To What Extent Can True Happiness Be Achieved with Limited Freedom?

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Imagine, you were talking to your best friend about how you were feeling that day, and some how the word got to your boss about you are being too emotional outside of work hours, and you are now about to be send to an island with “like-minded” people. The last thing you feel is happy, but you are not allowed to be unhappy, because you grew up without this emotion, so instead you inject pills to better your mood. This is the environment that Aldous Huxley presents in Brave New World, a futuristic society where humans are bred in bottles and have been manipulated to fit a certain criteria, or “conditioned” from the time they are embryos. In this new society, emotions, religion and culture are sacrificed for social stability. People are not allowed any knowledge of the past, and everything is only explained to the most basic of truth. The freedoms we enjoy today are almost completely abolished. Naturally, we associate happiness with the ability to do whatever your want in life, so if we didn’t have this ability, can we still be happy in life? In the novel, it seems to be achievable on the surface, but when you look deeper, it shows that human beings respond to their environment in different ways. The reason that the citizens of this new society seem happy is a relative thing; they have little experience with mental pain. The society they live in is loveless, and they are rather unintelligent.

The citizens in the novel have been conditioned by the state ever since they were embryos. The state has manipulated every single aspect of development of these new babies, therefore, giving them every chance to build a “perfect” society. During the conditioning of these babies, the state got rid of mental pain altogether. These babies have no idea what pain actually is. However, you can ban the knowledge of pain, but you cannot ban the conditions that cause it. In the case of Bernard Marx, this condition came in the form of harassment about his physical appearance; and for...
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