Brave New World is a dystopian fiction book published in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and printed in 1932. Mostly set in the futuristic World State in the year 632 AF, after Ford, in of genetically modified citizens in the intelligence-based social organization, the book explained large technological developments in the reproductive technology, sleep-learning, mental influence, and classical conditioning that were combined to create a utopian world that got challenged simply by a simple stranger. Each person was conditioned when they were first born which determined their role in society in the future. The novel’s plot centered on a group of people living in an isolated community where they lived together under a government-controlled artificial intelligence program called the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center. The main character was a young man named Bernard Marx, who had been living in a utopian society for many years. He felt that he was an outsider all throughout the book, but when he met a savage named John, he had realized that he wasn’t alone. The advanced technology had caused people to live in happiness, but restrict their lack of identity and emotion.
Happiness revoked the opportunity among the typical individuals in the public eye, yet Bernard and John prioritized freedom as increasingly vital. All through the novel, citizens in the World State would frequently take a medication called Soma which fulfilled them when they are feeling restless or troubled. Bernard felt that the medication did not give individuals a chance to express their feelings in light due to the fact that the directors wanted to keep everybody at peace and in unanimity. When Bernard arrived at the savage reservation, he felt that “now that the effects of the soma had worn off, of the weakness he had displayed that morning in the hotel, he went out of his way to show himself strong and unorthodox.’ (Huxley 76). After the soma had worn off, Bernard felt free and really felt like he had the option to demonstrate his real character. During his excursion, Bernard and John met. They both shared similar opinions, and they believed they were outcasts. When John came to the World State, he felt like an outcast again and stated, “‘O brave new world that has such people in it.’” (Huxley 93). He didn’t care for the values of the society the World State had. Despite the fact that he was unhappy, he would not take soma and told the citizens that they were being brainwashed and that they were being treated as slaves. John wanted freedom for everybody, but he didn’t accomplish it because he was sent away to live alone. Freedom was never accomplished because of the absence of social instability in the World State.
The theme of freedom and lack of individuality was withdrawn from everyone in the World State because of technological advances, for example, Bokanovsky’s procedure. A fertilized egg was stunned to make ninety-six identical people, and the only way they were different was by the caste they were in. When they were first born, they became conditioned in order to have a role in society. Conditioning individuals at a young age removed their individuality due to the fact that their life was already arranged for them. Happiness was given to everybody, but nobody had an identity in society since it would create sadness and social instability. ”No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability” (Huxley 31). Bernard felt ”as though [he] were more [him]. More on [his] own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body” (Huxley 61). Bernard wanted to be his own independent person. John likewise accepted that he was his very own individual with his very own opinions and feelings. Both John and Bernard couldn’t help but contradicting the totalitarian perspective of Mustapha Mond which was the reason they did not agree with him. Mond was taking the individual’s only characteristic, feeling, and he prevented it with soma. Emotions helped express opinions and beliefs, however, the World State disheartened the qualities.
The last theme that was presented was the lack of affection and emotion displayed in the tragic society because the ten controllers of the World State would control everyone. Due to the lack of affection, there was also a lack of emotion which meant that known ever felt anything about each other. Because of the advanced innovation of fertilizing eggs instead of pregnancy, women were not giving birth anymore, and this caused them to downgrade in the society. Before the technological society, the world was “full of mothers-therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity’ (Huxley 28). The job of women was enormously undervalued in the World State because the idea of not having a home and family was not idealistic. This impacted men as well because they felt that they had no purpose and that it was an undesirable society. In response to the men, the women began to conform to the society and not become mothers because it was considered indecent. The stereotypical role for women in the World State was to please men although they felt no emotion towards each other.
A shortcoming in the book was the confusing and unexplained ending. Toward the end of Brave New World, a group assembles to watch John frequently whip himself. The following day, John felt guilty for whipping himself so, he kills himself. Throughout the novel, John had always argued that “ Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate.” (Huxley 155). He always put truth before his happiness. When Mustapha Mond awarded him the opportunity to look for truth through selflessness and suffering, John whipped himself. This conclusion urged that the satisfaction empowered by the World State’s Controllers was a more dominant power than what John looked for. It was also not sure if John had ever found the truth at all. All things considered, the novel’s completion would propose that looking for truth must be a social objective. Truth couldn’t be found by isolated people like John.
A chief objection in the book was that no one knew what happened to Bernard when he got sent away because he couldn’t conform to the World State. The novel showed John’s point of view of him living alone, but once Mustapha Mond sent Bernard, Huxley did not talk about him again in the ending. Bernard was given two options, “to be sent to an island, where [he] could have got on with [his] pure science, or to be taken on to the Controllers’ Council with the prospect of succeeding in due course to an actual Controllership.” (Huxley 155). Bernard had chosen the island because he couldn’t be in the World State because he had felt too much of an outcast. All Bernard wanted was pure isolation from the world, and Mond sent him to an island where he was to live on. The reader did not know if Bernard ever made it to the island and what he did.
The book had more faults than merits. The plot was developed all over the place and the setting varied throughout the book. It was not clear where the actual setting was because it kept changing through every chapter. It was between the hatchery and the savage reservation. Also, there were many things happening at once such as Bernard and John being sent away to different places in the end. A merit in the book would be the fact that the World State was technologically advanced. Instead of having a woman give birth, Huxley described that eggs were fertilized in order to create a human being, and they were also duplicated. The new world had came “‘out of the realm of mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world of human invention.’” (Huxley 11).
To conclude, Brave New World has often been debated as a utopian or dystopian novel. Although everyone was happy in the perfect society, it also restrained people from being themselves without them knowing it. The three major themes were happiness rather than freedom, lacking individuality, and lacking affection and emotion. Given that Brave New World was published in 1931, Huxley’s future society showed that it was very similar to the present society. John and Bernard, the main protagonists, went against the societies’ values which caused them to be forced to leave. It was due to their lack of conformity and change. By conditioning people at a young age, it allowed the controllers to control everyone. A perfect world may not seem so perfect because it can turn very toxic at a rapid pace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Main Message of Brave New World?
The main message of Brave New World is to be aware of the dangers of a society that values conformity and stability over individual freedom and creativity. The novel warns of the dangers of an oppressive government and loss of individual identity when technology and government control become too powerful.