Civilization in Brave New World

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Civilization in Brave New World

The dictionary defines civilized as "advanced in social customs, art,

and science". The keyword here is social customs. A persons idea of what

is civilized is relative to his culture. Through out the history of man,

one can see many changes in customs, and customs is what defines our idea

of what is civilized. The word civilized is one of the most relative


Time and distance are what have shaped our customs for thousands of

years. If we look back throughout history we can see many customs that may

seem odd, or even barbaric, to us but were everyday events to these ancient

people. For example, the Aztec conducted sacrifices, to their Gods, in

which they torn out their victims heart with a knife, and their priests and

warriors proceeded to eat the victims flesh. Yet, the Aztec were

considered to be one of the most civilized group of Indians in the western

hemisphere. The Anasazi, commonly called cave-dwellers, who from birth,

used wood and bindings to elongate the head. Even today in Japan,

tradition says that women are supposed to walk ten feet behind their

husbands. This may seem like demeaning women to us but who are we to judge

when the United States has had a long history of racial and ethnic

discrimination and only now are we changing.

The society in Brave New World has not lost their values but has

simple changed their idea of what is right and wrong. After all, how much

have we changed in the past 600 years. Six-hundred years ago in England,

we killed people for conducting scientific experiments and believed this

was against the teachings of the church. The society in Brave New World is

a mirror to our own when we view the past. If a person from the present

were to see the sacrifices and eating of the human flesh by the Aztec

Indians, that person would see it as barbaric in contrast to his own

culture. Isn't it true that what we view as barbaric or uncivilized is

always in comparison to own. Doesn't it stand to reason that in a society

without families, they would view monogamy as uncivilized? This society

has been shaped by hundreds of years and will continue to change in the

years to come.

Many of the civilized behaviors for the society of Brave New World are

very different from our own. The main concern was to keep everyone happy.

Two efforts to do this were to teach them to be selfish and take soma. The

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