How does Brave New World Illustrate the Point of Happiness

Topics: Brave New World, Dystopia, Aldous Huxley Pages: 6 (2261 words) Published: April 11, 2013

In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World the actions of the conditioned characters in the novel serve to prove that the Brave New World itself would never attain it's goal of happiness. Within the first introduced “Utopian” society, there were various forms of conditioning (and lack there of). This caused a disturbance within the society itself, albeit it was a minor disturbance initially, later it grew into a bigger problem that caused a riff in the mechanical order of the civilization. Outside of the society stood another much different society where a young “savage” conditioned to follow Shakespearian ideals left an even bigger hole in the Brave New World. The various degrees of conditioning, the differences between the seemingly Utopian society and the savage society, and the issues raised from the characters interactions, presents the idea that without perfection, there cannot be happiness, without happiness, there cannot be stability, and without stability, there cannot be a Utopia. Conditioning individuals is only a proper form of control if the conditioned party are the same (in other words, no longer individuals) and no other ideas that contradict the conditioning are brought forth. If those conditions are not met, the “Utopia” will cease to exist as a Utopia, and will crumble as a society. Happiness cannot be obtained in a crumbling society. The biggest issue with conditioning is making sure everyone thinks exactly the same way. There mustn’t be any other ideas to change the course of how society thinks. If clashing ideas exist problems arise and those problems will break the “utopian” society apart and cause disarray. The characters Lenina Crowne, Mustapha Mond, Berwald Marx, and Helmholtz Watson, all members of the mechanical civilization clashed with the other members (Such as Henry Ford and Fanny Crowne) of the fully-conditioned society. Bernard Marx's conditioning was flawed, “a physical shortcoming [produced] a mental excess” (Huxley, 73). In other words, because Bernard's chemical make-up was flawed physically, his intelligence was pushed far higher than the social norm. He was rumored “to have alcohol in his blood surrogate” (46). Bernard's peers rejected him because he thought and acted differently (“he doesn't like Obstacle Golf” (45)), and it was this rejection that caused him to step out of line and bring a stranger from a different conditioning background into their growingly unstable world. The only people who accepted him, and even liked him were Lenina Crowne, a love interest and Helmholtz Watson, his friend. Helmholtz also had different ideas from society, though his looks were nearly perfect, “he was a powerfully built man, deep-chested, broad-shouldered, massive, and yet quick in his movements, springly and agile.” (66). “A metal access had produced in Helmholtz Watson effects very similar to those which, in Bernard Marx was a physical defect”, Helmholtz's mind was every bit as capable as Bernard's, and because of that they both were to be considered and considered themselves individuals. This caused a problem for Helmholtz near the end of the novel when he produced poetry that went against the idea of the Brave New World. This not only nearly got him fired, it threw some Controllers into a bit of a panic, “what an outcry there was! The principal had me up and threatened to give me the immediate sack! I'm a marked man” (180). Lenina Crowne was a favorite among many men in the society, she was considered “especially pneumatic”. Her difference and contribution to the fall of her civilization was her lack of following the rules laid out by world controllers. She allowed herself to become emotionally attached to only one man at a time, breaking the “everybody belongs to everyone else” law. As a result, she fell in love with the Savage, John, which ended up being her own downfall. Mustapha Mond, “the ford-ship” and one of the World Controllers did his best to defend the ideals of his...
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