Brave New World Literary Essay
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Brave New World Literary Essay
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a futuristic story of a dystopian society that
has rid itself of instability through science and politics, as well as the sacrifice of certain
cultural values. Although the concept of this new world seems ideal, the author portrays
it cynically. His ideas of progress, science and politics are reflected negatively in the
novel as their employment in the society cause the sacrifice of such themes as religion,
history, and freedom. The forfeitures made for stability creates a fear in the reader of the
methods used to dispose of them.
The theme of progress is one fundamental basis of the new culture. The people of
London now idolize the belief in Ford rather than a God. In this novel, Ford represents
Henry Ford who is a symbol of technological advancement and industrialization. His
ideas are reflected in the novel not only in the society’s mechanical modernization, such
as the use of helicopters instead of cars, but also in its scientific revolution. The use of
the assembly line is now used for the manufacturing of humans on a large scale. Each
human is categorized into a specific class; from an Alpha being the highest caste and of
the higher intelligence, to an Epsilon being the lowest caste and of lower intelligence. In
doing this, they have engineered human beings, not only to fulfill the various positions
needed to sustain a society, but also to enjoy the positions that need to be filled.
Therefore, they have created people in the most efficient manner possible;
‘We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future…’ He was going to say future World Controllers,
but correcting himself, said ‘future Directors of Hatcheries’ instead. (Huxley10).
However, there is also a mocking aspect in this mass production. People are no longer
able to decide their own future, and are conditioned to think about nothing except what
the state has sanctioned. Imperfection and individuality are sacrificed and the essence of
humanity is lost.
The new society also depends on new scientific advancements. People are now
created through a procedure called the Bokanovsky process, where a fertilized egg is split
into roughly ninety-six pairs of twins. The twins are then put into jars containing a
surrogate which resembles the uterus. They are then put on an assembly line where the
embryos mature and are deprived or allowed oxygen in order to distinguish what type of
class they will become. When they are ready to be born, they are decanted and then
conditioned in order to function in society. This conditioning is based on Pavlovian Style
behavioral conditioning, and is used to control the thoughts of the masses so they will not
revolt. It is ironic that science has gotten this society so far, yet now it is hindered by the
But we can’t allow science to undo its own good work. That’s why we so carefully limit the scope of its researches – that’s why I almost got sent to an island. We don’t allow it to deal with any but the most immediate problems of the moment. All other inquiries are most sedulously discouraged. (Huxley208).
Science is also portrayed cynically in this story. It is mainly responsible for the dystopian
elements of the society, such as the caste system, the conditioning of people’s thoughts,
as well as the absence of a God. It is arguably the theme in the novel that is depicted the
most negatively. This is because it is the main reason for the society’s progression into
the state that it is in and its development was halted.
Politics is what holds every nation together and therefore it is also a main theme
in this story. The political ideologies that are most present in this novel are Marxist
communism and Fordest Capitalism. The new world revolves around the main elements
of capitalist consumerism and the economy. People are taught to throw out anything that
is old and buy something new. They are also conditioned to dislike nature, unless it
involves the consumption of transport;
‘We condition the masses to hate the country,’ concluded the Director. ‘But simultaneously we condition them to love all country sports. At the
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Social science fiction, Brave New World, Genetic engineering in fiction, Dystopia, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Classical conditioning, We, Modified Newtonian dynamics, Aldous Huxley
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