Brave New World tries to achieve its motto of “community, identity and stability” by portraying a futuristic society (which could be seen as a disguised oppression) with highly contrasting views on morality to that of today’s perspective of ‘the natural order’ of society. These contrasting views have been created through the process of genetic and engineered conditioning directed at subjugated levels of social structure, the comparison to the Reservation as well as the acknowledged and accepted use of drugs (Soma) to induce a state of ‘happiness’.
A major instrument of social stability used by the Brave New World is Bokanovsky’s Process- a series of arrests of development to “stabilize the population” (page 5). “Predestined” embryos are concentrated to become purposeful members of society, “as future sewage workers or future Directors of Hatcheries” (page 6), developed in a matter of hours rather than months and designated a growing space until they become of adult age. While this chilling aspect is in fact a serious and important one for the Brave New World, the eugenic-style of breeding is disturbing for someone raised in today’s society to comprehend.S
A Brave New World Controller talks of the past society (similar to the one in which we live in today) as a vile and ignorant world. The talk of motherhood and family is taboo and hardly spoken of. The multitude of religion, “their world didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy.” With all the diseases, pain, mother and lovers, lonely remorse and endless isolating pain, how could they be stable?
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The mindset of the utopian is influenced by hypnopaedia teaching (brainwashing) and mandatory attendance to community gatherings. The author bitterly satirizes totalitarian propaganda and political technique to point out the problems of a utopian society; by showing, that Brave New World is actually a ‘dystopia’. Stability is achieved through the strict order in which each is day is structured, and the distributed drugs (Soma) that allow the individual to feel secure and ‘happy’.
The way the fascist and totalitarian regimes used mass propaganda techniques to brainwash their people was nearly identical to the way Huxley described the hypnopaedia teachings and drug distribution in his novel.
The Brave New World summed up its society with its motto Community, Identity, Stability, which explains the clone-like features of each class and the togetherness of the society, and the ‘freedom’ each individual has (most choose not to partake in individual freedoms because he is content with what he has).
A major theme in the novel Brave New World concerning societal stability is dehumanization. The number of trends in the modern Brave New World has eroded the idea of human beings as unique individuals and there is never any need for solitude- this is discouraged because it leads people to think and act differently. In today’s society there is no extreme method of conditioning used to conform the people to act in a mechanical group, of people mimicking each other. Dehumanization appears at the beginning of Brave New World when the first chapter describes the cold and grotesque ‘London Human Hatchery’ in depth and continuing throughout the novel with its most conditioned characters lack of emotion and conscience.
The Reservation is introduced to the reader in the first half of Brave New World, showing a sharp contrast to the Brave New World society in its portrayal of dust, dirt and the different ages of people in the reserve area. The two characters visiting the Reservation are disgusted with what they see because they have been accustomed to the sterility and the youth of Brave New World. "But how can they live like this?’ she broke out in a voice of indignant incredulity. (It wasn’t possible.)" (BNW, page 90). The Reservation seems so distanced to the Brave New World in its ways of thinking and living- here at the Reserve people are different in height, weight and intelligence. People are old, young, middle-aged, tainted with the effects of too much alcohol and the lack of hygiene. It is explained that unlike in the Reservation, the people living in the Brave New World are not allowed to become old. They are preserved from diseases and their metabolisms are permanently stimulated and are kept youthful until the age of around sixty when they suddenly die. To be kept ugly and old was a shock to people of the Brave New World because its own society had made sure that for the utopia to succeed in perfecting the ideals of community, identity and stability they must purge themselves of all imperfections, which in fact makes the human race so diverse and different as we know it. These ‘blemishes’ present in the Reservation is what makes the BNW so futuristic and apart from the ‘natural order’.
Same birth, same upbringing, same lifestyle. There are no differences. The people are conditioned to be ‘happy’, when most do not even know sadness or anger is. All emotions and diseases are cured and eradicated through surrogates and drugs. Happiness alone is not unique to the individual. There is widespread use of the drug Soma (the ‘perfect drug’), used by all to induce a kind of happiness.
Brave New World is a novel of ideas, a satirical dystopian science fiction that parodies the predicted future society that will occur as long as human nature continues to deteriorate and the use of modern science increasingly grows stronger. Huxley writes of a controlled utopian society where everyone, excluding a few, seems content with their surrounding living space.
The novel has distanced itself with ‘the natural order’ of our society id like today through use of advanced scientific technologies and a distinct change of human nature and character.
When Brave New World is juxtaposed with the ‘natural order’, or, the society we live in at present, Brave New World is portrayed to the reader as a shocking and disturbing impression of our future society to come if the present is continued to be lived in the way we live it.
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