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Essay/Term paper: Brave new world: comparing life in the world state with life in the us today

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Literary Essays

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Brave New World: Comparing Life In the World State With Life In the US Today

By Aldous Huxley

Prompt: Compare life as Huxley described it in the World State with life in the
United States today.

For more than half a century, science fiction writers have thrilled and
challenged readers with visions of the future and future worlds. These authors
offered an insight into what they expected man, society, and life to be like at
some future time.
A society can achieve stability only when everyone is happy, and the
brave new world tries hard to ensure that every person is happy. It does its
best to eliminate any painful emotion, which means every deep feeling and
passion. It uses genetic engineering and conditioning to ensure that everyone
is happy with his or her work. Sex is a primary source of happiness. The brave
new world basically teaches everyone to be promiscuous. You are allowed to have
sex with any partner you want, who wants you, and sooner or later every partner
will want you. Children are taught through hypnosis that "everyone belongs to
everyone else." In this Utopia, what we think of as true love for one person
would lead to a passion for that person and the establishment of family life,
both of which would interfere with the community and its stability. Nobody is
allowed to become pregnant because nobody is born, everyone is a "test-tube"
baby. Many females are born sterile.
The ideas and ways of obtaining happiness are not too much different in
the brave new world than in our lives here in the United States. The only
difference is that these pleasures are looked at in different ways. Sex is a
very large part of our society's pleasure and everyone is allowed to have any
partner that he/she wants, but this idea is not taught at a young age and
everyone in our society does not feel this way towards sex. Our ideas and
thoughts on topics of this nature are much more broad, and everyone is entitled
to his/her own opinion. Families are established in our culture, which are
looked upon as something very good for our society. Women are allowed to become
pregnant as freely as they want and the government will even aid them in the
process. This is one difference that is totally different from the brave new
world. Women were a lot of times not even allowed to have children much less
have as many as they so desired.
Soma is a drug used by everyone in the brave new world almost everyday
It calms people and gets them high at the same time, but without hangovers or
nasty side effects. The rulers of the brave new world had put 2000
pharmacologists and biochemists to work long before the action of the novel
begins; in six years they had perfected the drug.
In the United States today, we look down on drugs heavily even legal
ones, for example, alcohol and tobacco. Certain drugs of this type have been
tested and the side effects have been noted to shorten one's life span and make
them complete actions unlike anything they would normally do when not under the
influence. This is a direct opposite of how drug use was portrayed in the brave
new world Huxley believed in the possibility of a drug that would enable people
to escape from themselves and help them achieve knowledge of God, but he made
soma a parody and degradation of that possibility.
The combination of genetic engineering, bottle-birth, and sexual
promiscuity means there is no monogamy, marriage, or family. "Mother" and
"father" are obscene words that may be used scientifically on rare, carefully
chosen occasions to label ancient sources of psychological problems. Love is
supposedly a none existent emotion. If a member of the brave new world feels in
"love" with a partner they are asked just to leave and find someone new.
These ideas of love and marriage are almost completely opposite from
that of our society. The idea of a mother and a father are treasured. To see a
mother and father still together raising their own children and still loving
each other, is a hard thing to come by in today's society, but it is still
thought of as a great thing. People freely love who they want in our society
with no restrictions. Love and marriage are in a way looked at as one of the
highest accomplishments in our society, unlike the brave new world where it was
looked down upon severely.
The brave new world insists that death is a natural and not unpleasant
process. There is no old age or visible senility. Children are conditioned at
hospitals for the dying and given sweets to eat when they hear of death
occurring. This conditioning does not prepare people to cope with the death of
a loved one or with their own mortality. It eliminates the painful emotions of
grief and loss, and the spiritual significance of death.
Death in the United States today, and throughout the world for that
matter, is still and probably will forever remain a time of grief for all who
loved the person who has passed. And even in the brave new world the emotion of
sadness comes out during a time of death, it is just that the people are
conditioned to eliminate those emotions and continue with their everyday routine.
The society must run perfectly, and any flaw that disrupts the production of
goods and the well-being of others, can cause chaos.
The cycle of life must not be broken in the brave new world that is why
the consumption of goods is simple. If the item is unusable in any way, don't
fix it, just throw it away. As they stated in the novel, "Ending is better than
mending." Waste was highly encouraged to keep jobs going forever. New items
were constantly purchased.
In opposition to that in the United States we tend to "get our moneys
worth." People are reluctant to throw away fixable and recyclable items. It is
just a waste of money to throw away an item that can be repaired or used again.
Many people live on a very tight budget and they cannot afford to keep
purchasing new items, but in the brave new world, production never stopped, so
money was in complete supply so their idea worked perfectly for them.
This Utopia has a good side: there is no war or poverty, little disease
or social unrest. But Huxley keeps asking, what does society have to pay for
these benefits? The price, he makes clear, is high. You basically in turn
sacrifice any ounce of a "life" you can have. Everything is so perfect you
cannot have fun, cannot do things different from other people to make you unique.
Everyone is conditioned to make everything run smoothly, but is that really an
ideal society?

 

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