Brave New World

An apocalypse of psychological manipulation

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work too hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able..." (Page 35)

This quote is said by a loud speaker on the wall in the nursery. The Beta children have switched over from "Elementary sex" to "Elementary Class Consciousness." In this procedure, a sound recording is played to the children while they sleep. This is a form of sleep-learning. It's purpose is to effectively make the Beta children acknowledge and accept their strengths and duties as a Beta in society. The goal desired in the "Brave New World" is to create a stable society. Thus, using sleep-learning to help castes accept their place and duties maintains that stability by minimizing competition and rivalry. This quote relates to today's world in that all the baggage that is set out to be avoided in the dystopia exists to it's maximum potential in reality. Children are not raised to conform to society, but rather to branch out on their own and periodically better themselves.

Modern Dystopian Society

Many aspects of today's world shed light on our society being considered as ideal. Numerous problems from the past, such as male-dominance and racial discrimination, are now gradually withdrawing as the notion of equality among genders and races is gaining appeal. However, on the contrary, there still exist apparent conditions in society that indicate the need for improvement. These conditions are enough to characterize today's world as undesirable rather than ideal. Obesity, factory work, and the seceding influence of religion are examples of modern conditions that make our society, in some way, dystopian.

Obesity has the potential to be considered a part of a dystopian, rather than ideal, society because it involves numerous health risks. The number one health issue that obesity causes is type 2 diabetes. Statistics show that as your body weight increases, the risk of developing diabetes also increases, which can impact your internal organs severely in the long run. Another health risk associated with obesity is high blood pressure. Increased body weight leads to increased blood pressure, which in turn can eventually lead to heart attacks, strokes, or brain hemorrhages. In addition to high blood pressure, overweight individuals can develop Gout. Gout is a medical complication that causes arthritis. It can affect "toes, ankles, and other joints."

Along with obesity, factory work is often described as "nightmarish" to society. It is considered a barbaric way to earn money because humans are often treated like machines; they are automated to complete the same task hour after hour, and day after day. Not only are factory workers underpaid, but they are also overworked and burned out. In many developed countries, factories prefer to hire the least amount of workers possible to complete a task. The reason for this is that hiring less labor saves them money. However, as a consequence, the underpaid workers are taken advantage of and exploited, often becoming physically overwhelmed to the point of their health suffering.

Religion has become a decaying factor in modern society because it directly contradicts with the technologically and scientifically advanced world of today. Though many would argue that a scientifically advanced world is proof of our society becoming flawless, this theory strays far from the truth when morality is questioned. In the past years, religion had remained a strong force in society. It not only taught individuals right from wrong, but also served as an incentive for them to think through the consequences of their actions before committing them. Citizens chose to take the moral high ground, which derived from either their fear or assurance of God. In contradiction, as modern society breaks away from religion, it also breaks away from a moral code. Thus, a godless society would be categorized as a dystopia because many would refer to the perishing moral values as a "social and spiritual" disaster.

Coldplay - The Scientist

The Scientist by Coldplay

The Scientist by Coldplay fits into the theme of science in The Brave New World. The term "science" is used metaphorically in the novel. In reality, the meaning of science correlates directly with the meaning of finding the truth. However, in the novel, science is used by individuals who seek to take over control, rather than search for the truth. The primary purpose of acquiring control over the citizens' actions and feelings is to create a stable society, and discard any negativity that might lead to even an ounce of unhappiness. According to the leaders, unhappiness is the result of impulsive actions, rather than logical ones. Impulsive actions are the result of strong emotions. And, strong emotions are the result of having one having no control over his or her feelings.

In my opinion, the song relates to this specific theme because it discusses logic versus impulse. The purpose of the song is to explain that reason and logic are not necessary for someone to feel fulfilled and content. On the contrary, it is entirely possible for contentment to derive from emotions you cannot explain. The song is about a guy who decides to end a relationship because, logically seeing, it is not working out. He mentions "Running in circles; chasing tails; heads on a science apart." By this, he means that the problematic situation continues to be played over and over again, clearly spelling out incompatibility in a rational sense. However, he soon realizes that logic is not enough for him to feel satisfied. He still very much loves her, and though he understands that logically they are unsuitable, his feelings for her are too strong for him to let her go. In comparison to the novel, the anecdote in the song is quite ironic. The novel stresses that in order to maximize happiness, logical thinking and a strong control on emotions is necessary. However, in the song, that same logical thinking is making the guy miserable. Instead, what maximizes his happiness is his enduring feelings for the girl.

"A good kissing carrion." - Shakespeare

In the Brave New World, this quote is referenced to when John is reminded of his Linda's death; he imagines her on the hospital bed. This quote is from a scene in Hamlet. Hamlet, acting like a crazy person, says to Polonius, "For if the sun breeds maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion..." In the play, Hamlet is simply describing the purpose of maggots on a dead animal flesh by saying that they are "kissing the corpse." The connection between the context of the quote in Brave New World and in Hamlet is that John is comparing Linda's corpse to that of a dead animal. He imagines her as a big and ingrained body lying on the hospital bed. Comparing Linda to a dead, decaying animal can be considered metaphorically true because, even when alive, she did not act like a human being. Instead, she continuously consumed soma and stayed in her fantasy land rather than face reality.

Genetically Modified Persons

Many heads would agree that producing genetically modified people in today's society would negatively impact our world. They claim that our world no longer remain natural, instead it would follow towards unnatural and unrealistic. However, I find that producing genetically modified persons could aid our society medically, professionally, and socially.

Medically, GMP's can benefit the society by reckoning cures to generally incurable diseases. Cancer is widely known as a disease that has yet to have a cure. By being able to genetically modify a person, scientists could upgrade one's immune system to a degree that it could develop the strength to destroy cancer cells. Another example of an incurable disease is Aids, which is gradually beginning to affect more populations world wide. Aids is a sexually transmitted disease in which the body severely loses its cellular immunity by lowering the resistance to infection. Although the medical field has yet to find a cure for Aids, there are still "sub-cures" available. However, patients prefer not to use these "sub-cures" because not only do they deal with dangerous chemicals, but the treatments are all too costly. The only way to find a real cure for Aids is through genetic modification. Genetic Modification of one's cells can recover immunity to people suffering from Aids. In addition to curing cancers and Aids, GMP can also play an important role in weight control and the health and social welfare that can come from that. Reprogramming your body can burn the excess fat to create condensed muscle tissue. Weight loss, in turn, can also lead to less people being diagnosed by diabetes.

Professionally, GMP's are able to benefit society by providing society with more body types that are considered fit for enduring sports. Sports, such as, soccer, football, hockey, and baseball, require strength and speed. Genetically modifying individuals to fit into these categories could create a professional society that thrives on sports. In addition to sports, many actors, actresses, and performers often get plastic surgery to reach physical perfection in their personal lives and careers. Genetic modification can provide them with a natural way to grasp physical perfection, which could be risk free and steer away from the complications that arise by withstanding surgery.

Socially, GMP's can benefit society by equating citizens further. Being able to reproduce is a universal need in our world. However, not everyone is capable. Homosexual couples living together often do not have the same rights and opportunities as heterosexual couples when it comes to procreating. The answer to this dilemma is cloning. Cloning requires creating an organism that is genetically identical to the one from which it derives. Cloning is in the betterment of society because it can create likeness between people, that may not be currently present.

Dystopian Hero in Today's World

My favorite dystopian novel is The Giver by Lois Lowry. In the novel, Jonas, the protagonist, much resembles John in the Brave New World. In his own society, Jonas is more observant and perceptive than those around him. I believe that Jonas would fare well in today's world because he values freedom. In the novel, he constantly expressed his fondness of the freedom of choice. He did so by volunteering; instead of focusing on one volunteer center at a time, Jonas often volunteered at multiple centers because it made him feel as if he had the choice in the matter. In today's American society, freedom of choice is far-reaching. Jonas would thrive and be grateful for his ability to do so in the modern world. However, if Jonas were to change something, he would change the selfish and presumptive aspects of society. In the novel, Jonas was taught that politeness was the key of dealing with friends and family. In our world, politeness is often used as the last resort because of all the selfishness that exists. People feel entitled to conditions and often carelessly take things for granted. Jonas would bring about change by organizing a charity auction. The charity auction would be organized for the citizens of undeveloped countries. Many undeveloped countries continue to live a traditional way of life. Women are dehumanized, and men are given all the power and opportunities. Jonas would raise money for the disadvantaged women of the society who may not get the same freedom of choice as Jonas. He would invite politicians, celebrities, and anyone else with enough power in the world to help bring about change. The entire auction would be televised, so that the public understands its purpose alike. The purpose of the auction would be to not only raise money for disadvantaged women, but to also cut down on the stinginess that is our society today, and make citizens realize the worth of what they possess.

Works Cited

"Coldplay - The Scientist." YouTube. YouTube, 27 May 2011. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

"Genetically-Engineered Human Have Already Been Born." Disinformation. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.

"Obesity Facts." 10 Reasons Why Obesity Is a Bad Problem. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

"Pros and Cons of Human Cloning." HealthRF. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Raluca, Dana. ""The Scientist" Lyrics." COLDPLAY LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

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