Brave New World and Individual Freedom

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Published in 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote the fictional Brave New World. Huxley uses a utopian world with characters of different social statuses to portray what would happen to an individual’s freedom when those in power, such as the Government, have the ability to misuse science as well as change societies thoughts. Huxley uses different characters to portray issues of human sexuality that we can even see today.

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He shows how these issues on sexuality are formed by the pressures on a society whose sex is controlled by those of higher power as a means of stability for mass consumption and power. Huxley tries to connect this to our world by showing how tragedy follows a society when our basic human rights are taken away and our perception is altered to the point that we no longer portray our emotions.

The New World society is shown to be entirely controlled by the World State. Huxley shows how they are able to genetically engineer people by explaining the bottling room where babies rather born by conception are mass produced chemically in a laboratory type setting. Conditioning is essential as it will determine the jobs and social status they will be placed in depending on their chemical levels of strength and intelligence. Huxley shows how the World State conditions everyone through shock therapy and hypnopaedia. The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time (Huxley, 2014, pg. 25), in order for the individuals to be prepared to live in a certain class of the caste system; that is the secret of happiness and virtue liking what youve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny. (Huxley, 2014, pg.13-14). The World State uses these forms of conditioning to eliminate all emotions as well as change people’s thinking in order to keep a stable, functioning society. No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy to preserve you, so far as that is possible, from having emotions at all (Huxley, 2014, pg. 40).

The World State also tries to ensure that all individuals stay happy by conditioning them to believe that everybody belongs to everybody else (Huxley, 2014, pg. 108), meaning, they are conditioned to be sexually active with as much as they want with as many partners as they want; the World State knows that sex can be equal to happiness, and happiness is equal to stability. Huxley, shows a type of conditioning called erotic play where children are taught from a young age to engage with each other in a sexual manner; …this little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play. Id noticed it once or twice before. And now again to-day (Huxley, 2014, pg. 28) This is so that they can instill in them from a young age to learn the behaviors of sex, so they may engage at a young age in order to find happiness. …but sterile. Guaranteed sterile (Huxley, 2014, pg. 10). The World State has the power to make the decision to sterilize some women for the intent for them to not conceive, and for those not sterile they provide birth control and abortions as a means of contraception since they still need eggs for their mass consumption.

One of the characters Lenina, is shown as one of the conditioned citizens of the World State. She has be conditioned to be like the rest of society to have no feelings of love, or any other emotions and uses her sexuality as means to feel happiness just like other citizens in the World State. Huxley also introduces us to John Savage, another character, to portray the only person different from the rest because he has a mother whose name is Linda. Since he was conceived, he was never conditioned by the World State and experiences all the emotions of fear, love, passion and read books on Shakespeare to learn of how sexuality was portrayed and used in the past.

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