Free Research Paper On Brave New World: A Reaction

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Literature, World, Science, United States, Brave New World, Novel, Human, Humanity

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/31

Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” sent shockwaves through the literary community, and eventually the world after its initial 1932 release. Playing with complex concepts of happiness, socialization, privacy, family, religion, and even free will, the novel essentially explored what it would be like to be human in Huxley’s futuristic, make-believe world. However, as it turned out, Huxley’s novel was less of a romp through fantasy, and more of a prediction. Much like George Orwell’s “1984,” and Ray Bradbury’s, “Fahrenheit 451,” the novel was a declaration of where Huxley assumed society was headed if it did not change its ways. Many literary critics, like Brad Congdon, have agreed that the context of Huxley’s material was substantial to the lifestyle and times we are living in.
In his article, “’Community, Identity, Stability’: The Scientific Society and the Future of Religion in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World,” Congdon outlines the parallels between Huxley’s text, and the world we live in now, stating that the book was likely a prediction of the future we would face . However, the author argues “Brave New World” may not be the dystopian horror show it is always depicted as today, stating it only received this brand, both by readers and by Huxley, after WWII, when German geneticists managed to destroy a pure idea of any eugenics program . In the novel, though free will is essentially stripped from the entire population, families no longer exist, and procreation has ceased, individuals are prepared in test tubes in a laboratory. They are created in batches based on their intelligence level, and given certain serums, or rotated at certain times to make them comfortable and happy with their impending lifestyle . Consequently, Huxley tampers with our natural idea of happiness, i.e. that we should find it ourselves. Congdon argues that it is not such a travesty to have happiness handed to us from a cellular level. The idea only begins to create conflict when we meet Bernard, the representation that not even science always gets it right, and John, a “savage” and the representation of what has come to be considered true humanity throughout the novel .
There is more evidence to suggest Huxley may not have initially intended for “Brave New World” to represent an oppressive government determined to control its population strive for scientific breakthroughs, however seemingly unethical. There is literary evidence, according to Congdon again, that Huxley was in favor of the eugenics taking place in his book. Once again, it was not until after the WWII debacle concerning genetic testing that Huxley understood the potential errors of genetic testing, deciding his words now stood for evil, rather than progression . It may explain why he was so vehemently against some elements of his book that at times appears satirical. Still, many literary critics refuse to see the novel as anything but a dystopian diatribe, warning future generations of the pains that are to come. K. Ramesh, author of, “A New Historicist Approach to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World,” examines the possibility of satire throughout the novel being a hint at the text not leading toward a dystopian future. The author also acknowledges Huxley was in favor of eugenics and other forward-thinking scientific advancements prior to World War II . However, Kamesh also finds Huxley’s evident love for eugenics, and satirical approach to some of the text suspicious. If it is not a dystopian novel attempting to show the conflict of what we are versus what we one day may be, why are the characters Bernard and John present? Moreover, why is Lenina so filled with conflict when she meets John? Prior to meeting him, she was a flighty, sexually flippant young woman, but after meeting him, John awakens something in her that has been dormant. Her emotions scare her, and John’s emotions scare her. She had been living a superficial lifestyle filled with predestined routines and superficial conquests; John offers her something real, suggesting even throughout the superficiality of the dystopia that Lenina’s humanity has not been killed .
Moreover, Ramesh demonstrates that, as Huxley introduces John, the Savage’s sole purpose is to construct the conflict between society as it is in “Brave New World,” and how that conflict with untouched humanity, versus Lenina’s awoken humanity, versus the damaged humanity of Bernard and John’s mother . It may be for the sake of satire but appealing to four conflicts showing the agony of different individuals as they see society’s concerned more about perfecting the science of relationships, than the humanity of relationships, it appears Huxley did intend for the novel to have at least some dystopian characteristics. For such a high-functioning, scientifically sound society, Bernard should not even exist, even for satire. Yet he does in a dimension so hopelessly misshapen for the world he lives the only answer could be Huxley was trying to convey something deeper. For example, there appear to be no real problems with the population, how they act, or the social milestones they meet. However, Bernard likes the opposite of what the population is supposed to like. For example, when he asked Lenina out for a date, she appears to be ready for copulation, as this is what she assumes is expected of her. Bernard, instead, plans a night for them to be alone and talk; he wants to connect because he is tired of being alone, or feeling alone in rooms full of people .
Furthermore, despite Huxley later recanting his stance on eugenics, there is reason to believe that even with the horrific experiments that were performed during World War II, when performed responsibly, scientific programs such as these could not be invaluable to humanity. Phillip Ball’s, “Unnatural Reactions,” questions why readers always have such harsh criticisms to “Brave New World,” and other novels receiving the “dystopian” label without thinking about the content critically . For instance, in Huxley’s world there is a caste system wherein Alphas make more than Gammas, receive better schooling, more money, and more jobs. However, the Gammas are conditioned to enjoy their lives, as well as their jobs and their income. The concept of picking embryos at random and deciding who will be an entrepreneur and who will be a janitor is suspect. The fact of the matter is the scientific and medical technology to not only genetically engineer smarter people, but stronger, healthier, taller people would be possible, and Ball wonders how that could be the makings of a dystopian society . Today we are closing in on technology allowing us to clone embryos, use human stem cells to cure other humans from life-threatening and debilitating diseases, and even create a baby with three parents . Congdon might assume the Pre-WWII Huxley would believe these advancements in medical technology a marvel to be cherished. Readers who analyze not only the reading, but also Huxley’s personal beliefs might believe he would think the science was sound regardless of what he recanted after the war.
In sum, many readers and literary critics view Huxley’s “Brave New World,” as a prediction of the dystopian world we may one day live in. With the scientific advancements growing around us every day, there is an indication it is already happening. While many believe the novel to be dystopian in nature, and there is evidence to support the view, it has been postulated Huxley did not originally write “Brave New World” with that in mind. He was in favor of eugenics and other scientific advancements prior to the ideas being tainted by the Nazis. He later recanted. To say the novel possess no dystopian views at all would also be wrong, however. The book contains a strong conflict between several characters and their environment, pitting humanity against technology and trained socialization. While Huxley may not have intended to claim the science was part of the world’s dystopian future, perhaps he wanted to assess the idea that we are losing true human connectivity, and that will be our authentic dystopia, one science cannot even change.

Works Cited

Ball, Phillip. "Unnatural reactions." The Lancet (2014): 1964-1965. Article.
Congdon, Brad. "“Community, Identity, Stability”: The Scientific Society and the Future of Religion in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World." English Studies in Canada (2011): 83-105. Article.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. HarperCollins: New York, 2006. Book.
Ramesh, K. "A New Historicist Approach to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World." Journal of Literature (2012): 30. Article.

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Free Research Paper On Brave New World: A Reaction. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-research-paper-on-brave-new-world-a-reaction/. Published Dec 31, 2020. Accessed September 30, 2022.
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