Parallelisms Between the US and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

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Brave New World is a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley in 1932. This novel is set in the future where technology is widely used by the government to control its people. In the novel, Huxley demonstrates the customs and standards of this ideal society in the future. Since this society has supposedly eliminated poverty, diseases, unhappiness, and wars, it is decidedly the opposite of the state of the world as Huxley knew it back in 1932. Huxley predicted that the fast rise and development of technologies could give rise to a multitude of problems that may be far from the problems faced by the world he knew. Our society at present is still riddled with the same problems as Huxley’s some 80 years ago, but it has already started to exhibit characteristics of World State. Although Huxley imagined World State as a civilization that would exist more than 600 years from his time, our current society already exhibits several similarities with World State, in terms of use of technology, social norms, and values. 

In Huxley’s fictional World State City, the use of mind-altering drugs is not only rampant, but state-sanctioned. The drug soma allows people to feel happy and relaxed. It makes people feel like they have been on holiday, and it doesn’t have any side effects. In World State City, it is available in many forms and people take them frequently. As in World State City, drugs are used to escape or distract people from reality. However, unlike in the US today where drugs are illegal and an addiction that the individual is responsible for, in World State City the government encourages its use because it is believed that society could not function without it. The drug soma is used to control the society of World State City.

As Huxley demonstrates, technology, which used to be a symbol of progress, has become a tool for controlling society. It is not the uncontrolled progress of science that enabled a dictatorship to gain control of World State City, but its state-sanctioned control. In a way, the same is happening in the US at present. The use of technology, in particular the Internet, is on surface level out of control, especially with the rampant spread of fake news. However, as is being revealed as of late, it appears that certain individuals or corporations have been controlling the information that goes viral, and this is being used to control the people.

The people in Brave New World would be considered promiscuous in our time. Sex in World City is freely displayed and people frequently take part in orgies. However, unlike in American society where the emphasis of any and all sexual interaction is to find love and mostly build a family, World Society has detached these aspects from sex completely. Sex in World Society is all about satisfaction.

On the surface, it appears that the people of World State are free to have sex. However, as Huxley reveals, this is not the case. The people in World State use birth control. This is one way that their government has stripped sex of its other functions other than pleasure, and in doing so the government also maintains control over the population. World State’s society has been wired to be driven only by pleasure, unlike today in the US where people are encouraged to seek enjoyment and pleasure responsibly. So, while the use of birth control during or for sex is generally accepted, they are not required. Individuals have the option to get pregnant or not, unlike in World State where pregnancy is out of the question.

The entire world today lives in a consumerist society. This is something that appears to have continued on to the future as depicted in Brave New World. Since the society in Brave New World has eliminated the truth, they have nothing else to seek by happiness, which for them means satisfying one’s desires. It thus comes as no surprise that World State is a consumerist society. The familiar imagery of corporate employees in suits chasing promotions and money but ultimately leading empty lives comes to mind. Although the people in World State are not necessarily trapped in a corporate building, they too are trapped in their own way. Huxley uses the metaphor of bottles for the people’s entrapment. The Controller meditatively continued that the people go through life in a bottle. The society of World State is, thus, trapped by or in their base desires.

The consumerist society today traps people by making them believe that they need to buy so many

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