Modern day society is not at the same extent of totalitarianism through science and technology as the one depicted in the novel Brave New World by Aloud Huxley. The utopian society which is set in A. F. 632 revolves around a world in which pleasure and the pursuit of happiness are the key aspects in each characters everyday life. This is achieved by the scientific and technological advances in Brave New World.
The government's meaner of control is to ensure happiness through drugs, stability by controlling the classes of people through what the book refers to s the "Bazookas Process," and pleasure being achieved through the cheapening of moral entertainment. In today's society, the desire to accomplish these things are attempted, but not to the degree of the citizens in the novel. Although the way in which we do achieve pleasure and happiness is different between our modern day society and the novel, we are becoming nearer to the state of civilization depicted in Brave New World.
Pleasure is one of the key aspects in the civilization illustrated by Aloud Huxley. Pleasure is reached through a drug named soma. In order to maintain the debilitation of society, soma is used to control and take away feelings of depression, anxiety, and other undesirable emotions. Through the advancements of science, they perfected this drug to such an extent that after the user administers it to themselves, no feelings of a "hangover" are left.
Soma takes the user into a euphoric state of happiness and no worries: "And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-Grahame tablets, and there you are. " (Huxley 237) Today's society uses a drug for similar intentions as soma.
Antidepressants are used in our society to control unwanted emotions. The use of antidepressants has increased by 400% since 1988 according to the National Center for Health Statistics (INCH). Studies show that most people on anti-depressants want a quick fix to their unwanted temporary problem. Studies by federal government statisticians estimate that one in every ten Americans are on antidepressants. This relates directly to the book, in which to avoid unwanted feelings and emotions, a drug is taken to help the user surpass the negative state they were in before the drug.
The society in Brave New World revolves around stability. Community, Identity, Stability is the World State's Motto. Classes of humans are created, in which the Alphas are the highest of the classes and the Epsilons make up the lowest class. Stability within society is achieved through ensuring that the lower classes of unmans are genetically altered and conditioned to be lower and inferior to the Alphas and Betas, yet be pleased and satisfied with the class they're in: "Alpha children wear grey.
They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I'm so glad I'm a Beta. (Huxley 27) Through the "Bazookas Process," a single egg is multiplied to create 96 exact humans, which are then engulfed in alcohol to be categorized into the three lowest classes: Deltas, Gammas, and Epsilons, which serve as the factory and low level Job workers. The lower levels of Huxley society are simple workers; multiples of the same person being conditioned and raised to be one-task thinkers and doers. Through the achievements of science, ever since birth the different classes of humans are conditioned to think and act a certain way and to like certain things.
Due to the conditioning, specific rules must be followed. Although society revolves around scientific innovations, it must be practiced within the boundaries set. Since science is the pursuit of truth, the government controls its citizens by setting guidelines to be followed when dealing with science, as for them not to discover the truth and be unhappy with the state of civilization. "We can't allow science to undo its own good work. " (Huxley 227) In modern day society, every child is conditioned by their parent's to like certain things, have a certain mindset, and be a certain way.
Conditioning in today's society happens when we are children, growing up knowing what forms of entertainment are seen as acceptable, such as what movies or cartoon channels are appropriate. Through continual observation of parent's and role models, each child grows to be a representation of how they were raised to be. The happiness for society in the book comes from pleasure stimulated by technology. Throughout the story, the cheapening of sexual pleasure is illustrated. The belief that "everyone belongs to everyone else" is taught since the beginning of every class's conditioning.
Individual thought is not part of the stability in society, therefore is not accepted into happiness. Society's happiness must come from what they are conditioned to believe is right and acceptable. "The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get... And if anything should go wrong, there's soma. " (Huxley 220) Due to the cheapening of the way pleasure is achieved, that meaner that society is cheapening its moral entertainment. Due to the conditioning, they are taught to like the new, and get rid of the old. But old clothes re beastly,' continued the untiring whisper. We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending (Huxley 54). " This illustrates how society is concerned on keeping up with the new, and not with the old. This relates directly to today's society because every teenager and young adult wants to have the newest gadgets and clothes. Statistics according to Web Wise Kids state that since 2004, the percentage of children with a cell phone has gone up to 75% from 45%.
The rate at which kids become involved ND productive with the internet is between the ages of 2 and 5. With an ever growing technology market, more and more young adults have learned "computer skills" rather than "life skills" according to Dirk Singer from Lies, Damned Lies ; Statistics (Singer 2012). . Another way in which society receives pleasure is through technological advances such as the "Fillies. " The "Fillies" is where the characters go to watch a film and "feel" what they are viewing. Similarly, we go to the movie theater and through seeing different scenes throughout the movie we feel different emotions relating to it.
Although our society as a whole isn't to the same extent as the one in the novel Brave New World by Aloud Huxley, we are definitely on the path to it in some key aspects. Even if it is in different ways, our society revolves around one's own happiness and the want to have the latest technology. From the use of antidepressants to being conditioned since a child to act and behave a certain way, we are similar to Brave New World. Although it's not to the same degree of intensity or the brainwashing of citizens, the motives, intentions, and results are the same within our novel and modern day society.