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Satire of Religion and Society in Brave New World Essay


The novel, Brave New World is an unusual satire. It predicts a future overpowered by technology where the people of the society do not have a religion. Has Huxley written about degrading society in life, or has he really created the key to the perfect society called utopia? The way of life in the novel is justified by precautions taken by its citizens to achieve happiness in the society. Through sleep teaching, the citizens were conditioned to follow a set of rules that were enforced into their minds. If anyone broke them, it would ruin the stability and happiness of the society since everything would not be running as smoothly.

Brave New World is actually a utopia that praises government for ruling the world, yet contradicts the freedom and liberty that the citizens lose. Are their lifestyles really as bad as they sound? In the novel, he people do not have to worry about having a particular job. Since everyone was born in a utopian society, they did not really know what freedom was, and have never experienced that sense of liberty; therefore, they are unaware of what is missing. Everyone belongs to everyone else. The government makes sure that all of the needs are satisfied in order to promote happiness throughout the society. Freedom usually leads to happiness, but if happiness is already possessed, then there is no need for freedom.

Usually, religion plays an important role in a persons life because it represents the morals and beliefs, as well as the principles and values that of the society in which they live. Religion guides the believers to follow a certain set of rules to live by. Who can really guarantee that many years from now religion will have as much of an impact that it does today? Religious text in the novel was referred to as old. Theyre about God hundreds of years ago, not about God now. As time evolved, the need for religion disappeared and was replaced by the worship of Ford. The people in the society do not have ethics or moral standards, and do not believe in a supreme being but do believe in a higher authority. Huxley made fun of religion by stating that people live a fulfilled life followed by death. They did not follow a set of rules, but were guided through conditioning and hypnopedia to achieve stability and perfection.

Huxley believed that in order to have a utopian society, the people are isolated form one another and are divided into five different classes. The classes are ranked according to physical appearance and mental capacity and range from the Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The lower the caste, the shorter the oxygen. People are classified based on their decanting process. A persons future is decided to help eliminate encounters with racism and stereotypes. The society was conditioned to be deprived from anything that is different. Mental inferiority was also important for the civilization to survive. Since there was limited knowledge within each caste system, if a lower class gained knowledge, it would ruin stability.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we lived in a society that restrained culture, art, and history? Huxley believed that by not exposing the utopian society to any of those factors, it would eliminate chaos. The censorship in education and books was to discard the knowledge that would eventually turn to gaining power. Power was seen as insignificant because even if someone were to gain power, they would not go farther in life. Huxley encouraged a society that had no opinions or emotions, so that the people could easily be conditioned and brain washed. Hypnopedia was created to maintain balance within the society. The knowledge that people gained was through the hypnopedia process and access to reference material only so that they would not challenge authority.

Huxley disregarded love and relationships because the people of the utopia were raised in conditioning centers that did not promote unity or family. It disturbed people when they discovered the concept of being a family, since it was never experienced. "Mother, he repeated loudly rubbing in the science; and, leaning back in his chair, these, he said gravely are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then most historical facts are unpleasant." People in the society did not accept change, and did not believe that someone else was capable of passing on principles and values. Everyone was raised and conditioned the same way to abolish emotional involvement and the risk of putting the needs of other people before the needs of the society.

Brave New World developed the concept of being perfect by having a society with no war, no illnesses, and no old age. In the utopian society, youre so conditioned that you cant help doing what you ought to do. Conditioning got rid of the need to fight because everyone was perfect within the society. If anyone reached the point of getting depressed or angry, there was soma. In our world, soma would be seen as a drug and should not be used. Nevertheless, as one of their hypnopedic quotes says, "they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol". That statement proved that once again values are what changed one's views towards situations. Our alcohol and drugs are their soma, except for the fact that soma has no side effects. Soma helped the people escape from reality, but once they came back everything was back to normal.

There are only three characters in Brave New World that were against the teachings of the society. Bernard Marx is an alpha-plus and therefore should be living the "good life". However, even though his mental status is that of an Alpha-plus, his physical appearance is similar to that of an Epsilon. "They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle-thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate" He quickly became an outcast and had difficulties interacting with the opposite sex. Bernard criticized the utopian civilization until he discovered John the Savage in the savage reservation and introduced him to society. Bernard Marx was an exception of bad conditioning; his life should have been different from the start.

Helmholtz Watson also did not like the utopian civilization. The problem with him was that society let him become more intelligent. That led him to want a better life, a dream he felt was unobtainable in the utopia. If his conditioning had been done right and his intelligence had been controlled, he would not have had a problem with his world. Finally, the third character unhappy in utopia is John the Savage. In fact, he should not even be considered as an unhappy civilian because he was not raised in the utopian civilization, but in the savage reservation. He does not like it because he was not conditioned to be happy with who he really is. In the savage reservation, he learned about God, religion and freedom, all material that was not taught in utopia. His values are different from a utopian's. For instance, he beats himself with a rope to get a good harvest, which proves that a person cannot judge others through his or her own values but through theirs.

As a result, Brave New World succeeds as a satire because it made fun of the values that were important to the society. It emphasized that human beings can adapt to anything. The utopia was a world where someone cannot help but be happy; a world that replaced not destroyed religion, a world that even eliminated racism and stereotypes. It was a world where people only possess knowledge they needed, where everyone has the same values and principals. Finally, here is a world with no war, no disease and no old age. Is this a world we would want to be born in? Huxley changed everything because he criticized the fact that people can no longer be judged by their values, principles and standards. It was best said by Mustapha Mond at one point. "The key to happiness is enjoying who you are and what you do. Life is ultimately what we choose to make it, and if we make the best of what we have within our society, anything is possible.

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