The Disease of Perfection

A Condoned Contagion

"'I want to know what passion is,' she heard him saying. 'I want to feel something strongly.'"

Bernard takes Lenina out on vacation in order to get to know her better as a person. Despite the freelancing sex that his society practices, Bernard wants nothing more than to feel something true. As he takes her on vacation, he desires to embrace the view and to bond with Lenina, yet she doesn't understand why he just doesn't sleep with her already. Bernard tries to explain to her using this quote: "'I want to know what passion is,' she heard him saying. 'I want to feel something strongly.'" This quote expresses that void in the "utopian" society of the World State. Because they have made something so intimate and affectionate like sex into something for recreational purposes, the society has lowered the importance of feelings, emotions, and passion. Being different, Bernard can feel that void within himself. He knows something more is missing despite the prosperity and success of the world he lives in. No matter how perfect everything is, there will always be this emptiness inside of him that he may never experience because of the ignorance to passion that society has put upon its people. He cannot feel strongly towards one person, for that is considered unhealthy and threatens the stability of the society. But it seems Bernard is the only one who understands or even notices this void. Everyone else in society is too caught up in the beauty and perfection to see what is missing. New things are always there to distract them, for "ending is better than mending" (Huxley). It's like a disease, a contagion that infects people left and right, yet it goes unnoticed. Or maybe it's just ignored. This quote demonstrates that even in a so called "perfect world", it may not be all that perfect.

A Brave New World Today

In a way, the present society of ours today can be related to the World State in Brave New World. Although we do not produce babies in factories as in the novel, we do, however, have started to create genetically modified babies. These babies have been created with genes that can make them smarter, healthier, faster, etc. Just as in Brave New World, the benefits of producing humans with better quality can help the society function and achieve more, especially become more efficient. Genetically modified persons (GMPs) can help to prevent "aging, genetic diseases, and physical and mental deterioration. Being genetically modified is already being advertised and publicized as an alternative if you are having fertility issues. People today are given the choice to choose to scientifically create their children instead of naturally producing themselves with their own sex organs, just as in the novel. In addition, the portrayal of beauty today is very similar to that of the World State. With the influence of the media and availability of the media to younger generations now through advancements in technology, beauty is thought to be tall and skinny, a type of flawless that can be achieved and achieved easily. In our world today, so many teens believe that the way actresses and models look is how they need to look and that is what true beauty is (Beauty and Body Image). In the World State, the Alphas and Betas are made tall and skinny and flawless, just like the celebrities that are being praised today. Even perfect, barbie-looking celebrities of our society today strive for more and more beauty. They constantly make alterations to their bodies and modify how they look just to keep up with what is accepted as "beauty" in society. Once they've modified their bodies to achieve this certain look, it is just like the people in the World State producing babies in the factories to look a certain way. They are using man-made inventions to dictate how they look at the world and how the world looks at them. In addition, sexuality today is no longer as sacred and secretive as it once was. Very similar to Brave New World, sex is seen as something done for the use of recreational purposes. Teens nowadays have a much higher rating of sexual activity than before. They are now also able to freely talk about it as an everyday topic. Sex jokes are easily made like how it is in Brave New World where people could talk to each other about their sex life and joke around easily about what had happened, and all this is possible in our society today because of the media. The rise of sexuality in the media is causing our generation now to become more and more adapted and exposed to such a society that their comfort zone is modified (Sexual Behavior: What Teens Learn From Media). This allows them to think that the behavior of having sex for recreational purposes only with no feelings or relationships tied with the act acceptable. In their minds, if she can do it in the movie, then i can do it in real life. Everyone's life is constantly consumed by technology nowadays as in the World State, and with such perpetual exposure to sex, their standard for life is changed. In addition, in the World State, everything "new" is desired while things that are old are thrown out: "Ending is better than mending" (Huxley). In our world today, with the new advances in technology, there are always new innovations being made to make everything more efficient and better. For example, there will always be a new iPhone that comes out. It all started with the first touch screen with the iPhone 3, and now we are at the iPhone 5s with crazy fast speed and storage capacity. Soon enough, the iPhone 6 will be introduced, and the constant modifications of new versions of it will never end. The new is constantly replacing the old in our society today, whether it be of phones or televisions or even cars. Our society now is actually extremely similar to the one in Brave New World. We are working our way towards a utopia that we all think we want, yet will we turn into a society like the World State? Even worse, will we know that we were creating a society like that for us to live in and would we be content with it?
Lana Del Rey- young and Beautiful LYRICS

Will You Still Love Me?

"Young and Beautiful" sung by the artist Lana Del Rey indicates a woman who reminisces about her care free. fun days, running around with her significant other. She sings about the time where good looks and riches were the center of life. The main part of this sing refers to the woman asking if she will still be loved me even when she is "no longer young and beautiful". This song specifically represents Linda in Brave New World. Ever since Linda was abandoned in the Reservation, she naturally aged and did not display the young, youthful image that the World State praised. The lyrics express the yearning inside of Linda of the question if she will still be welcomed and loved in such a world when she's "got nothing but [her] aching soul". In addition, this song illustrates the kind of society that the World State is: materialistic and youthful. It states that the world is like a "show", and everyone plays a role in it while being treated and "played with like a child". Everyone in the World State act like children, where their desires for pleasure and self happiness overtakes all other things. They are constantly numbed, conditioned, and taught that happiness is a certain way as a child needs to be. Yet, even after being exposed to such a society, underneath it all, Linda yearns for something more and something true. She constantly wonders if she really could still be loved when she was no longer young and beautiful.

A Shakespearean Investigation

In the novel, John's mother, Linda, although no longer residing in the World State, still practices the idea of free love. This idea of having sex with no intimate connection with the person is new and strange to the people of the Reservation, including John, himself. After John reads Hamlet, he is influenced to kill Linda's lover with the quote "When he is drunk, or in hi rage/Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed", Pope. He uses Shakespeare as an outlet for his emotions, which causes him to want to act upon his anger and disagreement to Linda and Pope's way of life. In Hamlet, this quote marked when Hamlet would decide to kill his murderous and incestuous uncle, Claudius. Hamlet is angry that Claudius had murdered his father for the throne and then married his mother as John is angry with Pope for continuously sleeping with his mother just for the kicks of it. Because John doesn't know how to express his anger and emotions correctly, Shakespeare's works allowed him to relate to the different universal themes that we all can also relate to today. But because we have so many technological advances and the freedom to express our thoughts and feelings, we don't necessarily let Shakespeare's words dictate our lives and choices as John has. Living in a restricted world with no real understanding of what and why things are happening and Linda not being much help to his curiosities and doubts as he grows up, John completely submerges his life into Shakespeare's words and allows it to govern his actions.

GMPs: Does Ethics Matter More Than Advancement?

Genetically Modified Persons (GMPs) have opened our society today into a whole new world of opportunities and advancement. People can now be faster, stronger, healthier, smarter, and even more beautiful. What more could we want? Yet, with the ability to control even the genetic make up of humans, there are still some who disagree with the process and claim it to be unethical, and I, for one, am on their side. Yes, we can accomplish so much more as a better and faster race if our genes were perfected in the lab, but where would individuality or the purpose of our life, especially to those who are deeply religious, go? By given the freedom to choose how we look and function, we are taking away the freedom to live and learn through mistakes and experiences. The availability of choice and to make the most of what we were given is the beauty of a human life. We all are able to live different lives and create different stories because of our flawed, unique selves. So if we were man-made to perfection, wouldn't the world just be a high functioning bore? In addition, the process of GMPs have not yet been perfected, and research has shown "that the incidence of chromosomal anomalies is known to be higher in children born from the procedure than the rate of major congenital abnormalities observed in the natural population" (Mercola). With such a unperfected procedure, malfunctions in the GMPs could occur and cause the GMPs to be dangerous to the real human population. Also, it states that follow ups and testing for the GMPs after they've been created is lacking, which means experiments are not being overlooked and watched carefully. The creators are not watching to see if there are hazardous after effects, putting everyone in the community in danger. There could also be the risk of "creating new diseases to which there is no cure" (Glenn). There is no guarantee that a new set of high functioning man-made humans could not give rise to a new disease that a normal human immune system was not susceptible to. With so many unanswered questions and mistakes still being made with this new process, it is plain unethical to create a mass of GMPs. Plus, if genetically modified babies were being produced instead of being naturally made through sex, the beauty of sex and intimacy of spouses would be thrown out the window. That would also cause the structure of families to be destroyed if there were no such thing as real birth mothers. Everyone would just become sperm and egg donors instead of creating their own beautiful child and raising them up in their own image. In the end, the continuation of GMPs all comes down to whether or not the advancement of the society itself is worth being ignorant towards the sacrifices that are taken to achieve such a utopia. Is it worth forgetting what it was like to be flawed? Will you even know what perfection is if there were no flaws to compare it to? Wouldn't human desire to change and perfection cause things to get out of hand? Would everyone forget their morality just to be prettier and faster? I wouldn't think so.

I Am Beatrice Prior. I Am Divergent.

Beatrice Prior, also known as Tris, from the trilogy Divergent by Veronica Roth is the protagonist in the dystopian story. She encompasses all attributes of bravery (dauntless), intelligence (erudite), and selflessness (abnegation). She is a risk-taking character who will go to the ends of the earth for the people she loves and what she believes is right. Nothing can come in her way of doing what she sets her mind to. With such determination and a vibrant personality, Tris would be loved and appreciated in today's world. Because of the freedom we have today, so advanced in technology, yet not so advanced that technology has completely overtaken our lives that Tris would absolutely love the opportunities and freedom of choice that we have which was not present in her society. Being divergent, Tris would enjoy the liberty to be all that she is and pursue any career she would like instead of being chained to only one faction and job. Although she might disagree with some of the ethnology advances like GMPs or GMOs or maybe unnecessary technology uses like certain apps on the latest phone, she would over all appreciate the functioning of the society here today. If there was any issues in society that she disagreed with and felt the desire to make a change, she would first and try to negotiate and talk calmly about solutions, for Tris does not like to resort to hurting people or violence first. But she is not afraid to resort to violence if necessary. She did choose the Dauntless Faction, after all.

Dauntless Capture the Flag

Wednesday, March 12th, 5pm

Global Winter Wonderland

Come out and join Tris along with all her Dauntless faction members for a exhilarating, hard-core, adrenaline rushing game of capture the flag to bond with your friends! This will be a game like you've never played, where rules are little and danger and risk is encouraged. Hide your flag where ever you want within your side of the battleground and in clear sight. Show the other team how dauntless you are!

Works Cited

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Glenn, Linda M. "Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering and Transgenics."

Actionbioscience. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Mercola, Dr. "Dozens of Genetically Modified Babies Already Born - How Will They Alter

Human Species?" N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

"Sexual Behavior: What Teens Learn From Media." GreatSchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar.


"View the Book." Brave New World : Aldous Huxley : Free Download & Streaming : Internet

Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.