Comparing The Novel "The Brave New World" To Our World Today Essay
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‘Brave New World’ is an extrapolative and dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley. The book was written in 1930 and Huxley predicts a future in his book that is similar, as well as, different in many ways. Huxley in fact wrote a fictional novel which was also satirical, but his thoughts came to realize by a number of inventions in the modern world. Huxley discusses a number of ideas in his book including technology, behaviour and philosophy. This paper proposes a discussion on Huxley’s book, ‘Brave New World’ along with presenting a comparative analysis of Huxley’s ideas with the modern world.
Reading Huxley’s book suggests readers that the main idea of Huxley behind writing the book was to warn his contemporary society of threats of scientific developments. He also wanted to warn the society about all kinds of developments that were to take place in the society. Huxley’s novel is dystopia, as it terminates assumptions of any perfect society. The way Huxley imagines things in a satirical way, suggests that he thinks in a pessimistic way. He focuses on technology, developments, human behaviour and society in his book in a manner that Huxley has foreseen everything and believes that nothing like a perfect society exists or can exist ever on this earth (Huxley).
Huxley in his book mentions that people have changed their god in past and same will continue in future. Huxley mentions that people now worship Henry Ford instead the god. Ford despite of dangers associated with mass production and consumption was in favour of industrial growth. According to Ford, consequences of industrial progress are worth to bear. Social problems generated by industrial progress are temporary and get settled over the time. The author categorized society in two segments one is workers and other is managers. Huxley mentioned that workers without thinking their rights and wellness keep working to make life of managers comfortable (Kirsch and Szalai).
In present contemporary society industrial and technical progress play major role in growth of the economy. Industrial development and continuous progress are essential to provide employment to the people and maintain economic activities of the country. Huxley in his book satirically commented on forced consumer society. However, this comment may seems sarcastic for the society in which author was living. Forced consumer society is very much relevant in today’s time (Reiff).
New England as described by Huxley was taking logical steps towards economic development while maintaining focus on society. Now, almost after a century the book is written, our society is there in several ways. The things that were said by the author sarcastically are turning into realities. Individuals are now programmed by the rulers with captivating ideas that develop their belief in commercial and consumerist way of lifestyle. People are now encouraged by different influential mediums to purchase variety of new products instead fixing old one (Huxley).
In “The Brave new World” author describes the connection between mass production and standardization as mass production can only be achieve through standardization. Author applies standardization process in producing human beings. The dystopian society imagined by the author is dehumanized and people in that society work in set routine. They do not have time to think. People in dystopian society are working efficiently without protesting because work is the main reason behind their creation.
The dystopian society imagined by Huxley is clearly visible today. Automation of production and operational process has taken the jobs from humans. These machines are created to perform certain tasks, and they do their job without protesting or demanding anything. Huxley said that there are various dangers associated with the progress and technologies, which in reality are true in contemporary world. For example, automation may have made processes error free but it taken away thousands of jobs from the people. Safety of personal data and confidential information can not be guaranteed due to data theft (Burch).
Huxley criticized society of Brave New World as people do not have access to the information related with history. According to the author, brain of people will be influenced by the ideas of development that consider history as waste or useful only when it can contribute towards development. In dystopian world, students will be getting only selected information and they are not aware about war, politics, literature or art. At this point we might disagree with the author as people now have unlimited access to the information and they are well aware about history (Izzo and Kirkpatrick).
Government provides freedom to all people to access any type of information related with history, art, music, literature or any subject. Technology like Google made access to technology very easy. People now enjoy freedom of expression and used technological mediums such as Facebook, Twitter & other social networking websites to display their personal ideas or thoughts on any subject. However, Huxley is right when he talked about history and its impact on family binding and relationship between family members. In current world, relationships are fading and binding between family members is declining. It is not happing due to nil access to historical information, but due to individualism and pressure of survival created by contemporary society (Reiff).
The people in book or in Brave New World live comfortably by consuming soma. Soma refers to a drug that provides all advantages associated with religion i.e. Christianity & alcohol. This psychoactive drug provides calmness and eliminates any requirement of finding main source of anxiety. People in dystopian world forget their sorrows and guilt by consuming soma. In present world people consume antidepressants and tranquilizers in same manner. The consumption of such drugs is continuously rising in modern world despite of the fact that these drugs do not provide happiness and treat main cause of depression. These drugs only provide temporary peace of mind (O'Neill).
Huxley described Brave New World as a place where people celebrate death of people who reached or crossed 60 and financially useless. In modern world, elder people are sent to apartments that are especially designed for older people. Like Brave World, people in modern world do not euthanized, but demand for making euthanasia legal across all state is prevailing. Advocates of euthanasia claim that it should be legalized to eliminate unaffordable age related illnesses (Huxley).
The dystopian state as described by Huxley is focused on making people happy in order to bring stability in society. “Universal happiness” is the main idea or theme of Brave New World. Authorities of Brave New World emphasize on making firm social destiny of people. Authorities force people to be happy even if they do not want it. In book some people of dystopian world said that they want freedom, goodness, and sin. People want their emotions as they are. In modern world, authorities are taking several steps to please people, but in reality people are not happy. Un-natural and superficial identity created by people in modern society does not facilitate happiness; it provokes them to follow things that others are doing without understanding their own requirements. For example, people purchased products because they are luxury and can be used as status symbol despite of their un-usefulness in daily lives (Reiff).
The society imagined and explained by Huxley can be seen real in current contemporary world. As described in the book, people in current world are encouraged to buy things more frequently. Fashion chains are producing cheap goods that are worst in quality in order to increase consumption. People are now buying cheap products and end up again buying it and cycle goes on. The consumption of products is no longer restricted to narcissism. In Brave New World affluent class develop expensive games in order to take out money from consumers. People in absence of elaborative ways of entertainment, were happy and using basic games for entertainment. New version of entertainment requires people to spend more and more money. Ball and net developed in Brave New World generated huge money and profit.
In modern world, companies are developing innovative products and technologies in order to maintain continuous growth in their revenue and profit. Company such as Apple introduces new iPhones to extract money from consumers and to maintain their leadership position. Similarly, shoes companies, fashion companies, appliances companies launch new technologies and design in order to attract more and more consumers. People now purchase goods according to latest fashion or trends; they do not wait for or allow product to complete their life. People chuck their old goods and buy new one. Nothing now comes free of cost or durable even software require updates, online subscription also requires renewal. All activities are directly or indirectly linked with consumerism (Huxley).
Some of the ideas and concepts provided by the author are very much relevant in today’s society, whereas, others may become relevant in upcoming time. However, the terrifying picture as presented by the Huxley informs readers about the realities of present dystopian world. Huxley mentioned that government authorities taken the freedom of people to achieve political stability; they ban access to information and kept people under their control. Forfeiting personal freedom and controlling people seems very humiliating. However, it may become a reality in future (Huxley).
After considering different aspects of Aldous Huxley’s novel ‘Brave New World’ and a comparative analysis of the same, the paper concludes that Huxley was contemptuous about a number of things. He intended to warn the society about all kinds of developments, especially scientific developments that carry dangers as well. The Brave New World as described by the author seems very similar to present contemporary world. In dystopian world people run behind false happiness; relationships are faded away; old people are considered as burden; and consumerism is high. Authorities and companies promote things that can increase the consumption of goods and services. Brain of people is programmed or influenced in a manner that they cannot see the reality. Consumerism and privacy two aspects described by Huxley are quite relevant today. Companies and influential people are using population for their own interest without considering dangers associated with their actions.
Burch, James. "Brave New World: The Future of Cyberspace & Cybersecurity." 16 March 2015. inhomelandsecurity. 27 March 2015 <http://inhomelandsecurity.com/brave-new-world-the-future-of-cyberspace-cybersecurity/>.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. USA: RosettaBooks, 2010.
Izzo, David G., and Kirkpatrick, Kim. Huxley's Brave New World: Essays: Essays. North Carolina: McFarland, 2008.
Kirsch, Adam and Szalai, Jennifer. "What Would Aldous Huxley Make of the Way We Consume Media and Popular Culture?" 05 Nov. 2013. The New York Times. 27 March 2015 <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/books/review/what-would-aldous-huxley-make-of-the-way-we-consume-media-and-popular-culture.html?_r=0>.
O'Neill, Brendan. "Five things that Brave New World got terrifyingly right." 22 November 2013. Telegraph. 27 March 2015 <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100247159/five-things-that-brave-new-world-got-terrifyingly-right/>.
Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Aldous Huxley: Brave New World. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010.
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