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Brave New World As Huxley's Tool To Change Society

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Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World to initiate a change in our keeping up with the Jones' mindset. He satirically mocks today's growing rate of consumption by implying that the future will sacrifice humanity for satisfaction of immediate desires. In Brave New World, two major examples of instantaneous supplement to sate desires and keep feelings at bay are soma and sex.

Mustapha Mond describes soma as "Christianity without tears". While religion helps people to deal with and work through their unpleasant emotions in our world, Huxley indicates that in the World State, science has evolved so far that it can substitute this drug for religion; however, rather than granting insight, soma allows an illusionary escape from the truth. The people of the World State turn to soma for everything: "to give you a holiday from the calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering." (244) Lenina is a perfect example of how the "civilized people" in the World State hide from unpleasantness, rather than face it and deal with it. At the savage reservation, when she glimpses the reality that a simple Beta could wind up old and ugly, Lenina "felt her self a complete and absolute holiday. As soon as they got back to the rest house, she swallowed six half-gramme tablets of soma...It would be eighteen hours at the least before she was in time again." (142) The World State ignores harsh facts in favor of contentment; for example, they know that overdoses of soma are unhealthy, but they do not care. Linda abuses soma and lives her last months in a hallucinating, unresponsive state, but this only concerns John. The World State's inhabitants are emotionally detached; the nurse at the hospital seems scandalized by John's emotions at Linda's death, for instance, and tries to protect the visiting children from said emotions by distracting them with йclairs. Huxley uses soma to warn that if our world continues to follow its technological, consuming path, then we will end up sacrificing our humanity to comfort.

The abundance of sex in the World State also points out consumption's unwelcome turn. Relationships, as Mond points out, create instability: "[people with mothers and lovers] were forced to feel strongly. And feeling could they be stable?" (41) The utopian World State discourages strong emotions, as shown by the nurse's reaction to John's mourning for Linda. It discourages love, with all of its feelings, passions, commitments, and relationships. Art, which draws its foundation from these emotional elements, is forbidden. Shakespeare also, is outlawed; as Mond says, "'We haven't any use for old things here...particularly when they're beautiful. Beauty's attractive, and we [the consumerist World State] don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want



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