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Aldous Huxley Essay Sample

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Aldous Huxley Essay Sample

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, his utilitarian society seeks the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of the people (Brandt, “Utilitarianism and Moral Rights”). The ways they achieve this are through genetic engineering, selective breeding, artificial selection, also having the masses us hallucinogenic and antidepressant drugs. The happiness of the society does not come from what most would think like achievements, advancements, and love. Instead, happiness is found through stability and the emotional equilibrium in the population of the world state.

Their greatest happiness is through scientific and social conditioning, this then makes the person content with who they are and what they will then do with the rest of their life. They seem to lack the desires and wants of our modern day human societies. There is even no advancement between the social classes and some even don’t interact with one another. With complete happiness trying to be achieved, the society of the world state has taken control over birthing; science has then replaced the family unit. Also religion has been seen to be primitive and the new way to live by is now called Fordism. With the society and government having control over almost every aspect of the citizens’ lives, they have found what is to be said as safe outlets for human desires and emotions. The way of life for the people of the world state now has them without unhappiness. If you do not have unhappiness you cannot understand what truly being happy is.

In Huxley’s society, the good that the society aims for is happiness, government, industry, and all the other social apparatuses like the hallucinogens are taken in order to maximize the happiness for all members of the society. Since the society is fixated on always being happy they use certain methods which are seen as taboos and even norms in some societies of our current world. The use of Soma, which is a hallucinogenic antidepressant drug, keeps the people taking the drug “happy”. People take this drug to go on “holiday”, which ends up being a hallucinogenic trip to escape the current realities and moods that seem to be bothering or irritating the person. Although this society kept as a utilitarian society, the citizens are still human, even though genetic engineering is used, Unhappiness and irritation sets in, then the person refuses to experience unhappiness, the drug then keeps the people from wonder and appreciation of beauty, which could only be achieved from knowing the exact opposite of what the drug puts on the person. Humanity in this book must first know to be unhappy which would then create and appreciate beauty.

The world state citizens must ask if truth is more important than happiness. This society was built after the time of Ford. Who is now seen as a deity, they even celebrate a Ford day. The people of this society even go as far to swear by the name of Ford. Their world state calendar has the year’s number in the “AF” era, which means “Annum Ford”. Their calendar makes the year 1 AF equivalent to 1908 AD; this is the year that the first model T rolled off of Fords assembly line (McDowell, “Life without father and ford”). The controller of the current society argues that happiness is more important than truth. The citizens have no real recollection of the world and its societies before their own time.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World he put great play on the culture of the people and the way they lived their lives in a utilitarian society, but there was also another society in this book. The people of the society before the world state are now seen as “savages”, which are said to be an Indian culture. The savages live on Indian reservations, on the reservations they still worship a god through Christianity and birth their children the natural current way we do today. The “civilized” people of the world state even take vacation trips in order to see how the Indians live; the Indians are seen as primitive. The civilized humans are lacking a supernatural based religion, homogeneity, and unpredictability. All of which the Indians and we live by.

The civilized humans of the world state achieve their current status not through natural reproduction or raising their children through a family system. Stability and harmony are achieved without the family and which are taken over complete control through the government of the society. The way reproduction is done in this current society is through technological and medical intervention (Wikler , “Can we learn from Eugenics”). They do surgical removal of the ovaries, and use hypnopaedic conditioning to teach the society when they sleep. Huxley goes through conditioning over breeding; the human embryos and fetuses are conditioned from the start with a carefully designed regimen of chemicals such as hormones and toxins. They are also exposed to intense heat or cold, this would then shape ones future career in the society for the rest of their lives. There is also selective breeding as well from environmental stimuli. There are no parents and no family system. The controller of the society believes that families cause “madness and suicide” (Huxley 56).

Bernard Marx, who is a character in Brave New World, believes that people who perform their jobs like adults still have feelings and desires like infants. Without the population coming from families they then cannot reach psychological maturity. The psychological and scientific techniques that are used to control the people of the World State are used from their conception to their death. The pursuit of happiness of the society is run at its fullest. The citizens seem to lack the desires of wanting advancements and to make achievements. They lack the desires of our modern human society because they have been scientifically and socially conditioned (Berg, “Genetic Engineering: Challenge and Responsibility”). They are genetically engineered and hpynopaedically conditioned to accept their one way of life. The citizens of Huxley’s book are still free although their lives have been completely controlled; they are free from want, ambition, and uncertainty. The problems of today’s society are sidestepped in the world state. The fixed social order is to keep stability and harmony for all (Brandt, “Utilitarianism and Moral Rights”). This is achieved by maintaining the social control the power stands in control of genetics, mind control and pleasure manipulation.

The Brave New World society does not have any restrictions on the gratification of sexual desire. The children are taught to have “erotic play” at the youngest of ages. The society does not believe in monogamous sex, it is believed that sexual plurality is the main component of the social society. They believe everyone belongs to everyone else. The monogamous sex has the ways of lust and passion for those that cannot restrain themselves. Although Huxley does believe a society of complete sexual freedom will deprive the people of the desires that make a person human. The fetuses of the woman are sterilized while the men are left not sterilized (Huxley, 50). This then results in men being held in a higher standard than women in all situations of the book. With woman being sterilized and not men it shows the physiological dominance of men over woman. Not wanting to put the dealing of life in the hands of woman leads to their sterilization. The future of the offspring is left in hands of the males, while woman wear a Malthusian belt. The government has assigned theses belts to the woman; this is the attempt by the government to stop the birth of new babies. This leaves complete control to the government to make genetic engineering, selective breeding, and artificial selection choices for its future citizens.

The world state which is said to lack any supernatural based religion still dwells in a belief in some kind of higher power. The government tries to suppress religious impulses in the society, which they do in a way. The lacking of religion is filled with the viewing of Ford as the entity of their society. Humans have an impulse towards a belief in a god, but the controller sees it as useless and something that the society controls in order to insure stability. With the citizens celebrating Ford day and swearing oaths to Ford this is just a smoke screen for a belief in religion. Humans must look to something higher for inspiration and guidance. The futuristic society of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is that of utilitarianism. The government does its best to unsure their social efforts are coordinated to have stability and harmony in all aspects. The society seeks and seems to achieve the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of its people (Brandt, “Utilitarianism and Moral Rights”).

With their happiness coming from alterations in scientific and social conditioning, it makes the person lack desires of happiness through things such as achievements, advancement throughout society, and love. Their desire of happiness which has been altered comes from stability and the emotional equilibrium in the population of the world state. The person becomes content with who they are and what they will be doing for the rest of their life. With lacking the current desires of humans, the people of the society seem to run seamlessly with what the government has set up and the utilitarianism is ran at what seems to be an effective way. This in fact is ineffective for the minority of the population. The minority of the population are the ones that want more for themselves and want to go by their own desires in life. A utilitarianism society is not the best for all the population, although it may be best from what the controlling group thinks. On a more personal level of the citizens this type of society will prove ineffective, the controlling group will not be able to please every single human being of their society. Very often some humans realize they are not a part of the group but in fact they are themselves.

Works Cited:

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World,. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.

Brandt, R. B. “Utilitarianism and Moral Rights.” Ethics 14.1 (1984): 1-19. Jstor.org. Univeristy of Michigan, 1 Nov. 1984. Web.

McDowell, Linda. “Life without Father and Ford: The New Gender Order of Post-Fordism.”Transactions of the Institiue of British Geogrpahers 16.4 (1991): 400-19.Jstor.org. Wiley-Blackwell, 1991. Web.

Berg, Paul. “Genetic Engineering: Challenge and Responsibility.” Ambio 6.5 (1977): 253-61.JSTOR. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.

Flint, A.P.F., and J.A. Woolliams. “Precision Animal Breeding.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363.1491 (2008): 573-90. Jstor.org. The Royal Society. Web.

Wikler, D. “Can We Learn from Eugenics?” Journal of Medical Ethics 25.2 (1999): 183-94.Jstor.org. BMJ Publishing Group. Web.

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