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Brave New World Essay

2513 words - 10 pages

A “utopia is that which is in contradiction with reality,” said the famous French novelist Albert Camus in his collection of essays, Between Hell and Reason. History shows us that seemingly exemplary ideals in practice have led to the collapse of societies. Just examine the two most prominent attempts at a utopia: Hitler’s attempt to socialize all of Europe and create the “perfect” Aryan race coupled with Karl Marx’s beliefs to instate communism into society. The final result was the destruction of their perspective visionary worlds. There was one major facet that prevented these two from creating their paradigms: utopias take away individual freedom and identity and therefore society cannot exist. Aldous Huxley’s science fiction novel Brave New World examines the large disconnect between the future and present day societies, showing how several aspects of this dystopian world lead to the downfall of the individual identity, most prominently exemplified by the death of John Savage.
Before examining how utopias rob individuals of their identities, it is important to note the large cultural differences between the present in Brave New World and the modern-day present to show how utopias cannot function even in a highly technologically advanced future. A common phrased used by most of the characters in the novel is, “Oh, Ford!” (Huxley 21) as opposed to “Oh, God!” in modern-day language. This shows how the Brave New World society views Henry Ford, one of the fathers of modern technology, as its deistic figure. The manner in which Henry Ford is viewed is similar to the way ‘God’ is viewed in the present day, as the omniscient, omnipotent figure. Likewise, the futuristic society is one driven largely by the consumption of drugs, specifically a powerful depressant called “soma.” Whenever one becomes anxious, nervous, or stressed, they ingest a gram of soma. This culture teaches the saying, “A gramme is better than a damn,” (90), indicating that using this drug takes precedent over being concerned about a particular issue. In today’s society, drug abuse is not tolerated whatsoever, and in the United States and many other developed countries, it is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The way drugs are regarded is such a large difference from the Brave New World society. In a present-day society where drugs are illegal to prevent “fantasy” from taking over, the future encourages “fantasy” over “reality” so that people do not worry about their problems. Finally, one of the major differences between the future and the present is how babies are born. In the present, babies are born to mothers and are raised to achieve and have a good job for their career. However, in the future, offspring are incubated and hatched by the use of machinery and each embryo is specialized to become an elite member of society or essentially a slave. As the Director explains it, “‘We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as...

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