Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World illustrates a colorful, fantastic universe of sex and emotion, programming and fascism that has a powerful draw in a happy handicap. This reality pause button is called “Soma”. “Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology.” ( Huxley 54 ).
In his universe, Soma is the cure for everything. All problems, be they psychological, physical, or social are totally forgotten, their lurking shadows temporarily banished from sight. What is worrisome about this futuristic fabrication is its ideal reality. People in our current and very non-fictional times are taking steps toward the world of massive Soma use and acceptation. When one stops, and sees the world today, Huxley’s idea of the common drug; cure all, pleasant, and religion-exterminating seems to be a reasonable estimation of our future developments.
Drugs are used to escape the real and move into the surreal world of one’s own imaginations, where the pain is gone and one believes one can be happy. People look on their life, their world, their own reality, and feel sickened by the uncaringly blunt vision. Those too weak to stand up to this hard life seek their escape. They believe this escape may be found in chemicals that can alter the mind, placing a delusional peace in the place of their own depression: “Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly halucinant,” (52). They do this with alcohol, acid, crack, cocaine, heroine, opium, even marijuana for the commoner economy. These people would rather hide behind the haze than deal with real problems. “...A gramme is better than a damn.” (55).
This becomes such common practice that many times the addiction is more than physical, but emotional need sets in. Why should one suffer the pain of life when it takes so little to escape them? “One cubic centimeter cures ten gloomy sentiments,” (54). It is found to be too easy to avoid all of their problems with one little pill, vial, needle, blotter, leaf, or bottle. The drug seems to be the easiest way, the path of least resistance.
This practice is widespread; any population the fits today’s guidelines of “civilization” has some kind of drug that provides the escape route, if not a variety of them. The idea of drug induced escape is so ground in that medical professions give in to it today. Psychiatrists are capable of prescribing drugs that soothe the mind, and ease the pain in the troubled patient.