Brave New World: Debate
In most cases, past, present, and the written future, surveillance can be expressed through methods such as recording audibly or visually. When we think of surveillance, we tend to think of video cameras, or of security guards watching society’s every move. The same situations are not expressed in Huxley’s Brave New World. Surveillance, by definition, is close watch or observation kept over someone or something. While the citizens of the brave new world are strictly controlled, they are, for the most part, not constantly observed in any way, shape or form. "‘That is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.’" (Huxley 16) This is spoken by the director, one of the people who are responsible for the conditioning and psychological control of each member of society. Through the words, “Making people like their inescapable social destiny,” he implies that it is his duty to bind each person mentally to their place in society and to assure that they are happy, despite how truthfully horrid that place may be. “‘I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write.’” (Huxley 27) Referring to the obvious incapabilities and lack of intellect on the part of the lower cast members this quote emphasizes the point that those in society who serve the most undesirable of lives are too “stupid” to rebel or to realize how awful their lives are. Those who are smart enough to understand social standards are living such grand lives that they are untroubled by the structure of the government. “‘Do you like being slaves?’ the Savage was saying… ‘Don’t you want to be free and men? Don’t you understand what manhood and freedom are?’” (Huxley 212) These are words shouted to incomprehensible Epsilons by John as he attempts to rouse them into rebellion and revolution. When they simply stand there stupidly, this only proves the fact that they are so incredibly psychologically controlled that, even when being persuaded to resist and rebel, they are incapable of thinking or acting in ways that may be threatening to the safety or the structure of the government. As stated by Huxley, “...most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution…Stability was practically assured.”
Therefore, we can conclude that the societal safety of the brave new world does not rely on surveillance, but the psychological control or imprisonment of each person. The government does not need surveillance when each member of society is trapped in his or her own mind. In most futuristic satires or dystopian novels, there will be a separate setting or community with contrasting utopian characteristics, which the author puts in place to emphasize the undesirable and immoral qualities of the dystopia in question. In The Hunger Games series, the utopian area would be District Thirteen as opposed to the capital. In Huxley’ Brave New World, this certain community of utopian characteristics is none other than the Savage Reservation, Malpais. He describes the area as a place that has “survived” the forth coming of the new society (the brave new world). Huxley attempts to convey to the reader that this reservation is the more ethical and humane place in which to reside in the time of Brave New World, and therefore puts it in a position of morality. To us, it is meant to seem as the more desirable and correct choice of lifestyle. In the Savage Reservation, we find that Huxley has included no surveillance whatsoever, whether it be physical—involving video cameras or audiotapes—or mental—being the psychological confinement undergone by the members of the brave new world. As John states to Mustapha Mond, “‘I like the inconveniences.’ ‘We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to...
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