Satire is defined as “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” (Oxford). The best satirical writers can make the readers believe that an idea is “logical and practical.” This is seen in great abundance in Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World. Through his writing, Huxley uses satire to effectively point out the flaws of society at the time. Even though Brave New World was written in 1931, the satirical points Huxley makes are still relevant in today’s world.
One of the most pressing issues in Brave New World is the use of science and technology and how it affects people’s lives. In the novel, technology is far more advanced than it was in Huxley’s time. One of the main uses of technology in the book is for making human beings. Humans are no longer born, but rather “decanted (Huxley 18).” Technology and science are used to make an embryo into whatever kind of human that is desired. Some embryos are even deprived of oxygen in order to make the person less intelligent much like a soggy piece of pizza.
Another use of technology in the novel is cloning. The leaders strive to make everyone as similar as possible and cloning is one way of doing this. They achieve this feat by splitting an egg as many times as possible. This group of identical twins is called a Bokanovsky Group. The highest number of people in one of these groups was 96, with 72 being a “good average.” This process is used to mass produce workers; because of this, it is only used on the lower classes. It also takes away a person’s individuality, which is a big goal in the brave new world.
Huxley is giving us a huge warning about the advancement of science and technology. One warning is that if things continue in the direction they are going, our society might become too focused on how we can advance our technology at a faster and faster rate. If this were to happen, society would become alienated, as they are in the book. In the novel, this is brought to the reader’s attention in various places. The characters in the book are constantly talking about how they can push the limits or how they are so much farther ahead than they used to be. This is shown when Mr. Foster is proud to tell the statistics about the record number of adult individuals that came from a single ovary:
‘Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre,’ Mr. Foster replied without hesitation. He spoke very quickly, had a vivacious blue eye, and took an evident pleasure in quoting figures. ‘Sixteen thousand and twelve; in one hundred and eighty-nine batches of identicals. But of course they’ve done much better,’ he rattled on, ‘in some of the tropical Centres.’ (Huxley 8)
Another concern about society that Huxley points out is the abuse of science. One way that science is abused is by creating as many identical twins as possible. This obviously cannot be good for the...