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Brave New World- A Book Report
Brave new world is an interesting story set in a futuristic dystopian world, where the human society has obtained stability and happiness through a rigid caste system, brain-washing, and the elimination of individuality. In this new world each person is grown inside bottles and conditioned/brainwashed to fit a certain caste. Your caste determines the type of function you will serve, whether it be a factory worker, overseer, etc. The idea of viviparous reproduction as well as fathers and mothers are considered disgusting, and old literature works are banned. Chastity is also thrown out the window with young children involving in erotic play and sexual activities are considered a very casual thing. Everybody in this world is happy, and if they are not, they take a drug called “soma”, which makes the user get high and happy for a few hours with no side effects.
The climax of the story happens when a savage who had lived in a tribal village much like the ones today is introduced to this new world and is thoroughly disgusted with it. The savage had a melt-down and greatly disturbed the soma ration distribution. After he was sedated, he was brought to the Controller (the ruler of the world) and had a discussion with him regarding the totalitarian control on the people’s lives, the extinction of art forms, individual though, and passion. The controller responded by arguing that the absence of such things is necessary in remaining the stability of society and everyone’s happiness. The Savage finds it hard to argue against the Controller’s point, and responds that he doesn’t want a happy life and would instead prefer the right to be miserable. The Savage then ran off to an island where he would starve and flog himself to exert discipline. These actions were captured by a photographer and were made into a movie, making him famous overnight. A huge crowd visited the lighthouse in order to see the Savage flogging himself, and Lenina, a girl whom the Savage is attracted too, showed up too. After finding out that he still had sexual desires for Lenina, the Savage first flogs himself, and then Lenina, with the crowd mimicking his actions. His rage soon turned to passion and he engaged in an orgy with Lenina and the crowd. The book ends with the Savage waking up the next morning, remembered this sexual encounter, and felt so guilty that he hanged himself.
This book presents a question: “How much are we willing to sacrifice for peace and happiness?”. While reading this book you may feel horrified at how numbed the people are at feeling emotions, or how the caste system suck, but one important thing remains: EVERYONE IS HAPPY. I understand that the book is trying to warn us against such a world, but the truth is, I feel that people might be better off in a world like this. People might try to argue that the Epilsons caste in this book are basically slaves, and I agree; however, they are much happier and contempt with their lives compared to the hundreds of thousands factory workers who are just like the Epilsons today. What about Shakespeare? What about religion? Fact is, we can’t miss what we don’t know. If we were truly brought up in that setting, we wouldn’t even be asking these questions right now, and if we were unhappy in any little way, just take some soma! No lives will be lost because no war will happen, world peace will be obtained, and bad things wouldn’t happen. I suppose the question shouldn’t be how much we are willing to sacrifice for peace and happiness, but rather, how much we are willing to sacrifice for freedom of will, individuality, and emotions.
Although I don’t agree with some of the book’s view, I have to admit it is a great read. Since such the Brave New World does not and could not exist, we should simply be wary of some of the things it warns us against, rather than using it as an instruction manual. This book does present some good points on drug-usage, a.k.a the soma. Every time something goes wrong, take soma! Escape into a world where the problems won’t haunt you, and stay there until you forget your sorrows. The soma nowadays might not just be drugs, but also the internet, videogames, etc. that run rampage in the our lives today.
Another good concept is the techno dictatorship. If you have read 1984, you would know that a totalitarian government prevents people from gaining individuality by destroying ways they would obtain it, but in a techno dictatorship, you would not want to be an individual. Though I argue that the world described in the book is not bad, I can say for certain that if a techno dictatorship were to occur, the dictators would never care about our happiness. As long as we follow orders, we are free to be as miserable as we want, which is why we mustn’t follow in the book’s footsteps. Techno dictatorship is an extremely interesting concept, since it stresses so much the importance of society as a whole, and blending in, that people feel ashamed to show any individuality. It is the best type of dictatorship, because you are your own dictator. Your subconscious is the one forcing yourself to submit to the rulers, and not the rulers themselves. There will never be a revolution if a techno dictatorship were to occur, since every man would be his own enemy, which is what makes this type of dictatorship truly horrifying.
Another good concept is the techno dictatorship. If you have read 1984, you would know that a totalitarian government prevents people from gaining individuality by destroying ways they would obtain it, but in a techno dictatorship, you would not want to be an individual. Though I argue that the world described in the book is not bad, I can say for certain that if a techno dictatorship were to occur, the dictators would never care about our happiness. As long as we follow orders, we are free to be as miserable as we want, which is why we mustn’t follow in the book’s footsteps.
Finally, I would just like to point out how this book is so far ahead of its time. It was able to warn us against biochemistry and bioengineering, as well as introducing the new concepts of sleep teaching and the conditioning of human minds. Mr. Aldous Huxley is able to create the perfect sceneries for you, and you can feel the raw emotions the characters felt as if you were there yourself. So if you haven’t read the book, go read it now; and if you had read the book, go read it again. After all, this is definitely a book you could read again and again without getting bored of.