brave new world
Society Reflected in Brave New World
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5 June 2015
The title of this novel, Brave New World (1932) has been derived from one of the much celebrated dark comedies of Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611). By ‘brave new world’ Miranda seems to refer the new and foreign creatures that are much more like her outside the island. However, Shakespeare underlined deep irony in ‘brave new world’. In the play, the characters whom Miranda referred as coming from ‘brave new world’ are betrayers so that they can tame the absolute power (Larsen, 1981). The time when the novel was written is in between the war years. The society depicted in the novel seems to use people, according to its necessity of power structure.
The concept of the individuality of human beings in the society is under heavy attack in the novel. The suggestion of hypnopaedia has marred the uniqueness of love and friendship among different human beings. In fact, the world presented here ruthlessly requires human beings to be flexible enough to interchange each other’s self for serving the broader purpose of society. Society is empowered with moulding the individuals in such a way so that the idea of self-ceased to exist over here (Meckier, 2002). Societal stability is the zenith of achievement and it makes individual quality a sheer negative aspect and equivalence a greater characteristic. The conformity of freedom is also negated by this society as “everyone belongs to everyone else” (Huxley, 1969).
The delineation of society by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World has similarity with socialism. However, marring the individuality is not that socialistic. At the same time, it restricts the impacts of uneven power distribution. The author is very much moved by the concept of simulation that had completely nullified the goodness of creativity. Instead, it had converted creativity into a commodity. Everything at that age could be commoditized by mass production. In this context, it should be mentioned common welfare of society seems to be main cord of concern in this society as everybody starting from Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, Bernard Max, Helmholtz Watson, John are excluded from society whenever the institutional faith of society was suspected to be harmed by them (Meckier, 2002).
The society was also unfair in making Linda and her son be outcastes. John is the illicit son of Linda and Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning. He was only forced to resign when the social paradigm was shaken by the return of Linda and John. But, if the facade of society is torn apart, then the old crude existence of social practises gets revealed. The Society of World State still follows the caste hierarchy in terms of alpha and beta belonging to the higher strata and gamma, delta and epsilon being lower ones. Naturally, the authority is dominated by alpha. Bernard max is treated or demeaned due to his short physical stature whereas Watson adopted seclusion for his intelligence. The difference is Bernard was very much deliberate to acquire an honourable place in social paradigm whereas Watson was very much happy to embrace his exile from that society (Larsen, 1981).
This novel underlines a strong political statement through the character of John. He learned about the brave new world from Shakespearean dramas and in the end he adopted an ascetic lifestyle for purifying himself and amending for the injustice to his mother from the society. The ending of the novel explicitly concludes that a radical who is threatening for the societal politics will be diminished in any way.
Huxley, A. (1969). Brave new world. New York: Harper & Row.
Larsen, P. (1981). Synthetic myths in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: A Note. English Studies, 62(6), 506-508.
Meckier, J. (2002). Aldous Huxley’s Americanization of the “Brave New World” Typescript. Twentieth Century Literature, 48(4), 427.
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