New ‘Values’In Brave New World
‘Everyone else is belongs to everyone else’ is whispered to human’s ears during their sleep in Brave New World; from the very beginning of their lives until their last day human creatures are designed to think and live as ‘society’ wants them to do so, they do not have individual choices and freedom. In order to make society run smoothly, human beings are conditioned to think, make choices and live according to superior orders, which alter the real nature of humankind and abolish uniqueness.
In the first chapter, Bokanovky’s Process is described in details, how human beings are made, how Gammas’, Epsilons’, Deltas’ brain are stopped by chemicals not to develop as ‘cleverly’ as in Alfas.
One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress. ( 1st chapter)
People do not have choices over their mental capability, they are created by other people when they are only embryos. Human beings act like the Creator, God.
These ‘sub-human’ people, namely Gammas, Deltas, Epsilons, are only capable of working and not capable of thinking, therefore, these people are the controllers of the society, who are contributing to maintenance and materialization of the social system.
“We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future …” He was going to say “future World controllers,” but correcting himself, said “future Directors of Hatcheries,” instead.
Making them sub-human is a necessary way to maintain society, because clever people may question the necessity of the system, which could be a danger for ‘civiliation’.
As I mentioned before, people act like God in the novel, create people and make decisions over them, thus God as a word and phenomenon is unknown for the citizens of the ‘new world’, God is replaced by Ford. They celebrate Ford’s day and people say “Oh, Ford!” and “His fordship will be down in a moment.” However it is questioned by John, the savage:
The Savage interrupted him. “But isn’t it natural to feel there’s a God?”
Even reading plays, books, dramas is forbidden for the residents, because they are full with emotions which cannot be understood by others:
Call it the fault of civilization. God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That’s why I have to keep these books locked up in the safe. They’re smut. People would be shocked it …”
It also could be a threat to social civilization, if people started to discover how their ancestors live, their soul would be changed if they started to read poetry, for instance.
‘When the individual feels, society reels.’ Lenina warned Bernard. In a uniformed world like in Brave New World, even love is a danger to social stability, because loving a particular man or woman is a unique identity, which is a threat to the social system. Instead of loving one particular man or woman, everybody loves everybody, which is in a way means loving no one. However, there are some characters in the novel, for instance Bernard, who fails to follow the rules, perhaps loving someone is a capability which is so deep in us, that is hard to abolish.
Instead, there is a an alternative way which replace love which is the pure physical relationship between the two opposite sex, which is ‘practiced’ by children from an early age.
“Go away, little girl,” shouted the D.H.C. angrily. “Go away, little boy! Can’t you see that his fordship’s busy? Go and do your erotic play somewhere else.”
These organised sexual games undercut passion and do not allow the individual to love one particular man or woman. Individuals even subordinate their own sexual pleasure to the supposed joy of the society.
Most of the people in the novel are even not aware of the ‘real’ meaning of friendship, love, marriage and parenting, because they have never experienced it. These values, which are so familiar to us, are dead in Brave New World. These values were sacrificed long time ago, because they surely make people unique. Instead, people grow up in communities, which is very similar to the way orphans grow up without a family.
Being old and looking different is also dangerous for the ‘civilisation’. Old people are different from younger ones, their skin is wrinkled and some of their teeth are missing.
“So hard for me to realize,” Bernard was saying, “to reconstruct. As though we were living on different planets, in different centuries. A mother, and all this dirt, and gods, and old age, and disease …” He shook his head. “It’s almost inconceivable. I shall never understand, unless you explain.”
In Ford’s world, people are drugged to look like young forever, however they have to pay a big price for that, they die earlier.
When Bernard went to a holiday, he met Linda and John, who live outside of the community. They are mother and son, Linda look ‘old’ and some of her teeth are missing, her only dream is to go back to the ‘perfect world’ from where she was expelled because of her pregnancy. However, when she and her son returned, Linda was deliberately overdosed, because she does not fit into the society, she is different. In the novel, people are capable of killing for order without even realising it.
When John’s mother, Linda is dying, John goes to the hospital to see, where he is told that she is only left a few hours to live. When she dies, John outbursts in his pain which is not understood by other people. For them, people are only replaceable, interchangable units of the society, being loved and loosing that particular person are so out of their rich, they cannot imagine.
In Huxley’s Brave New World, people take somma which is a drug subscribed for everyone. By swallowing a few tablets, people feel themselves better; disappointment, shame, bad feelings disappear in a minute. People take a few of it after work, or go to somma holidays for recitation. Sommatized people are half conscious they are ‘industrialised’ to feel happy about themselves, however this is not ‘true’ happiness, the reality blurs with the imaginations.
There are only two people in the novel, who completely fail to fulfil what is expected from them, namely John and Bernard. Both of them are Alfa+, thus they are very cleve, but John was raised up by his mother, while Bernard was conditioned. Bernard only questions the system’s inhumanity, while John reject the system altogether. Probably, John who was raised up by his mother is more ‘human! than his fellow, Bernard.
There is one solution to escape where one can live as he or she desire, to go to an island. Around ‘the modern World’ there are islands, where people are deported, if it is necessary for the sake of ‘civilization’. They live there as people lived before, having children, getting old. For instance, Bernard has to go, although, he is not satisfied with the decision.
Bernard started and looked horrified. What would the Controller think? To be labelled as the friend of a man who said that he didn’t like civilization-said it openly and, of all people, to the Controller-it was terrible. “But, John,” he began. A look from Mustapha Mond reduced him to an abject silence.
The decision itself is good for Bernard, although he does not know it yet, he is disappointed. The controller he himself question the system and almost escaped but finally he decided to stay. Perhaps, he was afraid to start a new life completely own his own.
To conclude, every human value, which makes us individual is dead in Brave New World by Huxley. Individualism is defeated in the dystopia and only society lives. Who does not fit into the society is either killed or deported. A society where people do not have choices and ruled by others is called dictatorship. The only way to resist the power of tyranny is keeping one’s mind active and free. People’s freedom is always limited, but should be constantly exercised to avoid tyranny.
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Comments or questions are welcome.