Science as the Main Tool of Control in the World State of Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World represents the most perfect social system with minimum deviation probability. The system itself is based on consumerism which reduces any human activity to consumption of various material goods which leads to full satisfaction of society’s needs. Science is considered to be the fundamental power controlling this system as it has reached significant progress by the beginning of the narration. However, the most essential scientific achievements in the novel have been mostly focused on implementation of total control over the citizens of the World State, and also over all spheres of their lives.
Science in Huxley’s novel promoted the establishment of society comprised of people being unequal but evenly satisfied with their existence. This has been made possible by the introduction of ectogenesis allowing child-bearing to be synthesized as well as prenatal and postnatal human development to be brought under control. However, as “wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale” and it “cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behavior” it was decided to introduce an additional source of scientific manipulation – hypnopædia (Huxley, p. 21). As a result, all the necessary behavioral and thinking patterns being in the State’s best interest were put into people’s minds.
Science has also impacted religion since its original concepts were effectively excised from the consciousness of the populace (Scott, 2013). Technological course of mankind development has replaced spiritual beliefs of society with material ones. As a matter of fact, belief in God was replaced with belief in technologies while all the original religious habits were perverted and converted into promiscuous sexual intercourses and mass consumption of drugs (soma) inducing state of euphoria and inner detachment in individuals. Having the opportunity of satisfying its basic needs society consolidated one of the most essential dogmas of the World State: “God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness” (Huxley, p. 159).
Similarly to other dystopias the World State’s political system is presented by totalitarian regime which, in its turn, is closely connected with science as well. World Controllers use conventional methods of bringing society under control for implementing their power including compulsion, violence and ubiquitous propaganda, but actual realization of this power is executed, again, by means of technologies. Explicit form of violence takes place at an early age: from the very birth all infants of the State are put to tortures with electric shocks and loud noise which results in development of “instinctive hatred of books and flowers” that are considered to be potentially dangerous for stability of the whole society (Huxley, p. 17). Later on, mediate form of violence is executed expressed by hypnopædia, or sleep teaching, and soma, a synthetic drug intended to bring people to euphoria and absolute satisfaction.
Thus, science in Brave New World is considered to be the instrument that helps to eradicate those qualities from humans that could provoke the process of societal collapse. People of The World State are deprived of physical as well as moral freedom being conditioned strictly yet before their birth. The illusion of happiness being generated artificially and by violent force leads to total obedience from the direction of society and guarantees firmness of the foundations proclaimed in the motto of the World State: “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY” (Huxley, p. 5).
Huxley, A. (1932). Brave New World. Retrieved from http://www.idph.com.br/conteudos/ebooks/BraveNewWorld.pdf
Kass, Leon R. (2000). ALDOUS HUXLEY Brave New World (1932). First Things, 101 (March 2000), 51-52. Retrieved from http://www.firstthings.com/article/2000/03/aldous-huxleybrave-new-world
Orwell, G. (1946). Review of “WE” by E.I. Zamyatin. Retrieved from http://orwell.ru/library/reviews/zamyatin/english/e_zamy
Scott, E. (2013). Orwell, Huxley and the Emerging Totalitarianism. New English Review (May 2013). Retrieved from http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/138161/sec_id/138161
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A List Of Exciting Essay Topics For Brave New World
Written in 1932, Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's best known novel. It is essentially a dystopian novel that shows a world set on encouraging peace. Set in the 2500s, this futuristic novel shows a world where feelings are removed to keep the population peaceful. Huxley originally wrote Brave New World to show inherent problems in socialist governments.
Since it was written, this book has become a common reading assignment in English classes. After reading the book, students will need to write an essay on the topic. For some original, exciting essay topics, check out the following list.
- How does Brave New World criticize socialist policies?
- The world in the novel has positive and negative feelings removed. How does the novel indicate Huxley's belief that good and bad emotions must coexist?
- Many of the character names are intended to symbolize a certain trait (Bernard Marx and John Savage). How does 4. Huxley use this to make a point? How do the names indicate the person's character?
- Mustapha Mond proposes that science, art and religion should be limited. Why is science included in this list?
- How does World War I impact Huxley's writing?
- What does Huxley do to demonstrate the dangers of taking science too far?
- What type of utilitarian society has Aldous Huxley created in this book?
- After reading the book, what role do you believe social conditioning plays in your personal life?
- How does Huxley make sexuality and promiscuity seem moral in his novel?
- What does the character of John Savage represent?
- Why does John Savage choose to take his own life at the end of the novel?
- Is it possible for the government in the book to completely suppress emotions and religion?
- What is the Solidarity Service and what is its role in the book?
- Is Mustapha Mond a true antagonist? What characteristics make him different from a normal literary antagonist?
- Is John Savage more free than other people in the novel?
- Huxley became blind during his childhood. How did this impact his viewpoints?
- How does Mustapha Mond argue against personal freedom? Are his arguments valid?
- What are the different castes in the novel? What are their jobs?
- Do you consider this to be a dsystopian or utopian novel?
- How does the World State manage to infantilize the citizens?
- Is there a relationship between truth and happiness?
- How do men and women interact socially, professionally and politically?