Brave New World: Helplessness Essay

1098 words - 4 pages

Brave New World:  Helplessness     

How can one distinguish happiness from unhappiness if unhappiness is never experienced? It's the bad that makes the good look good, but if you don't know the good from the bad, you'll settle for what you're given. Can people judge their feelings without a basis or underlying "rubric" to follow? Such rudimentary guidelines are established through the maturation process and continue to fluctuate as one grows wiser with a vaster array of experiences. Aldous Huxley creates a utopia filled with happiness, but this is merely a facade to a world which is incomplete and quite empty since the essential "experiences" are replaced with "conditioning." Perhaps this fantasy world was distinctly composed to be a harbinger of our future. An analysis of an "exclusive utopia" designed to heed the present world from becoming desensitized to freedom and individualism and to warn against the danger of an overly progressive scientific and technological society.

Huxley commences his story at the source of such world control -- the hatchery. Governed by mottoes of "Community, Identity, and Stability," the "brave new world" he creates is "conditioned" from the start. The test tube babies undergo precise tests, dietary supplements, and encouragement to "produce" the defined castes of "individuals."

The central action arises when Bernard Marx, an alpha plus psychologist, becomes continually irritated at the boredom and incompleteness of this highly regulated life. Through his independent thinking he becomes frustrated and feels alone. Such feelings Marx shares with his close friend Helmholtz Watson, who was advantageously decanted in his "test tubular stages" and therefore has an excess of physical and mental abilities. These two often meet to ponder and question such unorthodox feelings. Watson is an accomplished writer of "feelies," accomplished to the remainder of society, but as he knows he is only turning the mundane life of all into words to attempt to excite the "modernized world."

Such a complete conversion into one stable society is quite inconceivable by any means. This is also the case in Brave New World. The savage reservations, as they are called, is the other side of the world, the primitive, real world uninfluenced by science and technology. The synthetic happiness of the "ideal" world is maintained by utilization of the artificially composed drug, soma, which quenches all symptoms of unhappiness -- old age, disease, and stress, which are all pacified by the illusions conjured through dosages of soma. The savage reservation doesn't have such technology, and the miracle of life is still "old fashioned." It's from this "ancient" world which the story's conflicts materialize.

Bernard Marx takes a "vacation" to the savage land in which he encounters John n and Linda. Linda, formerly one of the advanced world, was pregnant and gave birth to John, such a "primitive" occurrence...

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