Conformity: To Not Be Your True Self
In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, Huxley creates a futuristic world governed by conformity and submission to society. Citizens of this World State are conditioned to follow a set lifestyle determined at birth in order to create a stable civilization. However, there is still some form of individuality in each person, specifically in the characters Bernard, Lenina, and Linda. Within each of these characters, their difference in personality does not fit the norms of society, and they therefore try to suppress their own traits with unique methods such as soma. In times of sadness and despair, Bernard, Lenina, and Linda each give up a part of their own individuality and ideology, sticking to the conventions of the World State society which consequently adds to their struggle of trying to fit in with the rest of the world.
Looking at Bernard, his physical appearance sets him apart from being a normal Alpha: “Bernard’s physique was hardly better than that of the average Gamma” (64). Along with his physical appearance, Bernard also has the capability to think differently than most citizens of the World State, apparent on his date with Lenina when he comments about the sea: “It makes me feel as though . . . as though I were more of me . . . Not just a cell in the social body” (90). However, despite his different physical and personality traits, he doesn’t exercise his differences that would challenge the World State. For example, he strives to want to be like Helmholtz, “wishing . . . that he could have as many girls as Helmholtz did,” instead of embracing himself for who he is; Bernard continually falls into conformity and tries to follow an order than is not compatible with whom he is. Instead of exploring and questioning the world around him, he takes soma as his form of suppression to try to solve his problems of fitting into society. When Bernard gets humiliated in front of the Arch-Community Songster, he chooses to...
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