Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Response to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World, a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley 1932 portrays a world where science and pleasure are combined together to form a technologically advanced yet superficial society. Everything is under control, being observed, so there is no form of privacy. Everyone is happy with the role they have gotten in society, or if they’re not, they take soma, a happy drug. Brave New World explores the danger of technology and what technology can do to the world as a whole. Aldous Huxley is trying to show us that technology does not have the power to save the human world. The technology that is used to control the humans from the time it is in the test tube which is the Embryonic technology. Technology is so good that they can make you highly intelligent or not highly intelligent while you are still an embryo. “ The lower the caste the shorter the oxygen” this means that one does not even control over our intelligence. You cannot try your best, nor do more work because your intelligence is predetermined. Also, there is no choice as to whether one will allow technology to think for them, since their intelligence is chosen when one is an embryo.
The society is divided into five castes which is the alphas the highest, betas, gammas, deltas, and epsilons the lowest. The people were made in a test tube so it was factory made. Everything that happens in an individual's life is not faith, it is prearranged by the government before birth. The test tube babies grow up to fit the position in society that the system gives them.
So people live without a childhood, a family, and they cannot make their own decisions. Their lives are centered on their community, their existence, and security. It is never centered on their happiness. So basically everyone is living for their society as a whole not as an individual.  The community was made in a way to be successful but it failed to give people their own identity. Every individual has sacrificed who they are as an individual to make sure that everybody was able to survive and live a life of happiness. This is similar to the idea present in many other dystopian works, that is, collectivism. Forced to sacrifice personal happiness, in order for a greater good to be achieved, the people of the “Brave New World” exemplify to readers the detriment that can occur from sacrificing personal freedoms and humanity, all for the sake of living comfortably.
An example of the detriment can be seen though the drug, known as soma, regularly taken by members of the society in order to find bliss and avoid any sort of real connection with the world or anyone else in it. The only way people connect with each other is through recreational sex. Soma, essentially depriving the world of pain, also deprives the world of love as people are expected to have a nonchalant reaction towards death and not feel romantic love towards anyone else. Such was seen by the fact that John’s behaviour of overwhelming sadness upon discovery of his mother’s death, was seen as unacceptable.
It is noteworthy that Huxley, throughout the novel, via the use of John, references many Shakespearian themes, all of which, clash with the ideas present in the “Brave New World.” The term “Brave New World” itself was originated by John, who read about such a world in “The Tempest” written by none other than, William Shakespeare. John, however, after living in this technologically advanced yet emotionally deprived world, discovers, along with the reader, that there is nothing “brave” present. In fact, this world, like most dystopias, represent the opposite of bravery as they have banished all sorts of humanistic values such as love and anguish, all in order to live comfortably. These emotions, often cause turmoil in the lives of individuals and so, true bravery would be to not only keep them but manage to somehow find happiness within them and prove the Shakespearian ideal that there can not be joy unless there is pain.  
-Maisha Mohinuddin 

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