At first sight, it seems that the perfect happiness, balance, and peace are created in Aldous Huxley’s novel, in Brave New World. The government possess’ absolute power over the world and people. It solves every problem which existed in the past, like poverty, illnesses, disasters etc. ; it makes the society happy and satisfied, it deletes every bad feeling and memory of the old world. However, the absolute control has also a negative side: the loss of humanity. The people of World State are perfect and the one who does not fit into this perfect picture, who keeps some humanity, should be exiled.
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But the people seem to be happy with their condition, and if there is an unexpected happening, the government invented a solution: they can take pills, the soma, and then everything will be alright again. Government makes the people passive and satisfied so that they do not question the society’s order, in which they live. ” Each member of society is permitted to know only so much as is immediately relevant to the tasks he has to perform, and even those alpha-plus intellectuals whose pre-and post-natal conditioning has left them with enough intelligence to think for themselves are not allowed to explore any new ideas.” (Thody, Philip. Aldous Huxley- A Biographical Introduction. London: Studio Vista, 1973.p.56)
Any free research or thought is considered as dangerous as art, literature, religion. For example in Chapter XII., Mustapha Mond reads a piece of work, called “A New Theory Biology”. He himself admits that it is a masterwork and it is a pity that it cannot be published. However, the work is dangerous because it can make people ” lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere; that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge. ” (Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. London: Vintage, 2004. p.154-55) That is why literature has been banned in this world. Moreover, only unhappy people produce literature, it is full of old things, like suffering, illnesses, sad death, love, and the people in Brave New World cannot understand these situations, ideas, emotions. They are old, the people are new. According to Mustapha Mond, they never want what they cannot get.
They are never ill or unhappy, they never suffer, they are not afraid of death or old age. There are no husbands, wives, children. The society is stable.
So that is why they would not understand the high art. As Mustapha Mond sais: ” You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We’ve sacrificed high art. ” (p.194) Mustapha Mond is the only one in this world who knows the things from the old ages (e.g. Shakespeare, the Bible), and who has free thoughts, ideas. But even he does not change the order because he is weak. Once he was almost exiled to an island but he did not want to say goodbye to his comfortable, happy life so he finished thinking. If he dies, nobody will remember and understand Shakespeare.
The only exceptions are Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson. They feel that they are outsiders. On the one hand, they do not fit into this kind of society, on the other hand, they do not belong to the Reservation, too. Just three men of the whole society feel that something is not right. For example, Bernard is angry when he hears that two men speak about Lenina like a piece of meat. Later, he would like to spend a day with her, walking by themselves, but Lenina cannot understand his romantic ideas. He is also considered as a stranger by the others, they spread rumours that alcohol was put in his bottle when he was embryo. However, later Bernard’s sympathetic behaviour changes and he becomes hypocrite when he wants to use John to keep his success.
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Helmholtz is intelligent and critical of the World State. He sees the insufficiencies of this ‘perfect’ world. He loves poetry, he would like to write something, he feels that teaching is not enough for him, he wants to get something more. Even Helmholtz sees the genius in Shakespeare’s art, but he laughs at it because he is still shaped by the culture in which he has been raised. He cannot imagine the feelings described by Shakespeare because he cannot such feelings. Helmholtz and Bernard are characters with two sides: they keep some feelings from the old world whereas they are also defined by the new world.
In the world where there is no humanity, the only person who keeps humanity is the Savage. His savageness is his naturelness, he is savage only for the over-civilized people. The Savage is the only one who is able to feel, to love. He loves his mother, Linda, and he uses the word ‘mother’ naturally. He feels pain when Linda dies and it is also unknown, frightening for the others. John adores Lenina and he knows only the old way of love when people lived in monogamy. He knows and respects the old piece of art, Shakespeare. He gets a chance when Bernard takes him to the World State. He is excited because Linda has told him a lot of stories about this world. He waits something perfect, however, he becomes disappointed because he sees clearly the people’s deficiencies. Then he “can make a choice; he can accept God, poetry, real danger, freedom, goodness, and sin, accept, in short, “the righ to be unhappy”, as Mustapha Mond remarks; or he can relieve all anxieties by approving the new world. ” (Karl R., Frederick; Magalaner, Marvin. A Readers’ Guide to Great Twentieth-Century English Novels. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961. p. 277) The Savage has the right to choose and this is why he differs from the others. He has the right to choose life with its every bad aspect (like cancer, poverty, starving), which he knows well as he lived in the Reservation; for Mustapha Mond this choice is equal to self-destruction, but for the Savage it is the life. For him, the life in Brave new world means prison where he should lose his spirit and values This world is no more beautiful, perfect, good. He cannot be civilized, he cannot change his believes, ideas, feelings. He lives in a Shakespearian world and he is unable to live in a world where “Henry Ford has replaced God; free love, marriage; test tubes, pregnancy. ” (Karl R., Frederick; Magalaner, Marvin. A Readers’ Guide to Great Twentieth-Century English Novels. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961. p. 277) and where the science has imprisoned the men’s spirits, souls.
People living in the World State have losen their humanity, they are just produced on the line, like machines. They also behave like machines: do what the superior power commands them without feeling anything, thinking anything, or questioning anything. “Science has perfected the world which cannot be upset, for it is self-perpetuating- people live only because of science, and for them to deny their maker is tantamount to denying their own existence. ” (Karl R., Frederick; Magalaner, Marvin. A Readers’ Guide to Great Twentieth-Century English Novels. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961. p. 277) Savage is different from them, he is considered as an abnormal creature that is why he must be civilized or isolated. It does not matter which one happen. But he cannot keep his personality.
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