Brave New World: Out of Control Essay

Brave New World: Out of Control Essay

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Brave New World:  Out of Control         

In the 1932 satirical novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley describes an emotionless, mechanized world of the future, set mostly in London, in which individuality is eliminated, creativity is stifled, and such institutions as marriage, family, and church are unpleasant artifacts of a world long gone. In this society, people are mass-produced; human eggs are artificially engineered by technicians. Happiness is achieved through physical gratification and peace is safeguarded by the conditioning of youth and by dispensing soma, a tranquilizer. Bernard Marx is the main character and his unorthodox viewpoints and physical difference from the rest of his caste makes him as an outsider. Bernard and Lenina, his present "girlfriend", receive permission to visit a Savage Reservation in New Mexico. They return to "civilization" with a savage, John. There he struggles to understand this so-called utopia and is eventually driven to suicide while Bernard is exiled to an island for his unconventional beliefs.

Bernard Marx's bitter nonconformity comes from his resentment towards the state and its citizens. Dark and small when he should be fair and tall like the Alpha-plus he is mentally, he is a social outcast. He is essentially an opportunist who just wants to be accepted, just wants "no more talk of the alcohol in his blood-surrogate, no gibes at his physical appearance"(156). Nevertheless, Bernard is the perfect character through which to highlight the utopia's moral values or the lack thereof.

In Brave New World, Bernard fights against a society that devalues his individuality and thereby lessens his sense of identity and self worth. From birt...


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...n't want change. Every change is a menace to stability"(224-5). The idea of keeping an individual preoccupied with meaningless or unnecessary tasks so that he might never question his own individuality is an important one and forms the base on which their society is built. When Bernard criticized this social order in his report to Mond on the Savage, the World Controller vowed "to give him a lesson"(159), which he ultimately did.

Huxley attempts to unsettle the reader's uncritical faith in progress and technology. The novel is a fantasy of order and technology and in it he warns us that if we don't solve problems such as overpopulation and overconsumption ourselves now, a police state will do it for us. Without being able to balance progress and human need, and unable to control our own technology, we may be forced to give up more than we imagine.

 

 

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