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May 13, 2009

Brave New World Essay

Imagine being asked the question, “What do you want to eat?” and spontaneously responding for a hamburger without being able to contemplate between the Mushroom Melt Burger and the Chicken Gratella Sandwich. Usually taken for granted, each individual in our society is capable of making this miniscule decision. In Huxley’s Brave New World, excessive government control leads to the elimination of choice from each individual by scientific procedures such as psychological and physical conditioning. Consequently, the society in this Brave New World looses all uniqueness and individuality due to their overpowering government.

“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny,”(Huxley,16) states the Director of this futuristic dictatorship. Attempting to optimize efficiency, this futuristic government utilizes conditioning to force the citizens to like what they have and reject what they do not have. “We also predestine and condition,” states Mr. Foster, “We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers…”(Huxley,13). Therefore, everyone happily works together to get things done. The process of creating these social classes occurs by merely decreasing the level of oxygen for lower classed embryos and increasing it for higher classed embryos. “Nothing like oxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par,”(Huxley,14) exclaims the director. Next, the embryo is physically conditioned for it’s specific function in society. Rocket-plane engineers consistently rotate “[t]o improve their sense of balance,”(Huxley,17) while chemical workers are “trained in the toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar,[and] chlorine”(Huxley, 17). Finally, a psychological conditioning is administered to the children of the Brave New World through repetitious hypnopedia. “Five hundred repetitions once a week from thirteen to seventeen,”(Huxley,100) declares Bernard. Phrases such as, “When the individual feels, the community reels,”(Huxley,94) and “…cleanliness is next to fordliness,”(Huxley,110) are embedded into the minds of the society during their sleep. The obsessive conditioning causes the citizens of this society to resemble machines. The repetitions program the morals of the Brave New World into it’s citizens, preventing them from free thinking.

Conditioning occurs millions of times everyday throughout society. We are conditioned slower and less extreme than the Brave New World. Mothers, who are deceases in the utopian society, consistently use conditioning as a parenting technique on their children. They simply wish to embed the desired morals into their child, hopeing that their conditioning technique will be effective. A common cure for obsessive thumb sucking involves physical and psychological conditioning. A mother smears a bitter tasting substance onto a child’s thumb. After tasting the distinct substance a few times, the child learns the consequences of his dirty habit. Eventually, the child’s mind is conditioned not to stick any digits into his or her mouth. Unlike the Brave New World, a mother doesn’t force a child to like or dislike something; she simply informs her child of her preferences, leaving the child to choose. Similar to the Brave New World, we are all predestined and born into social classes. Instead of everyone happily working in contentment of their social status, some people are unhappy with their status and seek to change. In my opinion, our societies greatest aspect is our ability to change. If anyone is sufficiently motivated, he or she can work hard and change almost anything. Physically, we condition our bodies to meet our specific needs. Body builders condition their muscles to grow bigger and stronger, developing tremendous strength. The significant difference between our physical conditioning and the Brave New Worlds is our free will. We have the choice of developing gigantic boulders for muscles or none at all. Psychologically, we are conditioned everyday without knowing. Commercials are repeated thousands of times every day, containing jingles that stick in your head. These commercials aim to limit your power of choice when a decision must be made. Subliminal messages, which relay a message without acknowledgement, are heard in numerous songs throughout the country. Attempts to maliciously utilize psychological conditioning have been discovered as far as children’s movies. Since most people do not drill their children with moral lullabies throughout the night, conditioning in our society is less extreme than the oxygen suffocating society. The primary difference between the conditioning in the Brave New World and the conditioning today is consequently our freedom of choice. Our freedom of choice allows us to develop opinions and preferences, which creates unique individuals in a society. All social classes efficiently work together through supply and demand to achieve economic and social balance.

Overall, the Brave New World utilized extreme conditioning to restrain the thoughts of the society. Unlike our society, the government in this utopia tells the citizens exactly what is right and wrong. The government’s excessive control and conditioning caused the citizens of the Brave New World to loose all uniqueness. Unfortunately, no one in our society has the privilege of choosing their heritage, but everyone has the power of changing who they want to be.


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