Essay title: The Social and Political Attitudes of Brave New World
What if there was a place where you did not have to, or rather, you could not think for yourself? A place where one’s happiness was controlled and rationed? How would you adapt with no freedom of thought, speech, or happiness in general? In the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, there are many different attitudes portrayed with the purpose to make the reader think of the possible changes in our society and how they could affect its people. Brave New World is an unsettling, loveless and even sinister place. This is because Huxley endows his "ideal" society with features calculated to alienate his audience. Typically, reading Brave New World elicits the very same disturbing feelings in the reader which the society it depicts has notionally vanquished – not a sense of joyful anticipation. Huxley’s novel presents a startling view of the future which on the surface appears almost comical. His intent, however, is not humor.
Huxley’s message is dark and depressing. His idea that in centuries to come, a one-world government will rise to power, stripping people’s freedom, is not a new idea. What makes Huxley’s interpretation different is the fact that his fictional society not only lives in a totalitarian government, but takes an embracive approach like mindless robots. For example, Soma, not nuclear bombs, is the weapon of choice for the World Controllers in Brave New World. The world leaders have realized that fear and intimidation have only limited power; these tactics simply build up resentment in the minds of the oppressed. Subconscious persuasion and mind-altering drugs, on the other hand, appear to have no side effects.
The caste system of this brave new world is equally ingenious. Free from the burdens and tensions of a capitalistic system, which separates people into social classes by natural selection, this dictatorship government is only required to determine the correct number of Alphas, Betas, all the way down the line. Class warfare does not exist because greed, the basic ingredient of capitalism, has been eliminated. Even Deltas and Epsilons are content to do their manual labor. This contentment arises both from the genetic engineering and the extensive conditioning each individual goes through in childhood.
In this society, freedom, such as art and religion, in this society has been sacrificed for what Mustapha Mond calls happiness. Indeed almost all of Huxley’s characters, save Bernard and the Savage, are content.