I stood in front of the television screen in horror and disbelief at 10 o'clock on September 11, 2001. Watching as the second plane struck the World Trade Center in a fiery ball of destruction, I thought for sure that this world as we know it was coming to an abrupt end. Seeing the first tower fall and then the second, with over 100 stories each now a pile of twisted steel and death made me want to vomit. In two short hours, the stability of America’s foundation became questionable. I wondered how such a terrorist attack could happen in this society. Then I began looking for warning signs. Ironically, all the warning America needed lies underneath the cover of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World published in 1932. Huxley warned America prior to World War II and almost 70 years prior to the “Attack on America” that materialism, ethnocentrism, complacency, and racism could all lead to ultimate destruction. America chose to ignore him.
Why were such attacks and wounds inflicted on America? Huxley recognized many years prior to pop culture that society in the US was incredibly materialistic and money oriented; maybe someday America would be otherwise. In Brave New World, Huxley puts great detail into the description of this futuristic society's material possessions. Their creator and God was “Ford,” named after the car manufacturer and father of mass production. “Ford” was an incredible symbol of wealth and power, similar to the automobile at the time of publication. Besides Ford, Huxley’s main female character Lenina Crowne takes great pride in her appearance and her outfits, especially her “silver-mounted green morocco-surrogate cartridge belt” (Huxley, 50). Many analysts in...
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...el. I’m glad I don’t look like them.” I have been conditioned to hate too, in other ways, through media and society. Huxley warns us of a danger in this perspective. As we separate ourselves further and further apart within our country due to race and ethnicity, we will become more and more like Lenina, Bernard, and Henry. We become so focused on our own personal goals, only allowing socialization within the specific social class, that we lose understanding for the big picture. Eventually, due to our differences, some will be driven from their homes, forced to leave like John the Savage, alienated to the point of no return. How can America point blame onto another society when it harbors a similar hatred within the US borders? How could America let this predicted materialism, ethnocentrism, complacency, and racism happen? How could I miss the warning signs?
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