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Essay/Term paper: Brave new world: all things are relative

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Research Papers

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Brave New World: All Things are Relative

The dictionary defines civilized as "advanced in social customs, art, and
science". The keyword here is social customs. A persons idea of what is
civilized is relative to his culture. Through out the history of man, one can
see many changes in customs, and customs is what defines our idea of what is
civilized. The word civilized is one of the most relative concepts.

Time and distance are what have shaped our customs for thousands of years.
If we look back throughout history we can see many customs that may seem odd, or
even barbaric, to us but were everyday events to these ancient people. For
example, the Aztec conducted sacrifices, to their Gods, in which they torn out
their victims heart with a knife, and their priests and warriors proceeded to
eat the victims flesh. Yet, the Aztec were considered to be one of the most
civilized group of Indians in the western hemisphere. The Anasazi, commonly
called cave-dwellers, who from birth, used wood and bindings to elongate the
head. Even today in Japan, tradition says that women are supposed to walk ten
feet behind their husbands. This may seem like demeaning women to us but who
are we to judge when the United States has had a long history of racial and
ethnic discrimination and only now are we changing.

The society in Brave New World has not lost their values but has simple
changed their idea of what is right and wrong. After all, how much have we
changed in the past 600 years. Six-hundred years ago in England, we killed
people for conducting scientific experiments and believed this was against the
teachings of the church. The society in Brave New World is a mirror to our own
when we view the past. If a person from the present were to see the sacrifices
and eating of the human flesh by the Aztec Indians, that person would see it as
barbaric in contrast to his own culture. Isn't it true that what we view as
barbaric or uncivilized is always in comparison to own. Doesn't it stand to
reason that in a society without families, they would view monogamy as
uncivilized? This society has been shaped by hundreds of years and will
continue to change in the years to come.

Many of the civilized behaviors for the society of Brave New World are very
different from our own. The main concern was to keep everyone happy. Two
efforts to do this were to teach them to be selfish and take soma. The reason
for taking soma was to induce happiness through euphoria in much the same way
alcohol and marijuana behave. Also when are people the happiest? When they're
pleased, so this brings about the act of being selfish with the thought that you
must do what you have to in order to be happy all the time. They also believed
in not having families which stemmed from the fact that the Hatchery Centre
produced all the babies and when you have no families, their is little reason to
get married ;therefore, sexual promiscuities come into play. Finally, they were
also conditioned to believe that you should never be alone, for being alone used
up little production and the use of little production has an effect on the
factories that could possible shut them down. If the factories in an area were
to shut down, a significant amount of jobs would be lost and people would not be
able to support themselves. This would cause homelessness and poverty which
were not allowed in this culture.

With time and distance people's cultures diverge. This has been true for a
millennia past and a millennia to come. It should be apparent, that when
comparing past civilizations with our own, that the word civilization is


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