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Brave new world

By enlish7 Nov 27, 2014 2028 Words
Dystopia in Aldous Huxley's Brave New Worl
It's hard to imagine yet somehow so extremely close to us is the possibility of a world of ideal perfection where there is no room or acceptance of individuality. Yet, as we strive towards the growth of technology and improvement of our daily living we come closer to closing the gap between the freedom of emotions, self understanding, and of speech and the devastation of a dystopia. A utopia, or perfect world, gone awry is displayed in Aldous Huxley's provocative novel Brave New World. Dystopia is drawn on "political and emotional events, anchoring its vision of a nightmarish future in contemporary fears of totalitarian ideology and

uncontrolled advances in technology and science" (Baker 22). It is the

situation that costs a piece of an unhealthy environment for human beings,

is the theme of the novel. The dystopian setting is brought about by

technology and by higher authorities. As technology increases, the use for

human beings in the work force decreases leaving an overwhelming amount of

depression among humans. Therefore, a way to continue the production of

technological findings is by bringing up humans from day one to accept

their unhappiness as normal. By "breeding" human beings to accept the fact

that they are born to do a specific group. Higher authorities know the

illimination of humans' emotions is useful to stabilize what they think to

be a utopian society. Huxley portrays a "perfect dystopia" where

scientists "breed people to order" in a specific class (Baker 2). The

purpose of this paper is to shows that Aldous Huxley clearly introduces a

river of cases and incidences, which adds to the dystopia in his science

fiction novel Brave New World.

Aldous Huxley was born on July 26, 1894 in England into a family of

novelists and scientists. Leonard Huxley, Aldous's father, was an essayist

and an editor who also was a respected, leading biologist in the time of

Darwinism. Both his brother and half-brother worked in the science field.

Huxley received an extensive training in both medicine and in the arts and

sciences. Huxley was described by V.S. Pritchett as "that rare being-the

prodigy, the educable young man, the peremial asker of unusual questions"

(Introduction to Aldous Huxley 1).

Huxley wrote a series of novels and essays as his career progressed.

Two of his best known novels are Brave New World and Island. These two

novels depict a world of dystopia. In Brave New World it's author "shifts

his mildly satiric observations of a limited group of people to a broader

and more ironic satire of a utopian society" (Introduction to Aldous Huxley

2). Island is novel of a Utopia which is constructed much in the same

principles as Brave New World. The difference between these two pieces of

writing is that Island is an approving form of Utopia while in Brave New

World we look at the Utopia as being a harmful way of life.

Huxley's works after these two novels were volumes of essays. In

his assays, topics expressed were ones that other authors hadn't truly

developed before the late 1930s, when Huxley began to write them. In the

essay called Brave New World Revisited that was written in 1950 Aldous

Huxley brings forward the issues he had begun to express in the novel in

which the essays' name had been derived from. Overpopulation, mind control,

and environmental destruction were the focuses in the novel. These topics

were looked upon by Aldous as problems. They were dilemmas that Huxley

"foretold" of the future. This essay is interesting because of the many

truths that have aroused since it was written such as the fact of

overpopulation. Huxley's life was cut short on November 22, 1963, a few

months after he wrote his last essay Literature and Science. He had spent

most of his life in the United States by the time he died in his home in


Brave New World is set in the future A.F. (After Ford) 632 in a

society where war, hunger, suffering, disease are illiminated along with

the freedom to have your own emotions, will, and mind. In this society,

humans are "conceived and mass-produced in test tubes and are genetically

engineered with standardized traits" (Critical Survey of Long Fiction 2).

Children are raised in laboratories were they are conditioned emotionally

and socially through technology and the use of drugs. In their adult lives

the "children" are part of a social class already predetermined for them

before birth. Their predestined lives are filled with promiscuous sex and

the shunning of any type of emotions towards the opposite sex. When the

"savage", otherwise known as John, is brought into this society he causes

conflict. He had been raised in a much more normal (as we may call it)

society and when brought to the new world he was shocked, confused and

unaccepting of the new ways of living. John does not accept this new world

society and goes against it.

One of the first signs of dystopia being displayed in this book is

introduced with a twist of hypocrisy. A main character of the novel named

Bernard Marx went to the Director of Hatchery to ask for permission to go

to the Savage Reservation, something that very few people got to do. While

in the office waiting to get his permit initialed the Director begins

speaking of the past and how he had once been in the Savage Reservation

with his girlfriend. This happens to be something that greatly shocks

Bernard. As high authority, the Director is not supposed to have such

emotions where he draws on memories. History in the new world is forbidden.

Books were items that were greatly censored by the controllers of the

world. The Director speaks of events of his past that affected him greatly.

He spoke of the girlfriend he had taken and how she had disappeared as he

slept one night. To this day, the Director explained to Bernard, he still

had dreams about those days about 25 years before. Marx felt extremely

uncomfortable because "a man so conventional, so scrupulously correct as

the Director-and to commit so gross a solecism! It made him want to hide

his face, to run out of the room" (Huxley 112). The Director surely showed

how a dystopian world these people lived in. Even as authority, he was not

able to fight back his emotions. This man was different from others in the

society just as Bernard was. He knew that the conditioning passed on to

the people was only good for those who choose not to see how they truly

felt. Huxley used the Director wisely making the point that it is

impossible to live in a world where emotions are to be trapped in side of a

person. His view comes across as one that we must pay a price to keep

stability of a Utopia alive.

Bernard is scolded by the Director of Hatchery for being different

himself. Mr. Marx is accused of not being "infantile in his emotional

life" when the Director is speaking of his uncommon feelings for Lenina, a

worker in the hatchery plant (Huxley 116). A threat of being sent to

Iceland is given to the "offender" as a punishment. His feelings for a

woman is unusual and not accepted in the new world because of the

outrageous (in this writer's opinion) fact that it is a threat to the

stability of the world which they live in. Stability can be though of as a

dystopian characteristic of this novel. Stability forces the people of the

society, who are far from being individuals, to be closed to their feelings.

Dystopia is also displayed in this imperfect world when it is shown

that even with all the technology and the knowledge of the scientists they

still haven't figured out a way to completely end pregnancy among the women.

Huxley is giving the impression that the Lord is more powerful than all of

the technology in the new world. This one mistake that haunts the people

of the society is so crucial because births given my females are sins.

They are preposterous and ridiculously embarrassing. Children who are born

from a bottle instead of natural birth are shunned in the new world and

this dystopian idea adds to the dystopian setting.

Another display of dystopia in this English writers novel is that

even in all it's perfection, the people are of the society turn to a drug

named soma to run away from their unhappiness. Linda, the mother of the

"savage", comes back from the reservation with Bernard. She had been the

woman that the Director had mentioned before to Bernard. John was the

Director's son. This in itself is a shock to everyone and a destruction of

the Director's reputation. When Linda returned to the new world she was

shunned for the birth of her son and she went into a soma holiday. This

meant that she took many tablets of soma until she no longer was a normal

individual. She was in a comatose state while on soma. The use of the

legal drug was to make her forget her emotions and her pain. It was to

hide the fact that even with the conditioning every new world citizen

received they could not be in a total utopia. John showed his savage

characteristics with his anger and disapproval for soma. In a desperate

moment next to his mother he spoke " 'But, Linda! Don't you know me?' "

(Huxley 244). Aldous cleverly worked into his novel that they could not be

machines as they had somewhat had been conditioned to be with no

characteristics of emotions as that of "normal" human beings.

The most outstanding and shocking moment (to this writer) is when

Mustapha Mond, who happens to be one of the new worlds' seven controllers,

admits that the world they inhabit is far from perfect. The controller

says to John "he who makes the laws is free to break the laws" (Clareson 3).

Huxley gave the dystopia in his novel a climax when we find out that the

controller along with the other 6 controllers have gone into the forbidden

books and read them. This fact is showing that even the commanders of the

new world cannot control their interest for history and Shakespeare. They

preach and condemn those who do not follow their preachings; yet, they are

hypocrites of their own beliefs.

In conclusion, this paper has proven that in Aldous Huxley's novel

Brave New World there was a numerous amount of dystopia displayed. The

first evidence of dystopia of the novel discussed in this paper is

presented when the Director of Hatcheries is looses himself in his thoughts

of the past. Following that evidence, there is the one where people such

as Bernard are not able to express how they feel or how they think. Women

can get pregnant and there is no sure way for the scientists to end this

process of nature in this dystopia. The fourth evidence is how soma is

used by people to accept their unhappiness even though the world around

them is supposed to ensure perfection in everything and everyone. In the

conversation and confessions of the controller to John, the controller

states that "Shakespeare is forbidden both because it's old and beautiful,

qualities that might make people turn against the synthetic beauty of the

brave new world, and because the people wouldn't understand it" (Baker 132).

This is part of the fifth and final proof discussed in this paper where

dystopia is displayed in the novel Brave New World written by Aldous Huxley.


"Aldous Huxley," in Critical Survey of Long Fiction, ed. Frank N. Magill.

New Jersey: Salem Press, 1983.

Baker, Robert. Brave New World: History, Science, and Dystopia. Boston:

Twayne Publishers, 1990.

Clareson, Thomas. "The Classic: Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'," in

Extrapolation, Vol. III, No. 1, December, 1961, pp.33-40; excerpted and

republished in DIScovering Authors Modules [CD-ROM] (Detroit; Gale Research, 1996).

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers,

1932. Introduction to Aldous Huxley, DIScovering Authors Modules [CD-ROM]

(Detroit; Gale

Research, 1996).

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