Show MoreThere is a very significant difference between a utopia and a dystopia, however Brave New World by Aldous Huxley could be seen as either. There are many aspects of this society which are perfect and completely cancel out many problems with our real world, nevertheless along with these are effects which could be seen as the opposite. This essay will discuss these aspects and effects and whether the Brave New World society is a utopia or a dystopia.
A utopian society is one which is perfect (Mastin (2008), What is a Utopia?). In the case of Brave New World: everyone has a job; all people live in harmony, meaning there is no war; there is a lack of poverty and crime. These things alone would mean this society is indeed utopian. Obviously…show more content…
Parts of the novel focus very specifically on the dystopian side of their lives, such as when John Savage, Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson discuss the lack of God, love and science with Mustapha Mond who is one of the ten world controllers (Huxley, 1932, p.171-187).
You can understand now that there are far more imperfect parts of the brave new world than perfect ones. This means it must be a dystopia. The perfect parts generally end up with a negative outcome. For example, the fact that everyone has a job is a result of the conditioning they went through as a child. The use of soma is also a negative part of the society the characters live in. John sees it as a terrible thing because his mother Linda died from a constant dose of the drug (Huxley, 1932, p. 158-162). The characters rely on these imperfect things very much, so it makes the society even more of a dystopia. The start of the novel seems to be set in utopian society, however, the book becomes less so and leans towards a dystopia. Huxley makes this change consciously in the story. When John the Savage enters the story, that is when the society of the world changes. Instead of conditioning and other things being seen as normal, John sees these things as a disgrace and prefers the lifestyle of the reservation, where he used to live.
A utopia and a dystopia are extremely opposite
A utopian society is a society in which everything is absolutely perfect; a society in which everyone is happy with their life. The society in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is set up by the World Controllers to be such. However, the society itself is just the opposite of a utopian society: a dystopian society. Even though everything appears to be perfect for everyone, the hidden truth reveals a different reality. The society in Brave New World is a dystopian society as exhibited by the lack of reality, freedom, and identity.
A primary example of how the society in Brave New World is a dystopian society is the lack of reality in the novel. This is exemplified by the use of soma, a drug that takes the user to a different world. Mustapha Mond, one of the ten World Controllers of the society describes soma as “”Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant… All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects… Stability was practically assured” (Huxley 53-54). The users of this drug are put in a state where they are away from reality; they are completely unaware what is going on around them.
This is significant because the users do not see the disfunction and unhappiness of the society, meaning that when something goes wrong they can hide from it instead of fixing it. In addition, the islands further prove the lack of reality. When someone does not agree with the way that the society is being run by the Controllers, they are cast off to an island, isolated from the society so they cannot cause an uprising or rebellion (227-228). This is important because it hides the reality of dissatisfaction for society. It creates an atmosphere that is filled with happiness for the society, with no glimpse of the unhappiness that is apparent.
Even though this lack of reality portrays a dystopian society, there are other ways that it is portrayed as well. The dystopian society of Brave New World is further proven by the lack of freedom. In this society, people are bred in a factory to be whatever the society needs them to be (Huxley 13). This is significant in that everyone has a destiny that they cannot escape: a purpose that they did not choose to be their own. Without this freedom, nobody can truly be free and happy. Because of this, however, the society has another method to ensure “happiness.
” This method involves a process known as conditioning. The people of the World State are condition to like what they were predestined to do, and to dislike other jobs and purposes that they may have wanted to pursue without the conditioning. Mr. Foster describes that “all conditioning aims at that; making people like their un-escapable social destiny” (16). This is significant in that it portrays that the conditioning cannot be escaped; the conditioned are forced to enjoy what they have been conditioned to enjoy with no freedom of choice as to whether or not they want to, creating a false happiness.
Though this alone portrays a clear dystopian society, there is yet another way the dystopian society is portrayed. In addition to both lack of reality and freedom, the dystopian society is also portrayed through the lack of identity. For example, in order to populate the world, the Hatchery uses a process known as Bokanovsky’s Process. This process takes one embryo and splits it to excess of 96 new embryos (Huxley 6). This causes each embryo to have the same genes, making them 96 identical copies of one another. This is significant because it is impossible for a person to be an individual when there are 96 exact replicas of him or her.
Also, from the moment of their “birth,” each and every citizen is casted into a social class: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epilsons (Huxley 6). These castes determine the person’s role in society, with Alpha being the equivalent of a noble of the society and Epilsons being the peasants. These roles are assigned during Bokanovsky’s Process by such acts as depriving the developing embryo of the proper oxygen (6-7). Because of this, everyone is thought of as a member of a caste, not an individual. An Epilson will always be an Epilson, with no chance of being a standout individual in society.
This lack of advancement destroys the sense of personal achievement and self-earned identity. Overall, the society in Brave New World is clearly a dystopia. The citizens are clouded by the society into thinking that they are happy. The lack of reality portrays a fake happiness that is surrounding the citizens. Also, the lack of both freedom and individuality take away what makes a person unique and destroy any chance at true happiness. The society believes they are truly happy only because it is what they are conditioned to believe. This false happiness makes the society what it truly is: a perfect imperfection.