Literature Essays & Paper Examples

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Term Paper On Brave New World Vs. Modern Soc

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In the novel Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, civilized society lives in a world of science and technology. Major changes have occurred during the future; Utopia now revolves around a religion of drugs and sex. God and the cross have been replaced by Ford and the symbol T . Instead of Sunday church, members now attend solidarity services where morals and tradition are not learned, but rather faith is taught in the belief of hallucinations produced by a substance known as soma . These are only a few differences that can be found between Huxley s masterpiece and our society today. Besides these differences, Brave New World deals with many issues and ideas that we consider an essential part in our lives. Although there are similarities between the World State in which Brave New World is set in and our modern society today, the differences that exist between the two worlds are more evident and can be seen and described easily. The main issues that will be discussed and contrasted in this essay include religion, human life and death, and what we consider art . Despite Huxley s prediction that there will be no true religion in the future, it can be found in today s society because of man s need for answers to questions that cannot be solved by science and technology. Unlike the Utopian society, religion plays an important role in people's lives today. It represents our principles and values and guides us through our everyday lives. Religion also gives us something to believe in and a set of rules to live by. However, who is to say that one hundred years from now people will still believe and practice religion? Mustapha Mond when referring to the Holy Bible says that they're old; they're about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God Now. Mustapha Mond is saying that with the evolution of time the need for religion has disappeared and has been replaced by the worship of another God who is Ford. I feel that this statement contradicts the way we think in our present day society; we need religion and an almighty god to believe in. Besides creating a god and teaching us the way we should live our lives, religion also helps people deal with our stress and problems. Unlike modern society, Brave New World deals with stress by the elimination of problems through the use of soma. One gramme, she decided, would not be enough; hers had been more than a gramme affliction. But if she took two grammes, she ran the risk of not waking up in time to-morrow morning. She compromised and, into her cupped left palm, shook out three half-gramme tablets. As shown in this quote and throughout the novel, the people have been addicted to soma as to the point of rioting when their supply is threatened. This goes along with one of the major themes in the novel, drug abuse. Religion is an absolute necessity in our everday lives and without it, the reality of Brave New World may come true. A precaution taken in Brave New World to prevent chaos to occur in the utopian society was the restraint of history, literature and art. According to our views, these things are unquestionably important and we would go as far as saying that we could not live without them. But for these people, they are insignificant. This is not the fault of the people though; they are conditioned to dislike art, books, and nature. They ll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an instinctive hatred of books and flowers. They ll be safe from books and botany all their lives. Basically, the ideas of art and history are sacrificed so the people would not get any independent ideas and have a conscience of their own. Instead they receive a so called happiness. Mustapha Mond said it best when he stated: You ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We ve sacrificed the high art. Also, to survive in our present day society one must have education. Education to us leads to knowledge and for us knowledge is power; power runs the world. However, for them there is no need for education because they do not need power. Power will not get them any farther in life then what is already written out for them. Therefore the knowledge of history and literature are not needed for the general public. Mustapha Mond sums up this fact in his well-known statement: History is bunk. Another difference that can be seen between the two worlds is the fact that the only kind of books in Brave New World accessible to the public are reference books. Books with opinions and emotions are non-existing. This discretion is needed because those types of books could challenge the conditioning already served to the people. The last thing needed in the utopian society is the challenge of their conditioning, which can be the main reason of the sacrifice of history, literature, and art. Perhaps the most striking contrast between Huxley s Utopia and our modern society deals with the issue of human life (procreation) and death. Today, babies are still the result of intercourse between a man and a woman. In most cases, the birth of a child is a memorable and joyous event for the woman. In Utopia, however, if a woman is caught bearing offspring, she will be punished by exile. Offspring not produced the society s way is a threat to the society s existence, in the eyes of the leaders. Also, in our modern society we have fathers and mothers, but in Huxley s Utopian society those words are considered to be obscene. Mother...these...are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then again most historical facts are unpleasant. The passage in which this quote can be found not only shows how the brain-washed people of the utopian society look down on giving birth and having parents, but it also shows how history is restricted to the public. Finally, the last contrast deals with the behaviors and attitudes towards death among the two societies. In the Utopian society, people live in a robot-like manner and then they eventually die. It is as simple as that. They never question what they have been conditioned to do and also, thanks to their conditioning, they do not fear death, but accept it as a way of life. That alone is a task that our world still has not been able to accomplish. In our world we must go through the ritual of the funeral. In the chapter in which John is summoned to the hospital to eventually deal with the death of his mother, the differences on how we deal with death compared to the people of Huxley s society can be seen clearly. Should she speak to him? remind him where he was...of what fatal mischief he might do to these poor innocents...undoing all their wholesome death-conditioning with this disgusting outcry-as though death were something terrible... Death is an event that we take with grief and sorrow, but as one can see in this quote, the Utopians see it as not mattering at all. In conclusion, one can clearly see the differences between our modern society and the society that existed in Brave New World. However, now we have to ask ourselves whether this Utopian society is actually bad at all. This is a world that one can not help but be happy; a world that replaced, not destroyed religion; a world that even eliminated racism and stereotypes. It is a world where you only possess knowledge you need, where everyone has the same values and principals. Finally, here is a world with no war, no disease and no old age. Is utopia actually that bad? I will leave you pondering this question, but while you are doing this, think of John, the savage, and the hardships he went through in the Brave New World. Also think of science and technology, and if they are not closely monitored, we will find ourselves in the frightening reality of Brave New World.

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