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Essay: Search of Control in Brave New World

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 5 minutes
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  • Published: 22 March 2022*
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  • Words: 1,273 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 6 (approx)
  • Tags: Brave New World essays

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“Brave New World”, written by Aldous Huxley, depicted a utopian society where different social classes make the world go round. In doing this, each citizen is predisposed to a certain social class, and in doing so, was conditioned a different way to think, act, and feel. Quite soon, the novel is exposed to a not-so utopian society and beginning a new idea of dystopia. All people were trained to have no personal identity and to not direct feelings toward a specific person. People are stuck within their own social classes and are not able to get out of it. The main slogan of this altered ‘perfect’ state is “Community, Identity, and Stability.” The message or theme Huxley is attempting to portray in this novel is while people feel as if they are in control of feelings and actions, they may not always truly be in control.

In a Brave New World, government control results in the failure of a manipulated society. The world around is already determined by the government and has nothing to do with the choices of the population. The citizens are manufactured inside a mass breeding ground, enabling many copies of the same thing, over and over again. their human nature became irrelevant as nothing in this world is considered natural. These individuals aren’t living in terms of a pursuit of happiness, simply just to maintain the status of a society. Sleep speech was created to give babies ideas not needed to be taught by an individual, but rather by a computer in which could be done in mass to maintain the same idea throughout. This was known as “sleep teaching” and had become “discovered” (Huxley 25) This society was designed to be a successful utopian society but it failed to give people their individuality and peace. When limitations on behavior become present in a society it can restrict one’s ability to be truly happy and to identify as an individual in every aspect.

Huxley created a world where every individual’s freedom is taken away from them due to their pre-designed lifestyles. However, the characters from this book still believe that their own happiness lies within themselves. In a way, it does because they have not experienced life a different way due to the fact that there is so much power and direction over them. Ultimately, the people who watched over them, such as John, who was a savage delivered to the reservation for research, believed that they wanted more than the foolish happiness created for them.

While Huxley’s main concept of this novel is when people begin their own thoughts and ideas, they begin to come with an identity, the World State, or governing body controls the citizen’s minds and thoughts through the use of drugs called soma. Henry Foster, a man of the highest class shares his idea to someone about soma, “Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, come back without so much as a headache or a mythology” (Huxley 54). The idea of this statement allows for a reader to pick up a solid idea of what soma really is and what it does. When it comes to the citizens in the story, if ever they have a stressful time in their life, or they just need to take a break, all they need to do is take soma and come back with no stress. The governing body implements this to allow the people in the story to feel like they are actually in control of what they are doing while actually masking that they are not able to make decisions and are already predisposed to a certain thought process. In fact, later in the conversation, Henry also states that “stability was practically assured” (Huxley 54). In stating this, the reader is left to understand that when Henry says stability, it involves back to the World State’s slogan. In doing this, Henry includes all of the slogans in which he feels that he knows he is in control because the slogan includes identity. Also, when Henry says ‘practically,’ he has this assumption but doesn’t fully believe what he is saying. The author’s purpose in adding this is to show that even though all of this conditioning is present, but there are some flaws between each class creating a not-so-perfect society.

While people believe they have decisions in the Brave New World, they also believe that they have freedom. However, this is not the case. From the beginning of some citizen’s life, they were already born to hate things to prevent them from getting into things that can upbring and allow them to gain knowledge. The director brought students to a room and explained why it was done, “they’ll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an ‘instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers” (Huxley 22). Books are withheld from the citizens to prevent them from being used to gain knowledge, people read the book to gain insight and increase in knowledge, giving them more personal freedom. Flowers bring people to nature to enjoy things and explore new areas, this is prevented so people are not able to use a more abstract and personalized way of thinking. With the illusion of freedom to make one’s own decisions, people in the New World feel as if they are free to do, think, or act however they please. With this feeling, they are unable to comprehend that they have all been brainwashed from birth to think in this mindset and are ignorant to the fact that they have no true identity in the World State.

In some cases, John the Savage learned about how people were being controlled by the government. John was through with going into his own personal desires not to be with Lenina. Thoughts would flow through his head about being with her, and as he had these thoughts he said, “‘Oh the flesh!’ The Savage ground his teeth. This time it was on his shoulders that the whip descended. ‘Kill it, Kill it!’” (Huxley 258). In the case of an outsider, he still feels pressure to fit in to this ‘perfect’ society, leading him to go against his own morals. He tried to enlighten other people and explain how they were being controlled, in the case of sex, he learned that you have to be personal with another individual and make things like sex actually mean something. People did not understand his point. As John thought he was in control, he was calm and assertive, but as soon as he realized that people were not going to follow in his footsteps, he completely lost control of everything that was going on and decided to end his life, “slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-west; then paused” (Huxley 259). In taking his own life, it was too much for him to process as he went against everything he stood for.

In conclusion, Aldous Huxley’s purpose for writing this novel was to send a message that if somebody feels as if they are in control, they truly may not be in the position thereof. People in the novel had a sense of feeling they knew what was going on, but truly had no idea that what they were doing was not affecting any other individual and ended up becoming the one truly lost in the end. People were controlled from the beginning whether they liked it or not. In the end, people may not see the world around them as it supposedly is.

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