Brave New World

Michael Ford

"Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. . . ."

Lenina says this quote in chapter 5 when she remembers waking up to the hypnopaedic phrases as a child. Her memory was jogged during a conversation with Henry Foster while discussing the fact that after death, everyone is equal. In the fantasy world created by Huxley, humans aren't born but created into a specific cast. In our world today, humans are born into a family who already has a a social position. Whether you are rich or poor, Lenina is saying that once death comes, nobody is above anyone else.

Is Our World Dystopian?

In a sense, the modern world in which we live is dystopian in its own ways. defines dystopia as "a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding." All of these characteristics can be found in our world at certain times and places, The reason we can't consider our world dystopian is because there are plenty of times and places filled with joy and comfort that, in effect, "cancel out" the times and places filled with pain and grief. However, these joyful and comforting times and places don't completely wipe out the negatives of our world. There is poverty, people are sufering, people are sick, and if you look at a major city, such as New York, there is also overcrowding. These problems also aren't confined strictly to the United States. Third world countries suffer these issues daily, and many of them never have any relief. Have you ever seen a picture of an African child with his mother? They are walking down dirt paths, you can see the skin strapped tightly on both of their bones. The child is sometimes drinking water with a brownish hue out of a dirty gallon jug as his mother has a look of desperation on her face as if to say "is this what we live for?" That is dystopia. The fact that people wake up every day stricken with diseases, poverty, and much more that we in the first world hardly ever think about. In the novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley describes a dystopia as the loss of human morals. He discusses how in a dystopia, sex may be considered a plaything. Children are encouraged to participate in acts that in this world, only married adults are supposed to participate in. He also describes how in a dystopia, anything apart from "the norm" is frowned upon, and can even be reason to be expelled from society. For example, abnormal literature (such as Shakespeare) is grounds for removal from society and the loss of all communications. However, in our world, there are Shakespearean festivals and plays put on based on the works of William himself written hundreds of years ago, which is yet another reason we are not considered part of a dystopia. In a dystopia, they also have a tendency of "recreating creation". In Brave New World, the beginning of time is considered the Life of Henry Ford. Years are marked A.F. to denote how many years have taken place since Ford's death. The reason Ford is held so highly to them is because of his assembly line form of production. This is "Modeled" (get it?) in the new society's way of producing life. They mass produce children out of a single egg and manipulate the "birthing" process to receive different capabilities and mental strength out of each offspring, much like Ford would change up the parts distributed on the assembly line to end up with different models of cars, or variations on the same model. Can you imagine living in a world where you don't have someone to love? Just think about never having a mother to hold in the bad and hard times. Think about having meaningless sex day in and day out and popping dozens of soma pills just for a few hours of cheap entertainment. Any human being with the slightest bit of morality would be able to say that they would be disgusted with themselves living in a society, or in other words, these people would be miserable, which, keep in mind, is a key component of the dystopian society. So, in the end, I would not consider our world dystopian. Sure, there are negative sides to life, but everything has its ups and downs. One could make the argument that there are people living on the streets. There is war. There is unhappiness. There is disease. There is corrupt government, and there sure is suffering, both physical and emotional. But at the end of the day, dystopian societies have no real ups. The positive things in dystopian societies involve moral, spiritual, mental, and health declination. Thankfully, in our non-dystopian world, we have free will. We can read Shakespeare. We have mothers. We have the choice to only have sex with our life partner. We don't need to take a drug to be entertained. We have LIFE, and absolutely nobody can take that away from us. So while we do share some certain characteristics, I do not believe we live in a dystopian world.

Smashing Pumpkins - Soma
Big image

Shakespearean Investigation

A common theme throughout BNW is characters that want to avoid facing who they really are. Characters even prefer to view others through a different lens than what they really are, as portrayed by John repeatedly viewing Lenina through Shakespeare's works. First he refers to Lenina through a passage from "Romeo and Juliet" and later refers to her as an "impudent strumpet".

On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand may seize
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin

In this allusion, John is calling Lenina a pure, respectful girl. He doesn't yet know that sex is abused in this society, and he thinks Lenina is the most incredible, upright woman he has ever met. The No Fear version of this play says that Juliet (and in John's sense, Lenina) is so pure and a clean virgin that she thinks it's filthy when her own lips touch because it is too much like a real kiss.

"Impudent strumpet!"

This allusion is referring to Othello. I had to look up the meaning of this, and it basically means "disrespectful whore", which Lenina is unfortunately the perfect embodiment of. This is from the time when Lenina throws herself at John when he professes his love for her.

Pro/Anti GMO'S

As a Christian in today's society, I see things everyday that astound me. Humanity is becoming more and more immoral by the second, and it is a shame to see what is happening in our world today. I must admit, that the findings in modern science being presented to the public (specifically the ability to produce human life) is impressive. That being said, I am 100% against it. My religion tells me that there is only one true creator, and that there should only be one creator. In the 10 commandments, it says "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." While many people may take this at face value and say "if you aren't worshiping the scientists that are doing this, then they aren't really a 'god'." However, my God is the creator of the universe and everything that comes with it. If you try to become like God, you are sinning. My religion also states that no sin is greater than any other sin, and the only unforgivable sin is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. When you take on the responsibilities of God, you are in turn blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. There was once an angel who thought he could improve on God's creation. This angel's name was Lucifer, and he is now more commonly referred to as Satan. I am in no position to judge the men who are partaking in the scientific research to create human life, but on Judgement Day, their work will be presented to my God, and their fate will be determined at that time. Knowing that there are people who have absolutely no faith in the Holy Spirit and God when I firmly believe so strongly in my religion shows me that I should have no part in supporting this cause.

Hero in Today's World

If John were alive in today's world, I believe he would fair just fine. He has strong morals, and while he may not be invited to many parties, he would receive much respect from everyone he meets for the fact that he sticks to his guns and doesn't let the opinions of others affect his choices and actions. John would thoroughly enjoy today's society. He would have the free will to go out and do whatever he wants (within the law), whereas in BNW, he would be stuck in a reservation. On occasion, there might be a lustful moment with a girl, but as he displayed in the book, he wouldn't succumb to it. I feel like the way John would bring about change would be with great subtlety. He wouldn't go stand on a street corner in Times Square preaching to people, but he would let his actions demonstrate what the people in this world should act like and BE like. He would demonstrate that promiscuous sex and constant partying aren't the hobbies a proper human should have.

New Year's Eve Party

Tuesday, Dec. 31st 2013 at 9pm

Suwanee, GA, United States

Suwanee, GA

Hello all! My name is John, and I am hosting a New Year's Eve Party this year (and next year... lol) with my friend Michael at his house! The address is 1234 Not a Real Address Lane in Suwanee. We just want a small get together where we can have a good time as the new year rolls in! Upfront we would like to say there will be chaperones in attendance and the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco is strictly prohibited. We will provide sodas and snacks to enjoy while we countdown the end of 2013, play party games with everyone, and may even bust out the Xbox. It's gonna get crazy. Please RSVP to me at 123-456-7890 if you're coming! Thanks!!!

Works Cited

"Brave New World Allusions & Cultural References." Shmoop. Shmoop, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

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

"Romeo and Juliet." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, L.L.C., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.