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Essay/Term paper: Brave new world: huxley predicted many events of the future

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Brave New World: Huxley Predicted Many Events of the Future


Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World out of fear of society's apparent lack
of morals and corrupt behaviour during the roaring twenties. Huxley believed
that the future was doomed to a non-individualistic, conformist society, a
society void of the family unit, religion and human emotions. Throughout the
novel, Huxley predicts many events for the future, most of which concentrate on
a morally corrupt society. The most important of these predictions include:
greater sexual freedom, over-population, brain-washing/sleep-teaching, and the
use of mind altering drugs. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World warns of a
possible future dystopia, based on social attitudes and medical advancements of
his time.

Huxley's future dystopia is created largely by perverted sexual
freedoms, which in turn cause corrupt individuals, entirely lacking ethics and
morals. Sexual promiscuity appears to be a much more frequent activity now
then it was in the Thirties. Critics blame "...the advent of the pill for
declining morality and indiscriminate sexual activity." Many believe that each
time medicine reduces the risk of unwanted diseases and pregnancies, society,
on the whole, will increase its sexual activity. Huxley's prediction of
promiscuity is based on his iron law of sexuality:
"As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends
compensatingly to increase." A current example of Huxley's belief is China.
China is the last remaining communist regime, it also suffers from having one
fifth of the world's population within its borders. Needless to say, China's
large population is a direct result of a very sexually active society. Aldous
Huxley's fears of the future caused him to write about sexual freedom and the
resulting over-population in Brave New World.

Over-population is another problem which is addressed by Huxley, and
is the direct result of sexual freedom. The fear which Huxley addresses
concerning population control is: "Food supplies cannot grow as fast as people
can, and population growth in underdeveloped countries will jeopardize the
world order." Simply stated the growing population of earth will consume more
than it will be able to produce, unless some form of regulating births can be
created. This is an obvious truth today, as millions of people are starving
each day. The brave new world that Huxley speaks of, is a warning to mankind
concerning its destruction of the laws of nature. For example, marriage is
forbidden, as well as, pregnancies, and mothers are non-existent because
possible children result in abortion.

In Brave New World over-population is solved by society's ability to
produce as many or as few humans as are necessary to keep the population at
equilibrium. The solution is test-tube babies or "bottled babies" as they are
referred to in the book. Effective birth control of such a large population is
difficult to achieve, especially in a society where people are encouraged to be
sexually active with numerous partners. Today, the world is facing over-
population head on, with mixed results. Abortions are not readily accepted by
most, and birth control in third world countries is virtually impossible.
Huxley realizes the problem with mass birth control, and solves it by making
seventy percent of the female population sterile, while only thirty percent of
the women remain fertile. By leaving thirty percent of the women fertile,
Huxley is able to show that even though birth control on a large scale is
difficult, it is possible to achieve. Through the religious use of
contraceptives, pregnancies rarely occur, however, when a pregnancy does occur
it results in an immediate abortion. Huxley's fear of over-population and the
control of so many people is an obvious concern which comes to light in Brave
New World.

Brain-washing is suggested by Aldous Huxley in the form of manipulating
individuals, rather than the masses. While brain-washing and sleep-teaching are
different (the former being done while the subject is awake, and the latter
being done while the subject is asleep), both methods employed by Huxley, act
upon the subconscious to obtain the same final results. Prior to Brave New
World, Huxley researched the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov and his
experiments on dogs. The Pavlovian dog was subjected to highly stressful
conditions, this was done to teach the dog how to react to certain stimuli.
The end results of these tests were dogs who had been broken, became mentally
insane. Prime human examples are the veterans of the world wars, where victims
became incapacitated from intense stress and fear (known as "shell shock").
Huxley suggests that teaching under such stressful conditions can also be
considered torture (in its most refined state). Huxley once wrote, "The
effectiveness of political and religious propaganda depends upon the methods
employed, not upon the doctrines taught." Huxley believed that when mentally
programming a subject, it is not the principles that matter, but the techniques
used to instil these principles. Our modern society has come realistically
close to Huxley's predictions. After all, for many years already, communists
have been renowned as being experts on brain-washing (in the form of mass
propaganda). This type of distortion of the human psyche lends itself
perfectly to the corruption and backward morals of Aldous Huxley's Brave New
World.

Aldous Huxley's dystopia is structured around the use of a pleasure
inducing drug called "soma". Soma is a means of drowning one's sorrows to make
them feel better and to create a positive feeling towards those who supply such
happiness (i.e. the ruling power). Such a drug, therefore, becomes the perfect
tool of the dictator, as it creates a more submissive and conformist society, a
society that is easier to control. Soma becomes the perfect escape from
reality, because its use is public, not private, thus, allowing for the
happiness to be shared among friends for an all around greater high. Soma can
be considered a wonder drug, a wonder drug that has always been searched for by
medicine. After all, soma has only positive effects (i.e. no side effects),
and can be used whenever necessary. Positive effects that may just reach beyond
the person's body and onto their productivity at work. A current example is
Japan's car industry, they believe that the dose of ginseng that each worker
receives daily, accounts for their output being so much higher then their
American counterparts. "...a little white tablet that keeps production workers
happy. The Japanese motor industry believes it is an important aid to its
productivity." With all the different types of drugs now available the wonder
drug-soma, will most certainly soon arrive. Soma is used in Brave New World
the way alcohol, smoking and drugs are used in today's society.

In conclusion, the future events of which Aldous Huxley predicted, are
quickly becoming a reality in today's society. It cannot be denied that events
such as greater sexual freedom and over-population have already occurred and
are becoming even worse. As well, the use of sleep-teaching/ brain-washing and
mind altering drugs continue to be experimented with on a regular basis. All
of these factors combined make for a backward, morally corrupt and ethically
depraved modern society. It is this modern society which Aldous Huxley warns
against in Brave New World.

 

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