A World Where Ignorance Is Bliss
"'And, how, hadn't you better wait till you actually see the new world?'" (Huxley)
This picture depicts what it would look like to live in this New World; blocked off from the rest of the world in a "perfect" bubble. You must have a permit to enter and leave the "world"/society.
Soma is the drug that these people take in order to relax themselves and become careless about the world around them. Soma is similar to ecstasy in our world. These people casually take this drug all the time and think nothing of it.
The caste system that these people are divided into is made up of five different castes. The highest class is Alpha, following Beta, then Gamma, next Delta, and finally Epsilon, Each cast has a designated color that they each wear to distinguish themselves from others. Also, each caste is conditioned a certain way and have clearly different physical features.
Dystopia Is Alive & Well in The World
Usually, dystopian societies are portrayed as fiction in literature and movies; however it’s very common to find elements of dystopia in our society today. The United States of America, for example, is seen as this perfect country that is the land of freedom of speech and everyone has equal rights. This is true, but to a certain extent there is a constant surveillance of online activities and looking into private information. Nothing is truly private, since the government ultimately has the power to do whatever they need to do in order to insure “safety”. Many people in the world are also afraid to express individualism in fears of rejection or bullying. In many other countries, citizens conform to uniform expectations and individuality and dissent are portrayed as bad. In our society today many people have completely banished the idea of a natural world and leave it untrusted. The younger generations of people are brought up with more advanced technology and rely on medicine more than the last. People have begun to trust machines more than people and would rather spend time online than interacting with others on a daily basis, like this article states, “if we keep improving computer technology at the rate we have for the past few decades, then computers will eventually make us unnecessary even for the most creative or intuitive tasks. A sufficiently advanced computer could perfectly mimic the processes of the human mind. Furthermore, once we build a computer that is significantly better at designing new computers than humans are, computers may get smarter at an exponential rate. We may wake up one day to find that all scientific research is directed by computers, that the most satisfying works of art are created by computers, and that the AIs in our desktops make better conversation than any of our friends. The best we may have to hope for is to be well cared for children in a nursery run by our machines.”(Dystopia) In addition, many people spend time worshipping an icon or common figurehead that consumes people’s minds with worrying about all these other rather than taking care of themselves. Our society has changed to make it seem like taking drugs and drowning away our problems is okay when in fact it’s just a temporary escape for a long time problem. Society brainwashes us with propaganda and makes us believe what it wants us to, and the problems are endless. In total, people have become so numb to how rapidly our world is changing every day, and not many people question if the change is helpful or ultimately harming us.
Afroman - "Because I Got High"
To represent the book "Brave New World", I chose the song "Because I Got High" by Afroman. I think in the title of the song alone it is easy to depict what the song is about. The lyrics in "Because I Got High" list a bunch of reasons as to why certain tasks haven't been completed, resulting in being "because they got high". For example, "I was going to clean my room, until I got high", or "I was going to go to class, before I got high." These are basic everyday things that people do but this person decided to smoke and get high rather than do what they needed to do, just because they didn't want to put forth the effort or wanted to feel numb from the pain of something. They used any excuse just to get high, which is very similar to the characters in the book "Brave New World". When something didn't go someone's way, they took soma to relieve themselves from their emotions and stress. People would take soma as a routine just to get through the day. Certain people, such as Lenina, were so consumed with the thought of soma that she believed she couldn’t live without it. Others such as John the Savage thought it was wrong to take soma as an escape from reality because he didn't believe that’s the way life should work. And unfortunately, Linda, had overdosed with soma in hopes of relieving the pain of her embarrassment in front of Tomakin but had resulted in her death. I believe that soma played an important role in this novel and this song depicts some of the characters perfectly.
Why Say "No" to GMO's?
Over the years, it’s been more and more common to find GMO’s in foods, however in recent years, it’s been very difficult to just go to the local grocery store or market and find a non-genetically modified food. There is a lot of controversy between people who think it’s right or wrong to change these organisms and whether they think it’s unnatural or not. In my opinion, GMO’s do more good than harm; for our economy, environment, and for the world overall. People are frightened by the reports of “people getting cancer” from these GMO’s or contracting some other deadly disease, but in fact most of these reports are highly dramatized in order to scare people to keep their loyalty to organic foods and products. In turn, this helps the organic foods industry but hurts the campaign for GMO’s. GMO’s help farmers with agriculture, as mentioned in an article, “…the benefits were greater in those GM crops that produced their own pesticides rather than those engineered for herbicide resistance—the latter trait has been hugely convenient for farmers, but has also shown a greater rebound effect as weed species evolved resistance to the chosen herbicides.” (Bennett) Many people believe that scientists are modifying these organisms to unhealthy and unsafe extents, like mentioned earlier, which will cause fatal diseases and deformation in births, but, if it’s safe for our environment, then it is safe enough for us in my opinion. According to studies no fatalities, diseases, deformations in birth, or any other abnormalities have been directly linked to the consumption of a GMO. In addition, organic food is no healthier or wholesome than a GMO, the only difference is that the GMO is grown exactly the way someone wanted it to with certain traits. On a worldwide scale, the use of GMO’s is extremely helpful in the campaign to end poverty and hunger. In the United States, we create rice called “Golden Rice” and send it to underdeveloped countries in need of an easily transportable food. This “Golden Rice” is genetically modified to have more Vitamin A than other rice which isn’t commonly found in easily accessible foods. The rice has a yellow tint to it and helps improve eyesight and contains other vital nutrients as well. "In India, a genetically modified strain of wheat called dwarf wheat, (which allowed for much higher crop yields) prevented a massive food crisis that would have killed millions of people. Another grain, golden wheat, has been enriched with nutrients that have reduced child mortality and improved public health in numerous countries." (Engle) Lastly, for our economy, GMO’s help put out more food on shelves and lower the costs of foods as well. Also, like the “Golden Rice”, scientists are able to modify foods in order to have key nutrients and vitamins we need on a daily basis so the common foods we eat become healthier for us. The limits are endless what scientists are able to do with these organisms, but overall they help us for the better in more ways than one.
Bennett, Drake. "How GMO Crops Can Be Good for the Environment." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
"Dystopia." Dystopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
"The Facts About GMO." The Facts About GMO. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.