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The Use Of Technology To Control Society In Brave New World, By Aldous Huxley

1468 words - 6 pages

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, portrays a future society where people are no longer individuals but are controlled by the World State. The World State dominates the people by creating citizens that are content with who they are. Brave New World describes how the science of biology and psychology are manipulated so that the government can develop technologies to change the way humans think and act. The World State designs humans from conception for this society. Once the humans are within the society the state ensures all people remain happy. They program these humans to have needs and desires that will sustain a lucrative economy while not thinking of themselves as an individual. Huxley describes the Worlds State’s intent to control their society through medical intervention, happiness, and consumerism which has similarities to modern society.
Designing life from conception is an intriguing concept. Brave New World’s World State is in control of the reproduction of people by intervening medically. The Hatchery and Conditioning Centre is the factory that produces human beings. Ovaries are surgically removed, fertilized and then fetuses are kept incubated in specifically designed bottles. There are five castes which include: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Each caste is destined to have a different role; for example, an Epsilon, the lowest caste, is not capable of doing an Alpha’s job. This is because “the fetuses undergo different treatments depending on their castes. Oxygen deprivation and alcohol treatment ensure the lower intelligence and smaller size of members of the three lowers castes. Fetuses destined to work in the tropical climate are heat conditioned as embryos” (Sparknotes Editors). When producing humans the factory uses a cloning process and according to the director the clones produce stability within the society because the fetuses are predestined to perform identical tasks (Huxley 5). Conditioning continues through childhood so once adulthood is reached, these humans are emotionally and physically stable accepting and even end up liking “their inescapable social destiny” (Huxley 12). Some medical procedures that Huxley describes are occurring to some degree in today’s society and are referred to as genetic engineering. It involves the manipulation of RNA and DNA, which are the proteins found in every cell that determine the basic inherited characteristics of how an organism develops. According to a paper by Leslie Pray, “the controversy revolves around what scientists are calling reprogenetics: the combined use of reproductive and genetic technologies to select, and someday even genetically modify, embryos before implantation—not for health reasons, but for the sake of ‘improvement’” (Pray 2008). If one could screen embryos for diseases before they are born or had the power to choose the traits the baby would have, would one use it? Who defines the ‘perfect baby’? The concept of ‘designer babies’ could be...

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