Utopia, Dystopia

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Utopia and Dystopia
Literature (keywords):
• Utopian literature:
• A fictional text dealing with an ideal (future) society. • Dystopian literature: • A fictional text dealing with a future society in which human freedom is severely limited. A dystopia often criticizes our present-day society by exposing trends and tendencies towards totalitarian control. Brave New World- background knowledge

• Written in 1931
• Set in distant future
Generally known elements:
• Total control of society by in-vitro fertilization (künstliche Befruchtung) • Artificial laboratory breeding, „cloning“ of work force and conditioning • Society strictly devided into classes (Alpha, beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon) • Alphas constituting ruling class, Epsilon constituting a slave-like work force • Natural reproduction outlawed (verboten)

• Sex is pure entertainment
• Monogamy regarded as unnatural and immoral
• People kept happy by a drug called Soma
• Religion replaced by a strong belief in technology and science Extrapolation (Hochrechnung) of development of 20th century society in Brave New World • Belief in science, technology and progress

• Misuse of science
• Political and economic control and manipulation
• Mass production and mass consumption
• Decline of religion and values
• Decline of eductional standards
• Drugs
• Mass entertainment
• sensationalism
Wörter Decline: ablehnen//extrapolation: Hochrechnung (hier: the writer criticizes// outlaw:verbieten// in- vitro fertilization: künstliche Befruchtung// sensationalism: Sensationsgier// severely: streng// promiscuity: Freizügigkeit// indoctrination: ideologischer Drill// sb. Envies: jemand beneidet// vaccination: Schutzimpfung Aldous Huxley: Brave New World • Society:

•
Motto: community, identity, stability
• Hierarchical structure:
Alphas Betas
Gammas Delta
Epsilons
Intellectual and political leadership Qualified specialists
Skilled workers Workers
Slave-like unskilled workforce

• • • •
Society is absolutely static. No mobility between classes. Human beings are born into classes: artificially generated, bred and conditioned to the demands of their class People kept happy in their class by drug use - soma

Sexual promiscuity is the norm natural reproduction is outlawed Notions of love, romance or parenthood are regarded as obscene People who not conform with the World State society are exiled or live on reservations

• Dystopian elements of BNW society
• Anti-individualist, authoritarian society
• Hierarchically ordered society
• Indoctrination, conditioning, propaganda
• Sanctions against dissenters
• Reversal of values
• Enforced solidarity, public events, communal activity
• Restriction of thought
• Claim to be only alternative to a corrupt, unhealthy and dangerous world outside • Political and economical control
• Main characters
• Bernard Marx
• •




Alpha-Plus psychologist
Mentally and physically different from other Alpha-pluses ➡ suffers from the disrespect of other Alphas Likes Lenina
Envies Helmholtz for his popularity with girls Melancholic
Dislikes himself
John‘s guardian➡ temporarily not an outsider anymore

Wörter Decline: ablehnen//extrapolation: Hochrechnung (hier: the writer criticizes// outlaw:verbieten// in- vitro fertilization: künstliche Befruchtung// sensationalism: Sensationsgier// severely: streng// promiscuity: Freizügigkeit// indoctrination: ideologischer Drill// sb. Envies: jemand beneidet// vaccination: Schutzimpfung • Lenina Crown

• • • •
• •
Beta vaccination worker
Pretty, most desirable woman in her society ➡ objective of desire Likes Bernhard
Likes John, but conditioning prevents mutual understanding, which leads to disaster
Perfectly conditioned, orthodox, can understand neither Bernard nor John Takes soma or recites slogans in situations which are beyond her comprehension
• Helmholtz Watson
• Alpha plus, lecturer, writer of propaganda
• Bernard‘s...
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