The peak of a writers career should exhibit their most profound works ofliterature.
In the case of Aldous Huxley, Brave New World is by far his mostrenowned novel. Aldous Huxley is a European-born writer who, in the midst of hiscareer, moved to the United States and settled in California. While inCalifornia, he began to have visions aided by his usage of hallucinatory drugs.His visions were of a utopian society surviving here on earth. In hisliterature, Huxley wanted to make this utopian society as much a reality aspossible.
In framing an ideal we may assume what we wish, but should avoidimpossibilities. This quote, written by Aristotle, perfectly describesHuxleys attitude towards the creation of his imaginary utopia. His onlyproblem was establishing a value system that would not seem too unattainable.Huxley has two novels that have the theme of utopia, Brave New World and Island.Brave New World , which was written before Island , has ideas that are quitefar-fetched, but in Huxleys eyes, still close to reality. Huxleys firstportrait of utopia involves having a controlled society of people all beingalike.
The year is A.F. 632 (After Ford; Ford is the equivalent to God in BraveNew World ) and with the available technology, citizens are mass produced.
Island is a product of the rethinking of Huxleys utopia. The ideas are a lotmore real because the people are just ordinary human beings. Both of thesenovels have an underlying theme in common. The stability of Huxleys utopiansocieties are centered around the loss of individualism. Individuals areconsidered a threat in Huxleys utopian novels.
In the novel Island, theutopian society is on a small island, named Pala. The leader of the utopiansociety, Murugan, is an individual apart from the community. His plans are tomodernize and charge the way the people of Pala live. The reason he has thoughtsthat are different from the rest of the community is that he was raised outsideof Pala.
He grew up in Switzerland and the neighboring island Rendag, both ofwhich have been modernized and corrupted by the outside world. Therefore,Murugans mind has been corrupted by his staying in those two places. Palais thus threatened by the outside world, explains critic Frank Magill,because Murugan is introducing the modern way of life to this small island andit is damaging the stability of the community. Rendag was once the same as Palabut since it has ports for ships to embark, it was exposed to the outside worldmuch more quickly. Pala has no ports so it was safe from the invasions of theArabs, Portuguese, Dutch and English, which Pendag fell victim to. There arefive times types of people made in Brave New World.
Alphas, Betas, Deltas,Gamma, and Epsilons. Bernard Marx, the main character of Brave New World is anAlpha. Alphas are supposed to be the smartest, most well-built, mostintellectual, and well-conditioned of all the five of the groups made.
YetBernard speaks with individualistic ideas that are unheard of in this societymolded around the loss of being a unique person. Bernards friend, HelmholtzWatson is also one who threatens the utopia of Brave New World. Huxley explainsthe friendship of the two men: What the two men shared was the knowledge thatthey were individuals. They are the only characters which openly discusstheir personal ideas. Ideas that in a sense are considered sinful in theirsociety.
In the end Bernard and Helmholtz are ejected from society by beingshipped off to some foreign island so that they will finally be free to exposetheir individualism. Through mass production of people, individualism is lost.In Brave New World, all of the people are products of mass production. Racksupon racks of numbered test tubes.#, p. 5 is the only way to describe thembefore their actual birth.
They have no family to give them a backgrounddifferent from anyone elses. They all come from the same green bottles. Evenwhen they are born, all they are given is a name chosen out of a small group ofcommon names. In our world, having a name is one of the millions of ways we useto tell people apart and give them a feature unique to themselves.
The frequencyof having the same name with so many other people, takes away from a personsindividuality. Sometimes, ninety-six identical twins p. 7 are produced.Having ninety-six people looking exactly the same has the same effect as havingthe same name, but to a much greater extent. In Island, the babies are born thenatural way, but the children do not have a single set of parents, they have anunpredestined and voluntary family, meaning that they are free to roamfrom family to family. They are urged to pick up the cultures of every family inthe town by and by.
Individuality is lost in this because one aspect ofindividualism is the influence of family on a person. If everyone has the samerelatives, they are likely to all begin thinking alike. The loss ofindividualism in Island is not as extreme as in Brave New World, but it isprevalent. The ideas that Huxley presents to replace religion in both novelscause loss of individualism.
In Brave New World, as children, the people gothrough what they call hypnopaedic conditioning. This is a process inwhich a phrase of moral value is repeated over and over in their sleep untilthey live by it. This is their form of religion because this conditioninginstills the peoples values. They are taught phrases such as, ..
.when theindividual feels, the community reels p. 70. The individuals are taught tobelieve that they community is more important than the individual. One criticexplains, They are trained to live in total identification with society andto shun all activities that threaten the stability of the community. A secondexample of how hypnopaedic conditioning shows loss of individualism isthat if a person belongs to everyone else, then he is not able to make thechoice of belonging.
Making ones own choices is part of being an individual.In the novel Island, the people follow a mixture of religions that contain a lotof eastern philosophy. Their religious books have phrases such as Im acrowd, and …
.thou art that, also him. Both of these phrases preachconformity of people. The more people become alike, the less individuality theyhave.
The idea of a utopian society in todays world would seem impossible. Itwould probably be destroyed just as the island of Pala was because keeping unityof thought amongst billions of free-thinking people is too far-fetched toconsider probable or plausible. However, a future utopian society as in BraveNew World just might be possible. With the speed of advancing technology, thebiological tools needed to mass produce human beings have been made andexperimented on as we speak. Scientists can already clone DNA and make anartificial person or animal. The novel wasnt written to talk about scientificadvancements. It was written to depict how the scientific advancements wouldeffect the individual.
A utopian society might work in less extremes than ineither of the two books. The only thing in the way, is that everyone intodays world thinks that their views are the right way of thinking, andare rarely open to other viewpoints, at least not to the point of being willingto have their being dictated by someone else.English Essays