In 1932, Aldous Huxley first published the novel, Brave New World. It is about the future and what life will be like then. The novel starts in the year 632 A. F. After Ford the god of the New World. Great War has destroyed all of the old civilization. This brings in the new civilization, which is stabilised through dictatorship. Most of it is set in future London. Huxley wants to express his feelings and his fears of what life will be like in the future. He uses characters to voice his concerns. John the savage is the protagonist of the novel and he represents Huxley’s views.Order now
He strongly believes in religion and is opposed to nearly all that there is in the New World. He is born and brought up in a savage reservation. This is what some of the places where the new civilization hasn’t taken over yet are called. He is brought up in the company of Indians who still believe in the old beliefs such as Christianity and god. So he is not conditioned like the other main characters. He stands up for the old believes and customs like marriage. John’s father is the director of the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning D. H. C and adheres the new system. He does everything by the book.
Bernard Marx is an employee at the hatchery and works in the Psychology Bureau. He is an alpha plus but is somewhat opposed to the new system. He had an accident when he was just a baby in a test tube and that is why his behaviour is a bit different from the others. He is the one who brings John and his mother Linda back to civilization from the reservation. Mustapha Mond is the resident controller for Western Europe and is one of the Ten World Controllers. He has complete knowledge of the old world and its traditions and values but is a major spokesman for the New World.
Helmholtz Watson is alpha plus and is a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering and in the intervals of his educational activities a working Emotional Engineer. He is also a writer and he feels that there is something missing in the new world. He is fascinated with the writings of Shakespeare, which John gives to him. He is friend of Bernard’s and later befriends the Savage. Lenina Crowne is a nurse in the hatchery and goes to the reservation with Bernard. She is a clone who has undergone all of the conditioning. Later on, she is attracted to John but he doesn’t feel the same way about her.
When Huxley wrote the novel, the ideas that he explored in his novel were not a reality, but merely science-fiction entertainment. Brave New World confronts ideas of totalitarianism, artificial reproduction, anti-individualism, and forever youth- ideas, which were not threatening in the 30’s. In the 1930’s, the high ethical standards people maintained and the limited amount of scientific knowledge did not allow for the acceptance of the types of ideas found in Brave New World. At the time when Huxley wrote the novel, the people were just recovering from World War I and they wanted a perfect world.
Huxley takes this idea of a utopian world to its extremes in Brave New World. The novel starts in the London Hatchery where the director himself is giving some new students a tour. He shows them around the facilities and what happens at each point. The hatchery is where the babies are produced in thousands; all in test tubes. The first difference between the old world and the new one is this. All the people are cloned in test tubes. Even now this is not accepted as ethically right but in the New World it is the norm. There are no ethics in the New World because of the conditioning that everybody undergoes.
This is also done at the hatchery. This is the most important difference between the New World and our world. The people are conditioned to do things exactly as they are told. This means that they don’t have any their own thoughts; they just do what they were conditioned to do. This is the main issue that Huxley puts emphasis on throughout the novel. Huxley makes the New World have a totalitarian regime. It is ruled by Ten World Controllers. This is another thing which is despised by many people in today’s world. But the people of the New World never protest against this as they don’t have anything to complain about.
All of them are happy as they are. They have never seen anything better than this but they have seen or at least heard of what they are conditioned to think as worse in the savage reservations. Happiness controls the way of life in the New World. They take a drug called ‘soma’ to fight any depression. There are other alternatives like ‘feelies’ which are movies where you can the feelings the actor/ actress gets, like when the actors kiss each other. Also love has no emotional meaning in the New World. It is only shown in a sexual and physical manner. Sex has become a casual experience and is encouraged for childhood.
It is encouraged as early as seven years. To some of us this is preposterous. Decades ago people got married at such early ages and it was looked down upon. Terms like marriage, parents, mother, father, born are considered smutty in the New World. There were no families as there are now. There are big families of the batch of the test tube babies. They are also conditioned to consider death as a norm. To them the body of the dead person is just more fuel to use in the Slough Crematorium. The children are brought to the Hospitals to see dying people so that they will get used to it.
Another thing that glares back at us is the racial discrimination in the New World. There are 5 main races as it were: – Alphas – these are the brains of the New World. They are conditioned and educated to be the best. Then there are the Betas who are the average people of the New World. Then we have the Deltas then the Gammas and lastly the Epsilons who are of the lowest cast. The Epsilons do all the dirty work and are conditioned to do so. This is also considered outrageous by most of the people today, but in the New World they don’t know that this is wrong because they are conditioned to accept whatever the Controllers tell them.
The technical advances in the New World are what cause the civilization to be like it is. The conditioning, the artificial reproduction, the soma all is due to advances made by man. The real conflict comes up when Bernard brings John the Savage to London. John’s read some of the old writings of Shakespeare and he doesn’t like the New World a bit. The climax is when he is called to Mond’s office because of the disruption he causes. Here john and Mustapha Mond discuss the Differences in the old world and the New World. John is so disturbed by the impurities of the New World that he commits suicide at the end.
There are many similarities in the world that we live in now and Huxley’s Brave New World. More and more people are leaving religion behind and going on with their own lives. There are of course the drugs that help us to relieve ourselves of the stress and pressures of our daily lives. Also now we are very close to the cloning of humans. We have already achieved cloning sheep and humans aren’t that far away. The motto of the New World is “Community, Identity, Stability. ” All of these are what we need right now and what the world needed when Huxley wrote the novel but the methods of achieving are not what should be used.