When is Conformity a Positive? when is it a Negative?

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Aldous huxley employs diction and imagery to demonstrate the dangers of overlooking the happiness of an individual. When lenina pressures bernard to eat a soma sundae he says id rather be myself myself and nasty. Not somebody else however jolly. Here diction is employed to show that bernard refuses to follow the norms of his society by eating the soma sundae because it causes him to lose his individuality to mood changing drugs. By using the terms myself and nasty to describe his personality and jolly to describe the character of an ideal citizen of a conformist nation bernard makes himself look bad in comparison. However he stresses that he would rather be myself and nasty than someone who is jolly even if it means losing his identity. Additionally he indicates that he has an extent of knowledge about the effects of soma on the individuals of his society meaning he knows that soma has a strong influence on the temperament of a person.

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By rejecting the soma sundae bernard proves that he finds happiness by staying true to himself and his real personality even if it isnt what the ideal citizen of his nation must be like. This dialogue supports the fact individuals would prefer to preserve their personalities even if it makes them look bad in comparison. Another instance in the book when it is proven that conformity has flaws is when john sees the bokanovsky twins receiving their soma ration and thinks he knew it with a sinking sense of horror and disgust for the recurrent delirium of his days and nights the nightmare of swarming indistinguishable sameness. Here imagery is used to show that john has developed a dehumanized view of the bokanovsky twins due to their overwhelming conformity. imagery is used to depict johns reaction to the twins as horror and disgust. This shows that john is repulsed by the fact that the twins all have the same face and character. Imagery is used again to illustrate the twins as the nightmare of indistinguishable sameness not as regular people. This reveals that people who are not bokanovsky twins such as john view them as something other than human.

In the natural world large groups of twins do not exist so someone like john who has just recently left the natural world cannot relate to the bokanovsky twins thus causing him to form a dehumanized view of them. This proves that individuals find happiness by avoiding conforming to a set of rules set by society. being unique is a part of being human. A society that tries to remove uniqueness is a society that suppresses the humanity of its citizens. Additionally a society with conformity does not allow deep meaningful relationships to form. This is put in place by the hypnopaedic saying everyone belongs to everyone else it means that no relationship especially no sexual relationship is more important than any other and every person has the right to have sex with anyone else. This principle creates a collective body that is more important than the individual person. Along with causing a lack of significant relationships it also causes a person to lose their importance because everyone is respected and appreciated the same way.

Losing their individuality getting dehumanized and losing their importance are three ways people of a conformist society lose their happiness. Second body paragraph: along with listing three ways individuals lose their happiness to conformity aldous huxley also uses diction and imagery to illustrate conformity in a positive light. When mustapha mond is describing world state to a group of young boys he says what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly how could they be stable 41 here huxley uses diction to describe life before world state as full of disease pain uncertainty and poverty. All of these words have a negative connotation which conveys the message that the world was in a horrible position before it was changed into an incredibly homogenous civilization.

The question how could they be stable depicts pre modernized society as chaotic and unruly. Overall the diction choices in this dialogue characterize pre world state culture in a negative light thus putting individuality in a negative light as well since pre modernized society was one in which the people had unique personalities. This proves that conformity increases the happiness of the individual. Additionally the citizens of world state are conditioned to act and think the same. One example of conditioning is the repetition of everyone works for everyone else. We cant do without any one. Even epsilons are useful. We couldnt do without epsilons 74 over and over again. Here imagery is used to show that citizens of world state are being forced to think that even the members of the lowest caste in world state are important and valuable.

In a society where conformity is a foreign concept there are many prejudices and bias against certain groups. In a conformist society these prejudices are erased by conditioning. This increases the happiness of the individual because it causes them to feel positive emotions towards their peers and themselves however high or low on the social ladder they may be. Individuals of a conformist society gain happiness by being able to live in a stable society where there are no prejudices against them.

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When is Conformity a Positive? When is it a Negative?. (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from

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