Brave New World
A society where individuality does not exist is the key ingredient to gain social stability and that is greatly implied from the theme of the novel. In chapter three the World Controller, Mustapha Mond, was explaining to a group of students about how in the past there was no stability, “No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability.” (Huxley 36). One major theme in the novel is that everyone works for the greater good of the community. That means that some people will have more luxurious jobs than others, but due to conditioning each job is luxurious to the person doing it. There is a kind of caste system that exists in the novel, where the Alpha people are the ‘leaders’, the Betas and Gammas are the ‘upper/lower middle class’, and the ‘working class’ or ‘poor people’ are the Deltas and Epsilons. It’s clear who the bourgeois and proletariat are, however, unlike most caste systems this system is set up to satisfy all its members, whether it is through intense conditioning or soma. Individual stability is gained from being happy, and the government in this world has found a way to make everyone happy, despite the different roles and positions people have in the society. Jealousy, protest and dissatisfaction don’t exist in this world like it does in ours. No one complains about their job or circumstance because they’ve been conditioned to be happy with who they are, which is a major struggle in todays society. Thus, the theme of the novel holds true: by eliminating individuality social stability will be gained. Due to the fact that every one will be happy no matter their role in society. It is clear that the ‘Brave New World’ is more socially stable and better than our world. There are some characters in the novel that really embody Marx’s idea of doing what’s best for the greater good of the society in order to keep society stable. A perfect example of a character that lives by this ideology is Mustapha Mond. This can be seen in chapter 16, when Mond is telling Helmholtz and John about how he was almost sent to an island to pursue his sciences research, but instead chose to give it all up, “That’s how I paid. By choosing to serve happiness. Other people 's–not mine. It’s lucky” (Huxley 201). He had the choice to go to an island where he would have no power, but would be able to continue his research in whatever way he wants. However, Mustapha Mond chose the easier life of happiness and social stability, where he is the bourgeois, over his personal beliefs and interests. He did what was best for society; now he’s a world controller and is the biggest supporter of the ideology behind Marx’s quote. Mond is a very obvious example of a character that really lives by the concept of doing what’s best for society in order to keep it stable. As someone who is so highly ranked in this modern world, to give up something like that is astonishing. When you compare that to our current society it is something you see very rarely, especially from people with such power. People are always thinking about what’s best for them, so if you have a society where everyone works for the greater good it eliminates that sense of selfishness. Hence, a society where people aren’t competing against each other but together towards a common goal is a more socially stable and better society.
Social stability can only be obtained if everyone’s point of view on major issues was the same. When you look at the world depicted in the novel from the point of view of a person who was decanted into and conditioned in that world, the question of whether their society is stable would not even arise. In chapter five, Henry Foster and Lenina saw someone die in a plane crash and they both agreed that whoever it was happy when he was alive,
‘Yes, everybody’s happy now, ’ echoed Lenina. They had heard those words repeated a hundred and fifty times every night for twelve years.” (Huxley 65).
Every one in this ‘Brave New World’ was conditioned through sleep teaching their entire childhood. They were taught what to like and dislike, how to feel about the world and pretty much everything they’ll ever need to sustain a stable happy life. So, if you once again try and look at the world through the eyes of a conditioned human being, living in this controlled environment, you’d be happy. All you know is that you’re proud of who you are, whether it be an Alpha or Epsilon, because you’ve been conditioned to be happy with your life no matter who you are. If ever you feel like taking a break you can go on a soma holiday to relax. You can have whatever you want, but since you’ve been conditioned in a certain way you wont even want something that you cannot have. Looking at it from a logical standpoint, it seems like the perfect life. You’re happy, which is what everyone wants in life. People in our society strive to be happy, and will stop at nothing to try and get that sense of happiness. Some think money equals happiness so they work their entire life getting money in order to be happy. Others think love and family is the key to happiness. Everyone achieves happiness in different forms, but ultimately everyone’s objective in life is to find a way to be happy. The people in the ‘Brave New World’ society have that sense of happiness. From they’re point of view everything is perfectly stable and they’re content with they’re role in society. As a result, since they’re all happy and think that they’re society is stable, they’re society is more socially stable and thus better than our current society.
The world in the novel is a very great example of what it might take in order to gain social stability in this world. It may seem very unlikely, but once you’ve made the transition it would seem highly unlikely to think of the world any other way. Our world has evolved drastically, just look back and think about how life was only a few decades ago. It’s even harder to imagine if you haven’t even been alive for two decades. A world with such limited technology, no Internet or cell phones. Now relate just a few decades to the centuries that have based in the novel. Our world will continue to evolve, faster and faster, its inevitable. People will learn to adapt without even realizing it and the past will look like an astonishing hurdle. The society in the novel may not be something you’d want to live in, but once you’ve lived it you wouldn’t know how to live any other way. Their world has everything our world has been trying to achieve, an end to poverty, disease and recession to name a few. Most importantly, they have social stability. They all work for the greater good of the society, everyone’s needs are fulfilled, and they are always happy. Since the World State is able to control people’s happiness through conditioning, they are able to create a society where everybody fits in the system. As a result, the society is more controllable and more socially stable. In conclusion, through the application of Marxist theory and from the theme, characters and points of views depicted in the novel, the society in the story is more socially stable and thus better than our current society.
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Huxley, Aldous. Brave new world. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2007. Print.
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