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Criticism of Practical Application of Utopia in Brave New World

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					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
Aldous
Huxley's Brave New World illustrates the loss of morality when
established
standards are replaced by amoral criteria. In his novel, Huxley
criticizes the
practical applications of Utopia in actual society. Huxley's depiction
of love,
science, and religion support the ineffectiveness of implementing
Utopia in
everyday life.


        In Brave New World, Huxley shows contempt for the human emotion
of love.
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
with
passion comes emotional instability. The Utopian state cannot afford
any kind
of instability and therefore cannot afford love.
        The destruction of the family is one example of the effect of
Utopia's
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
"mother" and
"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
group of
students:

And home was as squalid psychically as physically. Psychically, it was
a rabbit
hole, a midden, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life, reeking
with
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
explanation on
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"
(36).
        In reality, the family unit is the core of society. Huxley
realizes the
importance of the home and family. A home is where people learn to
establish
communication and relationships. Without a family, a person cannot
learn these
relationships which are invaluable in dealing with everyday life in
society.
        In Utopia, any approach toward monogamy is forbidden and long
term
sexual relationships are discouraged. In the brave new world, it is
taught that
"everyone belongs to everyone else." Excessive sex with many partners
is
considered normal and even expected. In a conversation between two of
the
female characters, Huxley illustrates Utopia's views on monogamy
through Fanny
Crowne, "I really do think you ought to be careful. It's such horribly
bad form
to go on and on like this with one man" (40). In Huxley's Utopia,
having sex
with only one partner is not acceptable.
        Sexual pleasure in this world is greatly degraded. Promiscuity
is
considered a virtue, unlike actual society where promiscuous women are
thought
to be trashy and cheap. Children are taught at a young age to be
exploratory in
their sexual behavior. Children who seem timid and embarrassed about
their
bodies are taken for psychological testing.
        Huxley criticizes the idea of the absence of love in Utopia. In
actual
society, love is a revered emotion. Our society cannot exist without
passion
because it is the foundation of all relationships. Unlike Utopia,
sexual
relationships cannot be degraded because they are the manifestation of
love.
        Huxley's representation of Utopia in terms of technological
evolution is
a world that is enslaved by science. Everything in this world is owed
to
science. Huxley refers to scientific manipulation stating, "out of the
realm of
mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world
of human
invention" (12).
        Not only are people born, or in this sense created, by
scientific means,
but they are also conditioned to think and live a certain way through
science.
Even before babies are born, they are treated to a specific amount of
oxygen, or
a specific temperature in order for them to be conditioned to fit into
a certain
caste. In the novel, Henry Foster explains this process to the
students saying:
We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized
human
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
society,
but to control society. From the time that the embryos are in each
bottle to
the time of death for each person, science is acting as a controller,
ruling
over every individual life.
        Although their world is based on science and technology, the
leaders of
Utopia know that "science is dangerous; [they] have to keep it most
carefully
chained and muzzled" (231). In a world where "Community, Identity, and
Stability" is the main objective, scientific advancement is
unacceptable. As
the World Controller explains, science is ". . . another item in the
cost of
stability . . . incompatible with happiness" (231). Huxley knows that
along
with science comes change and in his Utopia, no one can afford change.
By
sacrificing change, the controllers of the brave new world are
maintaining
stability.
        In our society, man controls science to benefit and improve the
quality
of life. Conversely, in Utopia science controls mankind. In a world
where so
much emphasis is placed on individualism and human initiative, the
applications
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
be made
in order for the stability of Utopia to be maintained. Any religious
book is
considered to be pornographic. All old bibles are locked away and
forbidden to
be read. As Mustapha Mond states, "God in the safe . . . " (237). The
people
who occupy Utopia cannot be exposed to the bibles because ". . .
they're old;
they're about god hundreds of years ago. Not about god now" (237). In
Brave
New World, god is described as necessary when "youthful desires fail"
(240).
Mond explains that these youthful desires never fail, and therefore
there is no
need for a "substitute for distraction" (240). Huxley illustrates the
reason
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
and
scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your
choice. Our
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
religion and
god. Not only are beliefs formed and based upon religious teachings,
but
religion is also the moral fiber of a community. Huxley is aware that
society
cannot function without religion or a god. This belief is portrayed
throughout
the novel.
        Brave New World presents a frightening view of a future
civilization
which has forgotten current morals and standards. Instead of humans
controlling
science and their lives, science controls humans, and World Controllers
decide
all rules which are intended to mold society into a stable community.
Huxley's
criticism of this community portrays the impractical application of
Utopia in
actual society.

Works Cited

Huxley, Aldous.   Brave New World.   New York: Harper Collins, 1989.