Happiness Comes from Control
How Rules and Regulations Create Stability for Us
"'Don't you wish you were free, Lenina?' 'I don't know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody's happy nowadays.'" (Huxley 91)
Similarities Between Today's Society and the "Civilized World."
The first tie between our world and the one that Huxley has created can be seen in the very first chapter of his book: the use of Genetic Engineering. The novel opens to a very detailed description of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, where humans are essentially built, cloned, and grown through Genetic Engineering. Although our world has not yet reached the point where there are no mothers and families in the world, the human race has started to toy with the ideas of cloning, genetically modifying, and basically mixing up genes to create humans. For example, in Brave New World, they build these humans with the characteristics that they want them to have; they change their intelligence and appearance to match their needs. According to this article found in the New York Times, our society is catching up to the Brave New World society; it says, "AN advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings." (Darnovsky 1.) This does not mean that we will start using this technology immediately on humans, but the technology does exist if we ever want to start utilizing it, and at the rate our society is progressing, I believe that it is not far off.
The second similarity between our society and that of the one found in Brave New World, is the total disintegration of morality and self-respect. Some may believe that this is not something that important, but for me it is greatly significant. If we humans start to lose the sacredness, promise, and purity that is supposed to be found in marriage and sex, what's next? Hollywood and the media have turned sex into something that you should just do whenever and with whomever you want, and of course, it is your own decision to make, but what is that doing do us emotionally and mentally? Sex was never meant to be shared with more than one person, for me it is something sacred that belongs in marriage, and not those marriages you see in Hollywood that last maybe one year, I'm talking total and complete commitment. Saying "I do" to "Till death do us part" and meaning it. Of course I don't have much experience on the matter, being a seventeen year old in high school, but I can see that Huxley was trying to draw out a map of what our lives would look like if we continue the way we are going right now. The way of sleeping around, divorce, and the loss of love. In the society that he paints, love has long been a thing of the past, so has marriage and self-respect. When we as a society read this novel now, it is a common reaction to cringe and feel weirded-out by their sex lives and how no one cares about anyone else, and why is that? Because we know deep down that it is morally wrong, but what we must try to see is that Huxley has provided what will become of us if we are to continue living these loveless and immoral lives that we see on the TV.
The final connection we can see between our society and Brave New World's is the need and desire to remain young, beautiful, and free of disease. Old age and disease for the society found in Huxley's novel have become a thing of the past, no longer do they have to worry about the discomforts that come with old age, because there are procedures that exist to help them remain young and beautiful. Doesn't this sound a little familiar? Not only is this something that our world craves, it is something that we have already begun to try to fix. Today, "Doctors use it [botox] in small doses to treat health problems, including: Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance." (Botox 1.) That sounds exactly like what the people of Brave New World do to help them appear young and beautiful; they, of course, have it figured out more than we do at the moment, but science will keep pioneering and eventually find a way to make it work. But should it? I believe that is the essential question that Huxley is trying to point out. Shouldn't we let nature take its course? Beauty and youth are fleeting (although some may want to change that) and shallow, why must we try to achieve something that is meant to be fleeting and enjoy the wisdom and knowledge that comes with old age. What really matters here, shortening your life span so that you may remain young in appearance, or letting nature take it's course by growing old? The society in Brave New World have clearly decided this question, I believe it is time for us to decide for ourselves.
So Happy I Could Die
Are GMOs really beneficial to the human race?
I can certainly see how GMOs can become necessary to the human race once we have already started to use them, but it is a vain dream of mine that wishes that the human race had never started to use them. They may supply more food for the population, but at what cost? According to an article, "Health effects of primary concern to safety assessors are production of new allergens, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, and antibiotic resistance." (GMO: Harmful Effects 1.) At first glance, this laundry list of effects does not seem very relatable, but once you really think about what it is saying, it becomes easier to see why I do not stand for GMOs. For example, ponder a moment on the phrase "new allergens." Oh okay, pretty simple, so I'll start to become allergic to more things, big deal, it won't really effect me that much.. oh but that's where you are wrong. The types of allergies these GMOs create are allergies to everyday foods such as soybeans. " The only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that portions of the gene inserted into GM soy ended up transferring into the DNA of human gut bacteria. Furthermore, the gene was stably integrated and it appeared to be producing its potentially allergenic protein. This means that years after people stop eating GM soy, they may still be exposed to its risky protein, which is being continuously produced within their intestines." (Smith 1.) Later in this same article, it is stated that these GM soybeans may also create different allergens and it cannot be predicted what kind of allergens it will create. If we continue to use GMOs at this rate, then one-hundred years from now, since the allergies become part of human DNA, no one will be able to eat anything without having an allergic reaction. Another reaction to GMOs that I would like to elaborate on is that of them causing humans to become resistance to anti-biotics. Let me say that again, humans are becoming resistant to anti-biotics because of GMOs. Medicine, what you take when you get the flu, shots, the medical care that can potentially save your life; all of these things would go out the window if we become immune to anti-biotics. No longer could we just calm our fevers and infections with anti-biotics, we would either have to try to stick it out, or die from our diseases. Even though people had to go through this process before we even had anit-biotics, that does not mean that our modernized society would be able to handle and accept that. Of course anti-biotics are not the only kind of medicine out there, but it is one of the major medicines that saves lives and prevents diseases. If scientists are willing to sacrifice these necessities to have more food, I don't suppose there is much I can do about it, but I can decided not to eat GMOs and to take a stance on them; my stance is that I do not agree with the usage of GMOs.
Katniss Everdeen in the Modern World
Visit the Third World Countries of the World and See for Yourself
Saturday, May 31st, 10am
Third World Countries
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: HarperPerennial, 2006. Print.
Darnovsky, Marcy. "Genetically Modified Babies." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Feb. 2014. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
"Botox: MedlinePlus." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
"GMO: Harmful Effects." GMO: Harmful Effects. N.p., 2003. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
Smith, Jeffrey M. "Institute for Responsible Technology." - Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food AllergiesGenetically Engineered Soybeans. InstitueforResponsibleTechnology, May 2007. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.