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Names and Totalitarianism in Brave New World

By sydneyleann Dec 01, 2011 548 Words
Names and Totalitarianism in Brave New World
In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited, he writes “There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown” (page 122). This quotation is representative of the theme in his previous book, Brave New World, regarding totalitarianism and its effects on the scientific community. Huxley manages to show this theme accurately through the usage of his character’s names. The best example of the names’ usages is predominantly found in Huxley’s use of “Ford” to replace “God” as well as “Christ”. A British philosopher, David Pearce, on his website about Huxley’s works, states: “In the Brave New World science and technology have replaced God as a source of value and meaning in life. Because Huxley believed that this shift in emphasis was given great impetus when Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing with his assembly-line technique, the introduction of the Model-T Ford is used as the opening date of the new era. This change in emphasis is symbolized by the changing of the Christian Cross to the Ford T” (Brave New World Monarch Notes). In the book, a good example of David Pearce’s point is when Mustapha Mond quotes, “God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice” (page ).

Essentially, Totalitarianism is shown by the usage of “Ford” by regulating the masses, as Henry Ford, a popular figure in history, once did using automobiles. With Henry Ford’s ideal used on humans, it easily turned into totalitarianism with usage of limitations (religion), restrictions (books, past culture), and mass production (Epsilons being born by thousands). An example of this principle is when Mustapha Mond quotes, "Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment." He easily relates stability to cars, insinuating that there is a connection between Ford's ideal and his.

In addition to God being replaced by “Ford”, Ford may also be referred to as “Freud”. This originates after Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalytic manner regarding sexual behavior and children. Freud endorses the idea that people of all ages go through several sexual stages beginning at birth.

Jerome Meckier, in his book "Aldous Huxley: Modern Satirical Novelist of Ideas", he writes, "Claud Bernard... has been called the father of experimental medicine. Bernard Marx specializes in hypnopaedia-in repetition rather than experiment. The novelist (Huxley) may also have been thinking of St Bernard of Clairvaux, French theologian and mystic, who advised popes and inspired the Second Crusade..." (page 187). David Pearce quotes, (Bernard) Marx is an obvious reference to Karl Marx, a German Socialist, whose greatest and best - known work, Das Kapital, expresses his belief that the fundamental factor in the development of society is the method of production and exchange. Both writers clearly believe Bernard Marx to be a direct relation with totalitarianism principles.

Another example of direct comparisons to totalitarianism include Lenina's name. According to David Pearce, "Lenina is a variation of Lenin - Nikolai Lenin, the Russian Socialist, who had a tremendous influence in the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the present-day Russia."

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