Brave New World: All Things are Relative

Topics: Civilization, Culture, Time Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Brave New World: All Things are Relative

The dictionary defines civilized as "advanced in social customs, art, and science". The keyword here is social customs. A persons idea of what is civilized is relative to his culture. Through out the history of man, one can see many changes in customs, and customs is what defines our idea of what is civilized. The word civilized is one of the most relative concepts.

Time and distance are what have shaped our customs for thousands of years. If we look back throughout history we can see many customs that may seem odd, or even barbaric, to us but were everyday events to these ancient people. For example, the Aztec conducted sacrifices, to their Gods, in which they torn out their victims heart with a knife, and their priests and warriors proceeded to eat the victims flesh. Yet, the Aztec were considered to be one of the most civilized group of Indians in the western hemisphere. The Anasazi, commonly called cave-dwellers, who from birth, used wood and bindings to elongate the head. Even today in Japan, tradition says that women are supposed to walk ten feet behind their husbands. This may seem like demeaning women to us but who are we to judge when the United States has had a long history of racial and ethnic discrimination and only now are we changing.

The society in Brave New World has not lost their values but has simple changed their idea of what is right and wrong. After all, how much have we changed in the past 600 years. Six-hundred years ago in England, we killed people for conducting scientific experiments and believed this was against the teachings of the church. The society in Brave New World is a mirror to our own when we view the past. If a person from the present were to see the sacrifices and eating of the human flesh by the Aztec Indians, that person would see it as barbaric in contrast to his own culture. Isn't it true that what we view as barbaric or uncivilized is always...
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