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A revolutionary vision of what precisely the early twentieth century would eventually become following its present path is created by Aldous Huxley in his novel, Brave New World in which he comprehensively and intelligently combines the ever-present flaws of what can be considered as a suppressed feudalistic society and the horrific future blight that is found in other dystopias (Huxley 32). This novel uses the aspect of mechanical brainwashing of a world that is entirely overrun by technology to outline the mindless and continued suppression of an ignorant society. This thesis will aim at giving a comprehensive analysis of Western civilization experience by discussing various themes and events that are evident in this novel that support this study topic.
There are numerous themes and events that Huxley has used in Brave New World to try and show his readers various aspects of the Western civilization experience during the early twentieth century and how themes and ideas of this novel still related to the modern society. For instance, Huxley uses his book to depict a perfect futuristic society in which everyone seems to be happy, stable and everything seems to work correctly (Huxley 38). However, all of these characteristics are ironically presented by Huxley whereby he claims that it is only through the suppression of the emotions, feelings, and freedom of the people that both stability and happiness can be achieved. Huxley depicts a typical dystopia society through the numerous instances of oppression and authoritarianism that run throughout the novel. In this dystopia society that is portrayed by the author in this novel, people seem to lack the ability and will to make decisions of their own since there exist higher authorities that strictly control them.
Moreover, Huxley tries to show his readers how the Western civilization evolved by bringing forward the theme of happiness that is only realized at the expense of the truth. The people in this society continue to pretend that they are happy while else they are not (Huxley 41). That makes any reader of this work question what indeed constitutes happiness hence prompting him or her to read more to grasp the general idea that the author is trying to put across in this novel. The use of the exploration of the original reservation and soma in this novel is potential evidence of the presence of this theme of happiness which seems to be prevalent throughout the book.
Again, Huxley explores the issue of Western civilization by analyzing the tri-partite pillars which seem to lay the foundation upon which the World State appears to be built on in this novel. These pillars include stability, community, and identity. Huxley use paradox method in achieving and maintaining these three pillars in the Brave New World (Nelson-Pallmeyer 212). For instance, the community would be understood by any contemporary reader as a group of diverse people, but in the novel, people in World State consider it to be the sorting of people into different social classes or castes. Any modern reader would recognize the identity of the other hand as highly individual, but this is opposed by the caste system that exists in World State which prevents anything that is realized through uniformity and conformity. Therefore, it is through such means as prescribed by this caste system that stability is eventually achieved. However, as it is evident in this society, stability is far from being resolved since people of the World State are not in any way allowed to develop any significant and unique identities nor are the individual human rights respected or exercised (Huxley 45). For instance, readers of this novel can confirm that the World State is utterly chaotic through the way John who is a significant character in the book ends up committing suicide which is profoundly influenced the continued state of instability in this society.
Furthermore, it is evident that the more people in this society are continuing to conform, the more they are reducing the chances of anyone having the guts to rebel. Huxley introduces the theme of complicity and rebellion in the novel by illustrating how most of the people in the World State have continued to comply with the existing authorities hence resulting in these lack of individuals who can rebel and fight for their rights (Nelson-Pallmeyer 212). Most of the characters that Huxley has used in this novel fail to exercise their physical or personality trait in such a way that can assist in challenging the reigning order. Most of these characters are seen seeking a drug known as soma as a way of minimizing their divergent desires, stress or differences.
Additionally, Huxley uses the theme of the limits and power of technology to describe the Western civilization experience. The Brave New World can be considered as ominously prescient and in retrospect through the way Huxley uses the idea of genetic engineering and psychotropic drugs in the novel (Books 47). He seems to highly criticize various aspects of this society such as the continued manufacturing of the people with the goal of meeting specific individual interests and social needs of those in power. Moreover, he profoundly disagrees with the idea of people medicating themselves as a way of fighting their true emotions. Huxley further uses the theme of technology to show how natural births in most of the civilized countries across the world have been gradually replaced with mass production of human babies through the use of the test tubes technology (Horan 74).
Lastly, as the narrative of Brave New World progresses, it continues to describe how civilization has dramatically helped and succeeded in eradicating war in the World State which is found in the West. Moreover, both instant gratification of all needs and consumerism help in replacing traditional religions in this society hence becoming part of the initial stages of Western civilization (Books 56). Civilization continues to make numerous and remarkable sacrifices towards facilitating the creation of a society that is completely stable.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Ernst Klett Sprachen, 2008.pp. 1-568
Books, Worth. Summary and Analysis of Brave New World: Based on the Book by Aldous Huxley. Open Road Media, 2017.pp. 32-69
Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack. Brave New World Order: Must we Pledge Allegiance?. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017.pp. 208-326
Horan, Thomas. "The Sexual Life of the Savage in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World."Desire and Empathy in Twentieth-Century Dystopian Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 71-92.
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