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Overview Of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

1543 words - 6 pages

In Aldous Huxley's self-created dystopian society, controlled by biotechnology, genetics are edited to perfection and babies are manufactured in bottles through Ectogenesis1. After visiting America in the Roaring Thirties, Huxley admired the confidence, vitality, and "generous extravagance" he found in American life and the American people. However, he began to see the destructive spiral that Totalitarianism had on society, especially with his experiences in Italy under the reign of fascist leader Benito Mussolini (Barron's Educational Series). Huxley was deeply troubled by threats to individual freedom and independence; in Europe in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, these were threatened by the rise of totalitarian governments (Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
Historical Context).
Huxley envisions the birth of a scientific dictatorship, which slowly exorcises individuality out of society (Bowering 98). Referring back to the works of Henry Ford and the First Model T, in his essay entitled To the Puritan All Things are Impure Huxley states: “Rigorously practised for a few generations, this dreadful religion of the machine will end by destroying the human race.” (Murray 251-52) With the numerous advances in science—specifically eugenics, technology, and detriments to social changes and economics, Huxley uses this as support of humanity's inevitable fate (Gale, 2003).
Set in 632 A.F. ('After Ford'-- measured from the date of the first Model T), Brave New World2 depicts a dystopian state of dominance, dependence and despondency, concealed as the image of a ‘perfect world’. Based upon a caste system, ranging from elite Alphas to asinine Epsilons, all live amongst each other in pure euphoria in a place called the World State. By using advancements in procreation, physiological exploitation, psychopharmacology, and operant conditioning, society has managed to create the “perfect world”, a world controlled by Marxism3. The perversion of Marxist ideas under Stalin is echoed in Brave New World – some communist ideals are satirized, specifically “everyone belongs to everyone else”, which is signified by the quote “From there on, each person is subjected to serve another, no one is truly free because they are subjected to everyone else's own inclinations” (Huxley 149-50). Using these advancements in science as a means of dominance, every being is conditioned to fit society's needs. This is done through the process of Neo-Pavlovian conditioning4, in order to prepare the embryos for the levels of strength, intelligence, and aptitude required for their future as an Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or Epsilon.
Based upon the ideology, “Community, Identity, and Stability”, the World State lives in an illusion of mass euphoria, artificially aided by “soma holidays”, which offers a facile way for people to deal with the unwanted emotions which lead to incompetency and dubiousness. Soma promotes hedonism and alienates people from reality, preventing them from having...

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