Brave New World


Story Symbols and Themes


The Consequences of the Totalitarian State

Most dystopian novels feature some version of a totalitarian government that maintains political stability at the expense of personal freedom. Apart from Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984 is perhaps the most famous English-language novel of this type. It is useful to note the differences in Huxley’s and Orwell’s version of a totalitarian world government. In 1984, the government maintains its control over the governed primarily by means of intimidation, through the use of 24-hour surveillance, threats, secret police, and both physical and psychological torture. Though the human desire for individual freedom may well exist in Orwell’s world, it is aggressively suppressed through these means. In Brave New World, on the other hand, the citizens of the World State are under government control from the moment of their conception in a Hatchery test tube until the moment of their death, rendering the use of force unnecessary. The World State uses its advanced genetic and psychological technologies to create a populace who are incapable of rebellion because they truly do not desire it. The use of soma is an important tool in maintaining a constant level of complacence and shallow pleasure-seeking. The citizens of Huxley’s dystopia believe that they are happy, but Huxley makes it clear to the reader that this version of happiness comes at the expense of their freedom. They are not capable of feeling real emotions, experiencing genuine connections with one another, or thinking independently. The consequences of Huxley’s totalitarian state include the loss of all that makes us human.

Technology as a Means of Social Control

From its opening chapter, Brave New World paints the picture of a world where State-controlled technology has replaced the most fundamentally intimate and personal of human endeavors—reproduction. In the Hatchery, humans are...

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Essays About Brave New World