Criticism of Practical Application of Utopia in "Brave New World"
Debra Ackerman Mrs. Eileen Waite
Criticism of Practical Application of Utopia in Brave New World
Huxley's Brave New World illustrates the loss of morality when
standards are replaced by amoral criteria. In his novel, Huxley
practical applications of Utopia in actual society. Huxley's depiction
science, and religion support the ineffectiveness of implementing
In Brave New World, Huxley shows contempt for the human emotion
The people that make up his imaginary society have no conception of
love or any
other passion, and actually scorn the idea. Huxley believes that along
passion comes emotional instability. The Utopian state cannot afford
of instability and therefore cannot afford love.
The destruction of the family is one example of the effect of
absence of love. In a world of bottled-births, not only is there no
need for a
family, but the idea is actually considered obscene. The terms
"father" are extremely offensive and are rarely used except in science.
Huxley uses Mustapha Mond, the World Controller, to portray the
vulgarity when he explains the obscenity of life before Utopia to a
And home was as squalid psychically as physically. Psychically, it was
hole, a midden, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life, reeking
emotion. What suffocating intimacies, what dangerous, insane, obscene
relationships between the members of the family group! (37)
In an earlier passage, Huxley shows the effects of Mond's
one boy, "The Controller's evocation was so vivid that one of the boys
. . .
turned pale at the mere description and was on the point of being sick"
In reality, the family unit is the core of society. Huxley
importance of the home and family. A home is where people learn to
communication and relationships. Without a family, a person cannot
relationships which are invaluable in dealing with everyday life in
In Utopia, any approach toward monogamy is forbidden and long
sexual relationships are discouraged. In the brave new world, it is
"everyone belongs to everyone else." Excessive sex with many partners
considered normal and even expected. In a conversation between two of
female characters, Huxley illustrates Utopia's views on monogamy
Crowne, "I really do think you ought to be careful. It's such horribly
to go on and on like this with one man" (40). In Huxley's Utopia,
with only one partner is not acceptable.
Sexual pleasure in this world is greatly degraded. Promiscuity
considered a virtue, unlike actual society where promiscuous women are
to be trashy and cheap. Children are taught at a young age to be
their sexual behavior. Children who seem timid and embarrassed about
bodies are taken for psychological testing.
Huxley criticizes the idea of the absence of love in Utopia. In
society, love is a revered emotion. Our society cannot exist without
because it is the foundation of all relationships. Unlike Utopia,
relationships cannot be degraded because they are the manifestation of
Huxley's representation of Utopia in terms of technological
a world that is enslaved by science. Everything in this world is owed
science. Huxley refers to scientific manipulation stating, "out of the
mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world
Not only are people born, or in this sense created, by
but they are also conditioned to think and live a certain way through
Even before babies are born, they are treated to a specific amount of
a specific temperature in order for them to be conditioned to fit into
caste. In the novel, Henry Foster explains this process to the
We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized
beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers, or future . .
Directors of Hatcheries. (12)
In Brave New World, science and technology are used not to help
but to control society. From the time that the embryos are in each
the time of death for each person, science is acting as a controller,
over every individual life.
Although their world is based on science and technology, the
Utopia know that "science is dangerous; [they] have to keep it most
chained and muzzled" (231). In a world where "Community, Identity, and
Stability" is the main objective, scientific advancement is
the World Controller explains, science is ". . . another item in the
stability . . . incompatible with happiness" (231). Huxley knows that
with science comes change and in his Utopia, no one can afford change.
sacrificing change, the controllers of the brave new world are
In our society, man controls science to benefit and improve the
of life. Conversely, in Utopia science controls mankind. In a world
much emphasis is placed on individualism and human initiative, the
of this policy are unrealistic. Huxley is aware of this absurdity and
criticizes its practicality in everyday life.
In Brave New World, Huxley shows how the sacrifice of a god must
in order for the stability of Utopia to be maintained. Any religious
considered to be pornographic. All old bibles are locked away and
be read. As Mustapha Mond states, "God in the safe . . . " (237). The
who occupy Utopia cannot be exposed to the bibles because ". . .
they're about god hundreds of years ago. Not about god now" (237). In
New World, god is described as necessary when "youthful desires fail"
Mond explains that these youthful desires never fail, and therefore
there is no
need for a "substitute for distraction" (240). Huxley illustrates the
for the absence of a god through Mond's explanation to the savage:
Call it the fault of civilization. God isn't compatible with machinery
scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your
civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That's
why I have
to keep these books locked up in the safe. They're smut. (240)
People in actual society place a tremendous importance on
god. Not only are beliefs formed and based upon religious teachings,
religion is also the moral fiber of a community. Huxley is aware that
cannot function without religion or a god. This belief is portrayed
Brave New World presents a frightening view of a future
which has forgotten current morals and standards. Instead of humans
science and their lives, science controls humans, and World Controllers
all rules which are intended to mold society into a stable community.
criticism of this community portrays the impractical application of
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Collins, 1989.