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Comparing The Dystopian Society In Brave New World And Modern Society

1770 words - 7 pages

The meaning of happiness is a vague concept. Mankind has always tried to achieve this state of well-being even though there isn’t a clear definition. Brave New World tells the story of a society where there is nothing but happiness, just like a utopia, but it is considered a dystopian setting by the modern society. In modern society, there is a simple road that most people follow to achieve happiness: earning enough money for education, getting a university degree, a prestigious and high-paying job, and a stable marriage. To some, the road is mostly about a circle of finding ways to earn and spend money. It seems like a bleak lifestyle when looked at from a different perspective. From a modern perspective the world of BNW is the dystopian one. To understand why BNW is considered dystopian and how different (or not) it is from the modern life; the methods of creating happiness in BNW and modern life should be analyzed, and the values of the modern society and the values of the society of BNW should be compared.
In BNW, there are many methods that are used to induce happiness. One of them is classical conditioning. People are not free to choose a life that they want to live, they are given a life and they are conditioned to like it. As the director puts it in the beginning of the novel, “All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.” (11). Not only that, but classical conditioning is also used to increase consumption, just like real life. While not as complex as the methods used in BNW, most commercials use subtle classical conditioning techniques.
There is a reason why people are always happy in the world of commercials. By associating positive feelings with the product, the advertisers hope to use classical conditioning to seduce customers. In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley talks about how BNW is coming true and one of his points is commercials: “Another disproportionately fascinating symbol is the Singing Commercial. Singing Commercials are a recent invention.” (26). He also talks about how commercials try to seduce children: “In Europe, conscripts used to be playfully referred to as "cannon fodder." Their little brothers and sisters have now become radio fodder and television fodder. In my childhood we were taught to sing nursery rhymes and, in pious households, hymns. Today the little ones warble the Singing Commercials.” (27).
Commercials that seduce children are many, but not all of them are aimed at children. For example, in some of the Coca-Cola commercials that are shown in warm climates, there is a hot weather and a person who is discomfortable with the heat is shown drinking a cold bottle of Coca-Cola. Then the camera zooms in and shows how Coca-Cola not only quenched their thirst, but also freshened them up. Here, the aim is associating hot weather with Coca-Cola. If people think about drinking a cold bottle of Coca-Cola in a hot Summer day, then the commercial has achieved...

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