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Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

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How valuable is the protection of individuality? In a society dominated by falsified, scientifically manufactured happiness, individuality proves a rarity. Aldous Huxley’s speculative novel, Brave New World, demonstrates the consequences of this type of impassive society. Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all unique from their peers, and they think individually as a result. Because of their individuality, the group is ultimately banned from civilization and sent to a remote location. Being segregated because of appearance or mental capacity and not subject to society’s influences stimulates individuality; however, the knowledge and truth correlating with individuality comes at a price, in this case, happiness.

Bernard’s isolation, resulting from a physical deformity, allows him to fully explore his individuality. Bernard’s height constantly attracts scorn and ridicule from both Alpha’s and lower caste members, and they treat him as a foreigner because he appears different to them. Constantly battered by derision from all castes, Bernard “feel[s] an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behave[s] like one…”(65). Isolation from society provides Bernard time in solitude, affording him the means to question society’s motives for mocking him. Bernard’s lack of faith in society drives him further apart from its inhabitants, creating a cycle that advances Bernard’s isolation from his peers and, in turn, promoting his individuality. Furthermore, the people surrounding Bernard have always taken interest in his physical shortcomings. They gossip about his deformity, suggesting alcohol in his system and a mix-up in the embryonic stage as possible reasons for it. Society isolates Bernard because of his physical stature, “…and [his]...

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...ferent from their peers has isolated Bernard, Helmholtz, and John, it has also deepened their individuality. This scenario, at a lesser level, often plays out in modern day. People possess a natural desire to fit in and often are willing to forego individuality in order to do so. Though one may gain a facade of happiness as a result of fitting in, being truthful to oneself and expressing one’s free will allows for honest expression of individuality, a concept much greater than such a facade. A society without unique individuals is a society without humanity, and, as demonstrated through these characters’ experience, does not function. Ultimately, people must realize that individuality, knowledge, and raw emotion is more important to society than superficial happiness.

Works Cited

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1st ed. New York, NY: HaperCollins, 2006.
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