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Brave New World

In all civilizations there are elements which undergo changes over long periods of time as well as innovation. In Brave New World by Alduous Huxley, one sees a satirical view of the human race six hundred years A.F. (after Ford). Using three main characters, Lenina, Bernard, and John the author ridicules the modern day attitudes toward death, relationships between the sexes, and child rearing. Through this sci-fi satire one can see the true effects of a utopia and all the human race would have to give up in order to have no feelings and no problems. A utopia may appear to be an ideal place to live, however, the things one would have to give up to achieve utopia are far more valuable than the utopia itself.

Throughout the novel the author criticizes many modern day practices, ideas, and beliefs. One of the ideas that is evident throughout the novel is a fictitious attitude towards death. At a very young age in the novel children are taught to have no feelings towards death. They are taught that death is a very pleasant and natural thing that they will all experience around the age of sixty. Also, at the hospital, children are given candy at the mention of death. Through conditioning the hospital eliminates the painful emotions of grief and loss that often accompany death. In our society we understand that death is an every day natural occurrence, yet we are able to identify with the painful emotions that accompany losing a loved one. By being conditioned to have no emotions towards death they do not value the life that preceded the death and therefore lose the meaning of life.

A second element within the novel is the relationships between the sexes. Lenina and Bernard live in a world in which promiscuity is a virtue and monogamous relationships are discouraged. They are taught at a young age that “ everyone belongs to everyone else”(Huxley). Women and men who have a somewhat long relationship with one person are looked down upon and given a warning by a government. There is no true love for one person, and also, there are no family structures because it would upset the community and stability within the utopian society. In our society promiscuity is strongly looked down upon. There are many things that the citizens miss out on by not having real relationships with one person; they are unable to have and experience many emotions and feelings. The happiness that they experience is not true happiness - it is chemical and unreal. They will never know or experience real happiness because it has been denied them throughout their entire melancholic lives.

One other component Huxley chooses to elaborate on is child rearing. He makes fun of the viviparous practices, insinuating that it is a thing of the past, and in the future, mother and father will be obscene words. In the future children will not be born, rather, decanted from bottles or rather demijohns. No children will have parents, and many females will be born completely sterile by design. Also many people in the lower classes will be clones and individuality will be out of the norm. The parent-child relationship will be non-existent and children will be unable to have personal relationships beyond sex. The women who are not born sterile are not allowed to get pregnant, and they are repeatedly taught to take contraceptives during their teen years. Even when Lenina was high on her soma she was conditioned so strictly that she remembered to take her contraceptives before having sex with Bernard. On the rare occurrence that the contraceptives fail and the woman becomes pregnant, she is made to have an abortion by the government; she does not have a choice on whether or not she keeps the child. Through the loss of families, marriages and monogamous relationships children also lose many of the lessons that they should have in life. They are not shown how to love, grieve or be happy, and they are deprived of a real childhood in order to be chemically happy throughout their melancholy existence. An existence without true happiness, original ideas, or individuality is an existence not worth living, and with no true meaning.

In conclusion, the menial and every day happenings in our existence may seem just that, however, when compared to the lives the people live in a Brave New World it seems ten times more exciting and satisfying. The lives that people live in a Brave New World are not real - they are government controlled and regulated,and they have no true meaning or real happiness. Their lives are based around a chemically induced happiness or high that never brings them true satisfaction. They have no feelings or emotions; they never experience a real relationshipand thus live lives that are pointless and are of no value.

Word Count: 815


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