What makes Brave New World so hard to buy?

Aldous Huxley puts all sorts of innovations in place to protect Lenina and others in the World State from their own humanity.  As Brave New World unfolds, the reader begins to understand the recipe for stability: take the intimacy out of sex, apply social pressure to never spend too much time with one person, condition individuals to be selfish, perpetuate the beauty and vitality of youth, subtract ‘overcoming adversity’ from the equation, and always uphold instant satisfaction, ignorance, and status quo.

The society is based on its ability to control the supply of humans that enter the population. Some pretty progressive science comes into play. A single egg can be divided into 96 eventual babies and human embryos are grown in bottles on an assembly line! For some, it is hard to fathom that technology would and could do these things. However, scientists today are closer than you think.

No, the technology is not at all hard to buy into in Brave New World. The hardest part for me to get on board with is the World State’s total manipulation of the people.  Humans are dynamic beings. Despite the conditioning, the soma, and the social pressure, the World State’s civilization would break down.

In my head, I have the whole revolution planned out: Brave New World, the sequel. Maybe I think that humans have a certain amount of morality built in, inside of them.  Or maybe its pessimism, because I don’t think humans are capable of keeping perfection like the World State going for an extended period of time. Sixty years is at least twenty too many to keep even the people of the World State satisfied by soma and sex alone.  Sixty years is plenty of time for an individual to think. There would be too many Bernards and Helmholtzes.

I don’t care how strong the conditioning is! I don’t care how oppressive the social pressure is! If you take away love, adversity, and all the other things removed from Brave New World, you still haven’t taken away humanity. They aren’t robots.

I just cannot believe that the human race could ever be successfully harnessed as they were in Brave New World for any extended period of time.  [And I might get defensive if you tell me I have been conditioned to think this way]


~ by marysciencewriting on January 28, 2012.

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