Due to the “Enlightenment” belief in understanding through science and the scientific innovations of the “Industrial Revolution” during the 18th and 19th Centuries in Europe and America, the notion that society could be vastly improved through scientific progress pervaded “western” culture. Naturally, these advances were expected to culminate in the 20th Century. However, the shear brutality and scale of World War I and the hopelessness of the world economic depression of the 1930’s destroyed prior expectations and new socio-economic and political movements emerged, such as: Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Marxism, Fascism, Nazism, Fordism (which encompasses both mass-production and mass-consumption), etc. In his novel A Brave New World, Alduous Huxley incorporates various negative aspects of these movements into a morbid prediction about the future of industrialized society. Moreover, considering the parallels between some of the aspects of Huxley’s utopian society and those of contemporary, industrialized, consumer society, A Brave New World is frighteningly prophetic.
The starkest parallel between Huxley’s utopia and modern industrialized society is the absence of religion. In the novel, people worshipped Henry Ford as the new God and all traces of prior religions were completely obliterated. Hence, crucifixes were cut into T’s to represent Ford’s model T, “…the Charing-T Tower lifted towards the sky…” (Hux 61). Additionally, Bibles, Korans, and other holy books were banned in Huxley’s utopia and simple colloquialisms involving God were replaced with Ford, “ Thank Ford! He was not the last” (79).
Coincidentally, leaders in many modern industrialized societies have...
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2.) A.R.I.S.= the American Religious Identification Survey, directed by Dr. Ariela Keysar
of New York City University.
Arab Human Development Report 2002. New York, NY: United Nations Development
Programme Arab Fund for Economic And Social Development. 2002.
“Better Ways.” Economist. 28 July. 2001: p. 61.
Bible, the. King James Version.
Huxley, Alduous. A Brave New World. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher,
Kimmelman, Michael. “Beauty? Brains? Place Your Orders.” New York Times. 16 Feb.
National Center for Health Statistics. 14 April. 2003. divorce.html.
National Vital Statistics Report. Vol. 50, Num. 5. 14 April. 2003. nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr50/nvsr50_05.pdf.
“Stumbling in the dark.” Economist. 28 July. 2001. p.51.
“Top Twenty Religions in the United States, 2001.” Adherents.Com. 14 April. 2003.
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