Nature Versus Nurture in Brave New World

Topics: Brave New World, Nature versus nurture, Aldous Huxley Pages: 3 (1182 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Brave New World depicts a world in which Resident Controller Mustapha Mond governs a society where every aspect of an individual's life, from decantation onward, is determined by the State. Predestination by God has been replaced by predestination by the government. Through the Bokanovsky Process, future-citizens are made with a virtually inexistent level of individuality. Once decanted and technologically altered to comply with their pre-determined caste, children are brought up and conditioned by state officials, not by a traditional family. Value has been stripped away from people as individual beings; humans have become standardized and interchangeable. Brave New World portrays a society in which innate originality has been sacrificed for efficiency and the underlying good of society as a whole. “Social stability” (p. 31) is the highest social goal, and through predestination and hypnopaedic conditioning, individuals are unknowingly manipulated into accepting and even enjoying their “inescapable social destin[ies]” (p. 13). As the Director says himself, “ the secret to happiness and virtue [is] liking what you’ve got to do” (p. 13). By sacrificing individuality for social stability, the basis of the society depicted in Brave New World is control and manipulation. The fate of an individual depends on the unequal interplay of Nature and Nurture, heredity and environment, but in Brave New World, the dystopian state government controls innate qualities by overpowering them with conditioning. Naturally, the reader finds this control disquieting as it tampers with the natural biological make-up of humanity. Huxley plays on these anxieties to devastating effects by emphasizing conditioning over innate behaviour, or rather Nurture over Nature, in his novel Brave New World. The nature versus nurture debate concerns the importance of an individual's inherited genes versus environmental influences in determining their behavioural traits. Throughout his novel Brave New...
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