Hamlet and Brave New World

Hamlet and Brave New World

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All humans have different views on certain topics. It is one of the blessings of being individuals. The view one person has may not agree with the view the rest of society has. These are typically the people that lead revolutions, the people that start new ideas. Authors write individuals into their works to show a complexity of views on many variations of topics. The common view of life and death in Hamlet and Brave New World is opposed by the atypical view of the individual, leading to a higher truth about the novel.
In a society where the life is easy and no hardships exist it is inconceivable to the public to think that anyone would want anything else. No one is poor, no one is lonely. When times get rough, or doubt settles it, citizens just medicate with soma and feel no strong emotions. In their drug induced state they drift back into a sense that everything is perfect, without soma, citizens have no way to handle inconveniences of life. For instance, when Lenina visits the reservations with Bernard she desperately feels “in her pocket for her soma—only to discover that, by some unprecedented oversight, she had left the bottle down the rest house” (Huxley 111). She needs her soma, she cannot cope with regular events without it. The people in the society, whether Epsilon or Alpha, have every comfort they could dream of, never getting ill, never aging, never having to deal with any heartache. In order to not experience strong emotion people cannot get too attached to each other, tying into the idea that everyone belongs to everyone. When citizens have this mentality the concept of death is simply a passing event, it holds no true importance. When Lenina and Henry are flying above the crematorium, a puff of air, once a life, makes the helicopter shoot up for a moment. Instead of seeing this as a sentimental ending of a life, Lenina simply claps her hands and remarks on how enjoyable flying up was. Her ignorance displays how the way people live their lives in the World State affects how they perceive death. The World State is filled with essentially clones; no one is truly a free thinker, which is why Huxley writes in John. John is the purest form of individual that is present in Brave New World. John Savage is viewed by the society as this sort of animal, untamed and different.

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John is enthralled by how the ‘civilized’ world views life. The simplicity of life sickens him. He is trapped inside a world where they do not have any hardships, they have no real meaning in life. John observes that the citizens lives are not expensive enough stating that “nothing costs enough here,” (Huxley 239). When John says this he is stating that the people's life have no value. They do not live for anything. Not for love, not for nobility, not for sorrow, nothing. John's view of death also differs from societies, when Linda passes away, John reacts with incredible depression and anger. While he is uncontrollably upset, a nearby nurse lectures him on how he should not behave in such a manner. The actions he has are not normal. However, John is not normal. Being an individual allows John the freedom to see what the public masses are blind to, the secretive dictatorship of the World State. With John's character “Huxley considers choices of escape that the undernourished majority may be forced to take when controlled by the smaller yet better fed members of society” without a fair chance the public will always be under control of the government (Myron 11). This is what John can clearly see by being an individual. His opposing view of life and death ties into the much larger truth in the novel. This can be seen even with older work, with completely different characters and situations.
Although written in the sixteen hundreds Shakespeare's Hamlet stills hold the truth of an atypical versus common view. In the play it is obvious that Hamlet is the individual in the piece. While everyone in Denmark is celebrating King Claudius and Queen Gertrude's marriage, Hamlet is still mourning his father death, which was not even a month old yet. Both Gertrude and Claudius try and talk Hamlet out of being so dramatically upset. The entire kingdom except for Hamlet is celebrating and disregarding the death of a his father. The public is preoccupied with the festivitys of a new marriage to complete the proper mourning sentence. Everyone, except Hamlet, sees life as this wonderful concept. Hamlet, however, is struggling with his inner demons. His view of life can best be seen when he says “whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,”(Shakespeare III I 65-66). Hamlet is going through a serious depression in this line when he debates on if life is truly worth living. Is life worth the hardships it gives, Hamlet is surrounded by happy people in his kingdom and he has never been more miserable. In the beginning of the play Hamlet's view of death is mournful but, as the play continues he begins to think of death as this incredibly terrifying concept, this is clear when he states “To die,to sleep-- to sleep, perchance to dream […] But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country of whose bourn” (Shakespeare III i 72-87). Hamlet, while struggling with his inner demons, has become so ungodly broken all he wants is to be free of this pain, but the thought of life after death is more awful then life itself. Hamlet realizes men that fight through the obstacles of life only do it because they are too frightened to see what comes after life. Yes, Hamlet's views on life and death are depressing and sad, but it is in such a way that he becomes a complex individual. Such a complex individual that his role can take on many interpretations, these interpretations allow for “everyone [to] admit[s] finding something of himself in the Prince of Denmark” (Goddard 15). Equipped with his horrible outlook on life and death Shakespeare successfully created a brooding character that everyone, at some point in their life, can relate to. That, the relation to the audience, is the higher importance of Hamlet being an individual.

Individuality is important to everyone. Everyone wants to stand out in some way, even if it is an atypical view of life and death. A person or characters individuality will always have a deeper meaning. John's thoughts of life needing hardships and death being mournful is rivaled by society’s concept of an easy life and death being irrelevant, John's individuality allows him to show the audience that people need to have a fair shot at life to be away from the control of an oppressive government. Hamlet's view of a dreadful life and terrifying death is opposed by happiness in life and the dismissal of death, Hamlet's brooding individuality leads to a deeper connection with the audience. No matter what the subject is there will always be a common view and there will always be an atypical view, authors will always input the view of individual to reveal some aspect of greater importance of the piece of work

Works Cited

Goddard, Harold C. "Harold C. Goddard on Hamlet's Individuality." Bloom's Guides: Hamlet. New York: Infobase, 2004. 51-52. Print.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World,. New York: Harper & Bros., 2006. Print.

Myron, Coleman C. "The Nonconformers Pause and Say: "There's Gotta Be Something More"" Bloom's Guides: Brave New World. New York: Infobase, 2004. 11-15. Print.

Shakespeare, William. New York: Washington Square, 2004. Print.

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