Essay: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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  • Published on: January 19, 2020
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  • A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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A utopia is an imagined place where everything is set up perfectly to benefit the growth of civilization. However, the following is questioned in Aldous Huxley’s novel, A Brave New World, where he reveals a satire of the Utopia based on the powers of scientific advancements and technology which may lead a society into complete destruction. Huxley organized his novel by stressing major fundamental principles within the “New World”, and even portrayed theories from Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines.

A major theme emphasized by Huxley was the idea that every person seeks to some form of pleasure to fulfill their need for happiness. It was believed that when everyone reached a stable form of happiness, the society would be able to run properly. In this Utopia, people were genetically engineered to eliminate any form of pain or sadness, including any feeling which required deep or passionate emotion. It was believed that “When the individual feels, the community reels” (page 94), therefore all children were taught early on that everyone belongs to everyone else. According to Foster’s novel, we live within a Christian culture where everything is somehow influenced by the dominant religions’ beliefs and values. These values may “not be religious in nature but may show themselves in connection with the individual’s role within society.” (chapter 14, “Yes, She’s a Christ Figure,too”) The following theory is symbolized in A Brave New World through a drug called “Soma”, which is used to ensure constant happiness, and was created to offer both a calm and high state of mind. Soma allowed people to shortly escape from reality and achieve a better understanding of God; defined as “Christianity without tears-that’s what soma is.” (page 238) Superego is a significant part of the mind that tells you right from wrong. In the “New World”, soma took away the need for a superego, and instead masked it with happy feelings. Citizens depended on soma, as they no longer needed to act at a problem at hand, but instead could block the mind to solve issues for itself.

Sexual pleasure was also often associated with achieving a state of happiness within the utopia. In this new world, people could have sexual relations with any partner of their choice, without any form of attachments. It was believed that love could interrupt stability within the society, therefore people never established families. Huxley formed a world where the government controlled population and eliminated any form of human difference. People were decanted from bottles which were spun and consisted of chemicals which prepared the embryos for proper strength, intelligence, and aptitude to fulfill their assigned jobs. Everyone was genetically formed identically, because it was thought that people who were similar were less likely to come into conflict. The following idea was presented as a major theory in Thomas Foster’s chapter “It’s All About Sex…” (chapter 16), where he explains why most writers assimilate some form of sexual aspects into their pieces. Writers have noticed that “sex often doesn’t appear in its own guise. It is displaced into other areas of experience in much the same way it is in our own lives and our own consciousnesses.” (chapter 16) This theory shows that writers incorporate sexual scenes to create some form of reality while still holding on to the imaginative aspect. Huxley in this case used sexual pleasure to show that no one belonged to anyone anymore than the other.

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