Brave New World: The Advancement of Science

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Brave New World: The Advancement of Science

Christy Campbell Mrs. Doig Eng OAC 2 16 May, 1996

When thinking of progress, most people think of advances in the scientific fields, believing that most discoveries and technologies are beneficial to society. Are these advances as beneficial as most people think? In the novel Brave New World, the author Aldous Huxley, warns readers that scientific advances can be a threat to society. This is particularly evident in the fields of biology, technology and psychology. According to Huxley, "The theme of Brave New World is not the advancement of science as such; it is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals"(Huxley CLC 79 290).

One scientific advance of which Huxley warns readers of is that in biology. In the setting of Brave New World, henceforth referred to as the reservation, the mass production of humans is accomplished with the Bokanovsky process. In this process, human beings are genetically engineered in laboratories. "... a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full sized adult"(Huxley Brave New World 4). One of the threats of this genetic breeding is that no family structures exist on the reservation. Instead, humans are raised in conditioning centres. R.T. Oerton points out that "Present knowledge indicates, for instance, that a child cannot be deprived of parents or parent figures, as were the children in Brave New World, without suffering lasting pathological damage to his personality."(Oerton CLC 7 308). Another threat that the Bokanovsky process poses to society is that life is not highly valued. "Murder kills only the individual and, after all what is an individual? With a sweeping gesture he [Mr. Foster, director of hatcheries and conditioning] indicated the rows of microscopes, the test-tubes, the incubators. We can make a new one with...
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