Alcohol in Our Society; Huxley’s View in Relation to Brave New World
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a science fiction book that captures both the good and bad sides of cloning and mass production of humans through science. Huxley’s book, published in 1932, conveys his well-developed and disturbingly accurate ideas about human behavior in what was then the distant future. In addition, his writing measures the capacity for which humans can obsess over not only having a perfect society, but also having total control over everyone and everything in a world where nothing is wild and untamed. Individualism is seen as a cause of instability, and society in its entirety is broken down into five castes. For the people of the “World State”, life is based on immediate pleasure and constant happiness; sex and the use of the drug soma are a major part of every person’s life.
The use of soma is so prevalent in the World State that no other drugs are ever used by anyone. It is the cure for everything and the supplement to happiness. In some ways, it is possible to say that soma is used in a fashion that could draw comparisons to the use of alcohol in the society known to humans today. On several occasions in the book, major characters show their use soma as a way to escape from harsh or uncomfortable feelings, or to further enhance their social activities. In one such case, Lenina and Henry take several doses of the drug while on a date (Huxley, 75). The use of soma, in this instance, causes the two to become rather oblivious to what is happening around them, and eventually leads to them engaging in sexual intercourse. In this sense, it can easily be seen how soma is used in a similar way as alcohol; people use it to relax themselves and to increase their pleasure with each other.
In our society, alcohol is used not only in this way, but also in some cases as an escape from the harshness of reality. In the World State, soma “holidays” are likewise used in the same way as alcohol for the intent of leaving behind problems and difficulties. One such instance occurs when Lenina uses soma after being exposed to the lifestyle of the people of the reservation (140, Huxley). She is disgusted and appalled by how people in the reservation live and as a result takes enough soma to completely immobilize...