Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brave New World

  So last Friday my class talked about the novel we had just read: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It a very good book that I highly recommend, especially if you like 1984.  It a book about a a future where everyone is content. People no longer have sadness, fear, loss, or pain. The world has taken after Henry Ford's  idea of assembly line mass production and applied it to human society. Children are now created in factories through extracted uterus, where they are then separated into class systems, the two high groups are incubated until birth and the lower groups go through a "twin" process where they made sixty four twins and then give them varying diseases to keep them low in the class system. But, everyone is brain washed as a baby to believe they are in the best class. "I'm glad i'm not a Alpha, alpha's have to work so hard." ect so that everyone is happy with what they do and who they are, even if quality is lacking. They are then brain washed all sorts of things like to always keep buying more things and never save, or that everybody belongs to everybody else so sex is free to give to everyone. The world runs very very smoothly, but there is no family, no true love, no real art, no real movies, or all other things, because they cause pain or come out of pain. Then there is an outsider who comes in and is completely disgusted with the world, because everyone has shallow thinking and everyone would rather take "soma" (a coping drug) or get rid of a problem then face it or learn from it. But, he really is the only one who is unhappy because everyone else is trained to be content and just get whatever they want. They are kind of like babies.

     So the big debates within our class were "Freewill and individualism versus contentedness and stability" This question is hard to answer actually, because as an outsider who comes from a world of depth through pain and joy, we want to immediately say that everything is wrong with this society. But if you really were a citizen of it nothing would be wrong to you because you had everything you ever wanted. Our world is much more dangerous then theirs and yet I'm sure all of us would rather live in a world that is 75% unpleasant and 35% unpleasant (statistics I'm making up), rather then be in a world were we don't feel anything of value, everything is mild and  pleasant without ever having highs or lows. Sometimes though when I see things happening I wonder if our world is rushing to become this fictional one because we try to nullify ourselves in so many ways, and I don't just mean media, but also the fact that a lot of us have stopped pushing ourselves through the painful things. There is a lot of good that comes from self resistant and pain, people who have learn to take these things and move with them are wise people. That is why the older we become the wiser and stronger we get, if we were allowed to experience the pains of life in our youth. An yet, if you were in their world you would choose to stay in it because everyone is conditioned to believe in what they already have. An example of this is that we believe we are free, but we are not free because we can not break away from our background that creates so much of us, the ideas they came with. Do you really choose who your going to marry on chemistry alone, the answer is most often No, because you also need to be "compatible" which means that your conditioning in a way narrows down the choices you have in partners. This is likely why the phrase "every girl marries her Father" is around. Still though we like our downs because they make you feel and they create greater ups, so I would still like to live her.

Anyway I'm going to leave you with this quote and stop my incoherent rambling. See Yah!

     “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want real love, I want sin.”
“In fact then you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer, the right to have too little to eat, the right to be lousy; the right to be anxious, or to tortured by unspeakable pain.”
“All right then, I claim them all.” 


  1. Sounds like a really good book, I'll try to read it soon.

    It is weird to think about. I mean, if I was happy with my life all the time I feel like that'd be pretty great. But that's only because I'd be choosing and doing everything perfectly. Being assigned to happiness would be weird. And being programmed to be content versus naturally feeling awesome and terrible is so weird of a concept.

    And from the inside, I wonder what it'd be like. Must just be like life-long drug trips. You couldn't ever use your own mind or break out of the chemical-induced haze of complacence. You'd be happy, but if you had a moment where you were lucid you'd probably be horrified.

  2. I remember you telling me about this book. I would love to read it!
    I caught myself wondering about which life I would rather live in, and it's very hard to choose either (though I think I would choose the the life we live in). In the real world, there is so much unnecessary pain and suffering. However what we gain through that suffering is wisdom, strength and appreciation for our joy. Yet a controlled world of constant happiness? What's that like...interesting...

  3. Brain. Imploded.

    No, just kidding. In all honesty... I think I might choose their world. To be forever ignorantly intent? I think we all secretly want that, which is why certain truths are kept from us, we envy children for their ignorance, and we try our hardest to stay away from any troubles that might cause us unhappiness. We only deal with unhappiness because it's present in our lives and often thrown in our face. To be blissfully ignorant and happy is the life of a child.

    I'd rather be "assigned to happiness" than live knowing the things I know now.

  4. I was with Rachelle originally, but I love having a family and loved ones and I think I would feel like a fish in their world, swimming about without real purpose. Because these characters do have reason, they just can't break out of the ideas they have been fed. So with some hard thought I choose our world because I love art, depth, and family. But, if my life was really difficult I might have chosen theirs.