Stability Versus Liberty
Lakshmi Mittal once said: “At the end of the day you have to keep the emotions away” (thinkexist.com). However, this piece of advice may not be as wise as one may think. The novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley demonstrates that being absent of emotions is in no way simple. The futuristic society within the novel, The World State, idealizes an absence of emotion in their population and therefore regulates all feelings to ensure a stable environment in an attempt to create a utopia. All religiousness involving God has been eliminated and Ford is worshipped instead; poetry is dead. Humans are separated into castes by the level of intelligence they were bred to have. These changes makes this futuristic world is entirely different. Pursuing this further, when John the Savage enters this emotionless world, he feels entirely out of place as he, unlike the other members of The World State, possesses a strong sense of emotion as well as individuality. John is considered a savage because of this and is viewed as a sort of alien compared to the solid, uniform society where happiness is found through sex and drug use. Point in fact, the control of feeling and creativity in this novel demonstrates to the reader the immense role emotion and individuality play in our society. Our society and the emotions we possess are questioned by observing John’s rejection of The World State through Huxley’s writing style and his use of euphemisms. All the while, we are being persuaded by the characters’ use of different types of rhetoric. To begin, Brave New World is filled with conflict, which aids in showing the differences of a society with and without emotion. John the Savage is a character within the novel that had been brought to The World State. When he becomes part of this ‘Brave New World’, there is obvious dissension between a society lacking creativity, sentiment and passion, and a man who possesses all of these characteristics. In fact, John was brought up on a reservation and became a man interested in literature, myths, religion and poetry which are all linked to emotion and instability, the opposite of what is required to live in collaboration. John disagrees with the views and restrictions of this new society, and therefore rebels against it. Since The World Sate insists on being happy and following the rules, the only way to rebel is to be miserable and refuse to conform. To do so, John “refuses to take soma, and seems much distressed because the woman Linda, his m(other), remains permanently on holiday. It is worthy of note that, in spite of his m (other’s) senility and the extreme repulsiveness of her appearance, the savage frequently goes to see her,” explains one of the habitants of the World State who does not understand or approve of the concept of love (Huxley 160). Here, John refuses to take soma and continues to love his mother and see her consistently to show his love because he does not agree with the ideology of The World State and instead stays true to his own morals and values. In Brave New World, John is much like someone from our society today if we were to be put into a new and different environment. Due to John’s similarity to a person from our society, the reader can make the comparisons and connections between these two ways of living. For instance, just as do many people in the world as we know it, John has an affinity for Shakespeare and when he finds out that the world controller, Mustapha Mond, has read Shakespeare’s poetry, his ‟face lights up with sudden pleasure,” writes Huxley. However, poetry is entirely censored from The World State by the world controllers for fear that it may wreck the established social stability. When asked about why the books on God are censored, Mond explains that The World State is forbidden from reading them “for the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.” (Huxley 231). Many...
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