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Aldous Huxley: Brave New World Essay

By aminarbee Jun 12, 2015 1018 Words
To my fellow year 12 students, at this stage you are all studying ‘Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World’ (BNW) for the elective Representing People and Politics. Today I welcome you to this HSC Study Day, explaining to you all, why this text is suitable for Module C. The novel definitely explores ramifications of future developments in science and technology and its misuse within in humanity, and it displays this notion through the shifting perspectives of certain characters. Here on one hand you have John the savage, who question society and value Arts and literature, who wants freedom & to be an independent individual. On the other hand we have the World State Leader; Mustafa Mond who’s only concern is to keep advancing this dystopian society in excessive consumerist and dehumanising ways. It’s these characters that represent Huxley’s warning in ‘BNW’ that the future representation of society is these people & so we should be careful of who has power and control. Now let’s look at the novel closely, in particular chapters 3, 7 and 18 as they are great examples of what Huxley is trying to warn us all about. Now I say Chapter 3 is a great interpretation of the people and politics, as it is continuously shifting different viewpoints on this so called ‘Brave New World’. As the Director and Mustapha Mond explain to the boys how the World State works in an abstract way, the contrasting scenes of Lenina show what society is doing and emphasises the main philosophical issues within the novel, which include the interplay between sexuality and emotions and the role of history. The interplay between sexuality and emotions is complex. Huxley realised that sex and family ties generate most human emotions, thus, the society rests on promiscuity and baby factories. Mustapha Mond is introduced as one of the Ten World Controllers, which connotes absolute supremacy. He lived in both pre-Fordian and present-Fordian worlds, gaining knowledge of both societies. He portrays the loving relation of a mother and her child as “obscene relationships” where the mother “maniacally” broods over her children. The dehumanising and degrading imagery reflects his negative perspectives of his values in relationships. The chapter also shifts to Lenina who is described as beautifying herself “with the finest talcum powder” which emphasises her conditioned values as always being seen as a sexual object to the eye of society, again degrading to humans. Society views history as dangerous and potentially corrupting. Having a history gives people a sense of time outside of their own lifetimes. This in turn makes people think about progression through time, which is something the society cannot permit without causing social upheaval. Hence why Huxley uses the quote from Ford, "History is bunk… is bunk," to indicate that history is worthless and should not be studied. The slow repetition of “is bunk” further emphasises its negative aspects. These perspectives are a great representation of the people and politics in ‘BNW’ & how they are conditioned to forget history and value monogamy sex. Now let’s take a big jump over to the reservations where we take a closer look in the differentiating characters. Here in chapter 7 is where we explore the savage’s way of life in comparison to the “civilised” life back in London. But firstly let me state that, the Reservation is a place of freedom and individuality, the morals and values are different of those in the conditioned world. It is really high in spirit and religion, which makes me admire how Huxley depicts the people and their values in life. When looking at the females within the story, we have Linda and Lenina who appear as opposites; however, the D.H.C remembers Linda as ‘particularly pneumatic’ which is an adjective often applied to Lenina. They both admire and yearn for the civilised way of life and really despise the Reservation. Linda’s civilised upbringings don’t apply to the reservations way of life, so sleeping around presents her as a whore. The presence of angry human emotions result in an instable society of assault and what Linda thinks is “Mad, mad and cruel.” This short, sharp sentence is used to describe the actions of women in this society as they attacked Linda due to her promiscuity which is unacceptable. Linda really despises the filthiness and lack of civilisation; she sees it as ‘unsteralised’ and describes it as “filth, just filth.” The short, sharp sentence and repetition of ‘filth’ emphasises on the uncleanliness of this society as they prefer to live by a natural life, which Linda believes lacks stability. Throughout this chapter, Lenina just nods her head with agreement allowing Huxley to represent the values of both individuals towards both societies. This chapter shows a parallel between the characters; Linda with Lenina as it gives the reader a contrasting insight of the 2 worlds. The last few pages of the novel interpret Huxley’s warning about the dangers of the ‘BNW’. John, the savage, someone who valued Arts, Religion, freedom and above all individuality was confined to the ways of the civilised world. It was all the power and control of Mond whom experimented on him to eliminate all of his human spirit. John’s contribution in the “orgy-porgy” led him to punish himself so dramatically that there was no return; suicide. The simile; John’s feet are likened to “two unhurried compass needles” and description “north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south west…” reflect an individual whose life has been pointless and directionless, having no sense of belonging. John’s tragic suicide highlights the dangers of individuality, especially in a society such as this ‘BNW’ and how science and technology intertwine with power and control to ultimately destroy life. With the juxtaposing of certain perspectives through different characters, ‘BNW’ definitely explores the alterations of future developments in science and technology and how it is misused in society. I hope now you understand why BNW is a suitable text to study for the elective; Representing people & Politics, I know it has been a great learning experience for myself. I thank you all for participating in today’s HSC Study Day.

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