. The inhabitants of this society are not given 
any sort of mental flexibility. If you spend time alone, or think, you 
are considered strange, and are considered an outcast. Nobody wishes 
for this, and so correspondingly nobody commits this unspeakable 
crime. Everyone goes out at night with a different partner, or takes a 
few grammes of soma and goes to bed for a soma-holiday. Nothing new, 
nothing different. Each person of this society has a 
predestined future. They all develop in their fetal stages inside a 
jar, where they are provided with their needs, are vaccinated against 
all known diseases. Also, special treatments are performed to aid in 
the mental growth (or standstill) of the individual after 'birth', 
according to their future occupation. "The first of a 
batch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineers was 
just passing the eleven hundredth metre mark on Rack 3. A special 
mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation. `To improve 
their sense of balance,' Mr Foster explained. `Doing repairs on the 
outside of a rocket in mid air is a ticklish job. We slacken off the 
circulation when they're right way up, so that they're half starved, 
and double the flow of surrogate when they're upside down. They learn 
to associate topsy- turvydom with well being; in fact, they're only 
truly happy when they're standing on their heads." (32) 
All two hundred and fifty beings will be the same - they will look 
alike, talk alike, act alike, have the same job, and generally be the 
same people inside different media. One never knows which is which. 
 After birth, all children are mentally conditioned to think and 
act with the same motives. Through hypnopaedia, all of the basic rules 
of the society are learned by the children, and they learn to repeat 
and obide by these rules. There are no chances for anyone to 
develop any differences. Or if they do, they are exiled so that they 
cannot influence those around them. Nothing changes, including the 
government and the lifestyle of the inhabitants. Last and most 
importantly, the Bokanovsky method of reproducing causes great numbers 
of genetically identical human beings (up to 96 at a time from a 
single egg alone). As well, the same ovary can be used to produce over 
seventeen thousand individuals with the same basic genetic background. 
Everyone is the same. Same birth, same upbringing, same lifestyle. Any 
differences are remedied immediately. Huxley presents the 
ultimate in utopian societies. But nobody is open for mental growth. 
All are limited to set barriers. Although this would appear a perfect 
society at first, it becomes obvious later on in the novel that the 
race will no longer evolve. Nobody will have new ideas. Nobody will 
improve on society. Nothing will change. This is not what the human 
race desires. It desires to acquire knowledge, unceasingly and 
neverendingly. Without this advantage, we will go mad.


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