Brave New World: A prophecy examined
Monday, November 24, 2014
Depicts a world where the state organized to insure happiness, community and stability. Citizens are condition to maintain the status quo Huxley suggests in BNW revisited (essay) that we are drifting towards that at present. Welfare-tyranny BNW, people 600 years in the future direct all their energy toward avoiding physical and mental discomfort. The state provides constant diversion in the form of elaborate games, erotic "feelie" motion pictures and endless sexual freedom Today-TV, sports, events and increasingly sophisticated games have much the same aim-to escape from life's doldrums and disappointments In Huxley's futures world-though happiness might be elusive, world-state citizens can always life their spirts with SOMA. This cure all acts as a tranquilizer, stimulant or hallucinogen Today-The multi-million dollar drug business the pumps out tons of anti-depressants Belonging in BNW has nothing to do with close personal relationships, marriage or national identity. The world state has eradicated personal loyalties to eliminate divisiveness. Everyone belongs to everyone This extreme does not yet exist. But it cannot be denied that a high divorce rate and unstable close, personal relationships are features of modern life In Huxley's world no one is meant to be alone
Emphasis on group activties
Shows a truth about human nature: belonging to a group is needed to feel secure People who conform are happy and are given a sense of identity, those who don't are left to be alone The need to belong is used by modern police states to achieve social stability China government dress code and social regimentation were used to control people and foster group loyalty Some democracies accept dress codes as means of developing disciplines in some situations. The armed forces are the most notable example of this Huxley's world states uses Bokanovsky's Process and social and moral conditioning to achieve stability. Process produces five distinct castes, each mentally and physically suited to a particular role in life. Although scientists have not yet managed to mass produce test-tube babies, they are using scientific techniques to produce babies. Artificial inseminations, fertility drugs and embryo implantation are not all accepted practices Through hypnopaedia an elaborate system of behaviour modification, and an all-inclusive network of propaganda, each BNW citizen is conditioned to conform. Modern equivalent: subliminal messaging
BNW ridged structure also guarantees economic well-being. Citizens must buy expensive equipment in order to play approved games. Consumption is also encouraged by state slogans like "end instead of mend" Slogan could also apply to existing production techniques. Planned obsolescence is here. In addition products are routinely associated with values that buyers hold dear--social status and sex appeal Emphasis on materialism is yet another prophetic strain in the novel. In today's society, materialistic concerns frequently override humanistic ones. An individual's worth is often measured in terms of wealth rather than intangibles such as goodness. One might not guess that "money isn't everything" by observing North American social and economic structure Many critics, including Huxley, believe the kind of future that is depicted in BNW is possible, considering the direction technologically advanced societies are taking. Huxley's visions of technology's effects on morality, social structure , labour and leisure time were, indeed, extreme-but prophetic Huxley agreed with credibility of his predictions by depriving BNW citizens of any freedom or rational thought. They have two choices: an insane life in Utopia or a strange, primitive life on a Indian reservation. Later he wrote that he should have provided a third alternative: life within a community of exiles and refugees from BNW. Here would live those who refused to...
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