I like the movie “Brave New World” which was made in 1998. It helped me to understand the themes of the novel, more than I had previously. However, the movie has and missed a few of the main points that the author expresses in his writing. The movie has a happy ending, Lenina and Bernard escape from the sterile, perfectly controlled world and make the decision to keep a baby and raise their own child. It is a subtle change that inspires more sympathy for the movie characters then the sympathy created for the book characters.
John creates conflict in the movie between savages and civilization and his persona is slightly different in the movie. Further, John plays a more significant and deeper role in the movie. However, he is not the main character. Conversely, the book ends when he kills himself.
In the movie, John’s character has a profound influence on Lenina. She starts to view his relationship with Bernard differently, and realizes that the civilization creates artificial happiness and that traditional family attachment is much more important. In the movie she comments,“ Screen with mother was beautiful”. Then Linda and John make her feel needed. She is struggling to fight her need for escapism. She even rejects to take soma, when in the book her character was never able to exhibit that strength. In essence, she still has some connection with John, but not the same way as in the book. In the book, Lenina and John fall in love with each other. In the movie, Lenina likes John, she observes and admires his behavior and she desires to have a physical connection with John, only because it’s her duty as a citizen. However, she and Bernard have always had a special relationship and sympathy for each other, as John observes several times in the movie, that something is going on between them. Society makes them suppress this feeling as it does not fit into the sterilized notion of relationship and reproduction prevalent in society.The movie doesn’t have the characters of Helmotz and Ford, they are completely omitted. It makes the role that Bernard plays even more important in the movie. Also, it contributes to creating even more conflict between The Director and Bernard.
I like the scene with the children, as it signifies the hope of a new generation and that societal progress will depend on them. The movie begins with kids, and it also ends with a scene where one kid elects to listen to the dystopian propaganda. The propaganda that promotes the artificial world designed to numb people into happiness. It creates a view civilization of as a flawed creation and happy place and these kid will be the protagonist of the system. The scene in the center of death was very painful and scary, in the way that make you view and understand that this society, has no reaction and any real human emotion. They teach young children that death is happy. When John sees Linda in the center of death and has a break down , people are incapable of understanding his emotions .This scene is very similar with the book. It contrasts the different value system between the “civilization” world and “savage” world.
The subject matter for an essay is to explore the frailty of the human condition and compare the experiences of D-503, with what we see occurring in repressive societies that exist today in our world. Since the beginning of time there has always been internal conflict in human beings. Man typically desires “free will” and many wars have been fought over that desire. We see in “We” the evil nature of the Benefactor and the society that he has created. The desire for free will and determination often conflicts with a darker human desire…the desire for power and control. There are people who have fought revolutions and dissidents who have died in an attempt to overthrow the yoke of enslavement. Isn’t that really the same as what D-503 and the people of “we” experience? Those people are not controlled the same manner (technologically) that D-503 is in “we” but they have the same desires. “We millions of us get up as one” (pg 12). This simple quote offers a lot of insight into the world today and world history. It is easy to see this in the context of we, as D-503 fights for control of his own free will. However, haven’t we seen this many times in the last one hundred years on Earth? I believe that this comparison would make compelling reading and connect the character the author created with modern society, much to our dismay
D-503 Has been through core emotional changes and he is exposed to the humanization. “I am sadness to see, that instead of a harmonious and strict mathematical poem in honor of the One State, I am producing some sort of fantastic adventure navel”( 103). Previously, he is only adept at mathematical progress and machinations. He is fighting his lifelong conditioning by the One State.
We see in “We” the evil nature of the Benefactor and the society that he has created and . “True. algebraic love is inevitable inhuman, and the inevitable mark of truth-its cruelty”(231).
At the end of “We” the reader is exposed to a shocking ending. After riding the roller coaster of the evolution of D-503’s human condition, he is brought back to the numbness of this dystopian world. He is stripped of all his normal human feeling and starts recording his entries that was his original mission. “No delirium, no absorb metaphors, no feelings: nothing just facts(page 231)”.He has lost all of his feelings, his human emotions and he is turned back into a Human robot. Despite his best intentions the authorities take him and alter him with an operation, After the operation, he betrays to the Benefactor the enemies plans. “How could it have seemed so difficult before? Incredible. The only explanation I can think of is my former sickness( the soul)”(232).
Throughout the novel, we see the evolution of D-503’s conflict and the torment of his soul as he struggles to find his humanity. From his example, We seems that numbers become a cog in the wheel of society, where there is no personal connection and attachment. The author shows two different D-503 in the novel, one that is a normal human being with his feelings and reaction, he wants to stop the Benefactor and his minions because he feels that he is individual and wants his own way of personal happiness, “Absolute happiness should, of course, carry a minus sign-the divine minus”(184). And the opposite D-503 when he is an empty number , who’s purpose is calculation and that has been stripped away from basic humanity and frankly from himself. He is just another cog in the wheel, who exists to perform his responsibility for the one State. In essence, it makes D-503 discover two ways of living ,that makes him suffering from this and creates conflict. ” Who are We? “Who am I?”(219). This is the main question of the novel. What is the purpose of your own life, what is your desire. “We” are the representatives of society, which has total control and produces manufactured happiness for everyone. It has destroyed individuality and freedom, making humans empty numbers.
Connecting to the “Soul” is what everyone in the One State thought of as a sickness, that makes you desire and explore your own happiness. His soul is was made him change his direction and way of thinking that makes a stand against people from empty numbers. But in the one State this is considered a sickness because it is danger to the collective . It makes them be individual and follow his heart. “A human being is like a novel: until the last page you don’t know how it will end. Or it wouldn’t be worth reading…”(162). Benefactor cant calculate D-503’s behavior when he has a feeling to I-303 , we seems that he wants to help ancient people and make a revolution. In the end of the story Benefactor told D503 secret of the design structure the One State “True, algebraic love of humanity is inevitable inhuman; and the inevitable mark of truth is -its cruelty”(231).
In the next section of “We”, the reader is exposed to the continued “humanization” of D-503 as his feelings grow for I-330 and as he gulps in these new found emotions he even develops feelings for O-50. “I lay thinking and an extremely odd chain of logic inbound itself in my mind” (Page 101). Through the entry we see that D-503, has been through core emotional changes as he starts “thinking” instead of calculating. Previously, he was only adept at mathematical progress and machinations, now the desires of the human heart has impeded that ability with real human emotions. We are witness to D-503s evolution as a caring and loving human being as he is slowly weaned off of the desired structure of the One State. He is asking questions about his purpose in life and what he purpose is as a human being…not just a cog in the wheel of the One State. He can’t escape his core human essence and the arrival of emotion is an unknown feeling inside his brain. An example of this conflict is exhibited when he states “I am saddened to see, that instead of a harmonious and strict mathematical poem in honor of the One State, I am producing some sort of fantastic adventure novel” (Page 103) He is fighting his lifelong conditioning by the One State. He struggles so much and finds his new emotions so unnatural that he believes he is ill. “It is my duty to inform that Number D-503 is all and incapable of controlling his emotions” (page 127).
The irony is that D-503 is sick but it is because the One State has made him repress basic human emotion, where ” humility is a virtue, and pride a vice;” We” is from God, and “I” from the devil”( page 128). Despite that we see hope in the “utopian” “We” for the first time and love based story. The irrepressible side of human nature is winning the battle against repressive conditioning. Although, D-503 also has feelings for 0-50, who is considered more of an appropriate choice for D-503. Further, we see a love triangle developing between the two girls and D-503. Even O-50 understood strong feeling and connection between D-503 and I-330,”today you don’t need anyone ,anyone in the world expect her, the other one “( page 106). In essence, in the end D-503 truly follows his heart and chooses I-330 who would not be considered appropriate for him by the system.
The beauty of this section of “We” is that despite the overwhelming efforts of the system and the Overseer to condition the people to do its will, the human heart is even a greater force.
I think that utopia “We”, written by Zamyatin, is similar to the “Brave New World” utopia. The major similarity is that both situations are similar in that the order of society is now considered to be utopian. However, after some delving into the situation and understanding the nature of the world and it’s rules and values the reader comes to understand that is a perverted utopia. It takes a great deal of patience to understand the understanding of the planet structure due to the anonymity assigned to its inhabitants. This was a different aspect in this book. Each individual in this society is assigned a first letter and a digital number to identify them. This is the ultimate subjugation of one’s personality. This is how we are introduced and identify characters like: I-330 and D-503. We clearly see this in the diary of D-503. He explains how he and another “numbers” love by a ridged Table of Hours. A glass Green Wall keeps the city separate from any exposure to natures and covert Guardians and the Operation Department, with it’s dreaded society “protect” from what they deem to be dangerous people. Criminals are publicly executed by the “Well Doer’s machine”.
The humanity of the people are being stripped away in this manner. This allows for the machines to have greater control and the people exist almost in a secondary manner to the overlord known as the “Benefactor”. Interestingly, the “Benefactor” is re-elected by an always unanimous vote by the population! The controlling humans inject a set of rules and regulations that define life and the “duty” of all “numbers”. “At night numbers must sleep; it is duty, just as it is their duty to work in the daytime” (page 58) The “numbers” are also expected to stop thinking and to calculate. People lose the personal connection needed to live meaningful lives as human beings. The have been reduced to just cogs in the wheel of society. This is why there is such heavy mathematical description and many special theorem probabilities, odd numbers and Integers are cited by the author.
While I was reading this I could only be reminded by the most repressive society existing on earth today…North Korea. The “Benefactor” vs. “Dear Leader”…unanimous elections…unrelenting work days…no due process of law…it all adds up to a hellish place to live.
In the end of the book we see that although John is the hero of the novel and the man who craves real human connection, he is not immune from the indoctrination. When the Linda, his mother, was not recognizing him,- “Anger suddenly boiled up in him. Balked for the second time, the passion of his grief had found another outlet, was transformed into a passion of agonized rage”(Huxley, page185), he shacked his mother. The author shows that John is the one, who has a real emotion in this World State and don’t lose family connection.
The dialog between John and Mustapha Mond shows contrast t two world visions as civilization society and old fashion society. The art reference are used in a way to show who is really socially conditional and who is not. The characters who understand and can relate to the human complexity in the characters are ones who are resisting the system.”You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We’ve sacrificed the high art.We have the fee lies and the scent organ instead” (Huxley, page 199). Also, the reader learns that is no” God” in civilization world. The Controller is a new God, who has complete control over everyone, manipulate its people psychology and erasure individuality. “You must make your choice (Huxley, page 210). John is a danger, he is rebel again civilization society. The Controller understand that Johns’ individuality can make people questions and it can be dangerous in the future. “But chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passion and neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end of civilization” (Huxley, page 212). Unfortunately, there is no place for John in civilization society.
John is becoming the savage that society has ridiculed him for being. I think that he is showing that there are two choices, compliance or animalistic savagery. Both lifestyles are lies but John can’t help but to pick one side. I think that Huxley does this as a way to show that no one is immune from the cultural ideas that have been reinforced throughout one’s life.
In the end of the book John made his choice to “be alone”. John is the protagonist. He is individual in the way that has different values about family unit and religion. ” But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin” (Huxley, page 215). He killed himself in the end of the book, society make him to kill himself. It can be read as society inhumanity. John made the choice to be individual in his own way and society punished him who dissent. He is the hero of the New Brave World. Huxley shows cruelty of this World State and warning the reader that can happened in the future.
Chapters 10-13 of Brave New World delve deeper into the complexity of how the World State manipulates its people psychologically and the ways in which those who see past it try to live their lives. Author shows the reader the struggles faced by those who try to resist and the ways that they communicate and form bonds with each other. I think Huxley is illustrating what humans will do in desperation when they feel isolated but have some hope.
The system of manipulation becomes clear when Bernard and the Director have a confrontation in which the Director deliberately denounces him in front of everyone: “ he has proved himself an enemy of Society, a subverter, ladies and gentlemen, of all Order and Stability, a conspirator against Civilization itself”(Huxley, 138). Bernard, in turn, attempts to do the same to him and somewhat succeeds. Huxley is showing the reader the brilliance of the social control that is the World State. Here is a system where people become experts at self-policing because the fear of public shaming and being outcast from society is unbearable. If people are terrified of being outcast and humiliated, this drastically minimizes the amount of actual force needed to control a society. Here, I think Huxley wants us to think about the ways in which we unconsciously keep ourselves in check to benefit the powerful.
I think chapter eleven shows both compassion and cruelty of this society. When it becomes clear that Linda will die soon if she continues on the soma, society does not try to stop her but assumes that she is a worn out piece of machinery that has had its time and now must die. ” The return to civilization was for her the return to soma, was possibility of lying in bed and taking holiday after holiday, without even having to come back to headache or a fit of vomiting, without even being made to feel as you always felt after peyotl, as thought you’d done something so shamefully anti-social that you could never hold up your head again (Huxley, 142). Linda represents the escape that everyone secretly wants from this society. In soma, she has escaped and is living out her last days in bliss. The above passage about Linda particularly struck me as ahead of its time. I feel as though the modern widespread use of anti-depressants and prescription painkillers could be understood as an escape from the misery of our highly predictable, controlled world where we can often feel like slaves that have no access to the real truth about life.
Throughout these chapters, Shakespeare references are found everywhere and they are used in a way to show who is really socially conditioned and who is not. Shakespeare verses seem to be recited often in these chapters as a way for John and Lenina to reinforce what they believe “for all the time he was seeing himself as Romeo and Lenina as Juliet (Huxley, 167)”. Shakespeare is used to show the reader that although Helmholtz may not be completely consumed, he still can’t really think outside of his conditioning and will never really “get it” the way John does. “Why was that old fellow such a marvelous propaganda technician?”(Huxley, 169). Author may be suggesting here that the artists or at least those who appreciate the arts will always be the ones who see through hierarchies and control. In summation, chapters 10-13 reveal the design of the World State as a system in which the fear of shaming does most of the work for those in control.
In the beginning of the 6 chapter we see the conflict manifest itself and there is discord between Lenina and Bernard. Lenina and Bernard are representative of two different ideas in the Brave New World. They both like each other and they form a relationship, however their different ideas about the relationship and different point of viewing the world , produces conflict. Bernard is portrayed as a protagonist in a utopian world, he thinks and feels differently and people comment that “It’s the alcohol they put in his surrogate” (BNW,93). That impacts how people think about him, because he acts and thinks differently than most people. Lenina likes Bernard, she likes how he look. However, she does not understand his behavior. Bernard is a protagonist against the system. He wants to discover his own happiness and wants to discover real happiness. He doesn’t want to be part of the system anymore. “I were more me… More on my own, not so completely a part of something else”(BNW, 90) Bernard is struggling with internal conflict. He refuses to take soma with Lenina the first place. Bernard understands all process and idea of soma that keep people unconscious. But mainly it’s because the effects of soma are no more intellectually illuminating. However, Lenina does not understand Bernard’s attitude and thinks that he is boring. Bernard likes her and does not want to have a huge gap of understanding between them. That why he took some. “I know you don’t. And that why we went to bed together yesterday-like infants-instead of being adults and waiting” (BNW, 93).
Overall, in the Brave New World”, people are lacking of emotion and live in a world of illusion. Consumption and production is controlled, thus the means of social masses is still the same. “Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and half”(BNW, 92). In the book society foolishly worships the free market and consumption is encouraged just to keep everyone busy. America was strictly divided, then as now, between the rich and the poor and the educated and the uneducated. Those who were born into privilege believe that they had a right to control the masses. Social conditioning is something that happens unconsciously in society, to ensure that powerful people get what they want and that resistance will be non-existent. In my opinion, this is why the book is very relevant today.
Brave New World Chapters 1-5
Brave New World exposes the mindset of 20th century thinking and accurately predicts what could be expected in the future. Huxley does this by making the reader think about the illusions that society believes and the “happiness” that we think we have. He also criticizes the assumption that consumption is good for society. Although the book uses historical references that are not necessarily relevant today, readers of any time period can relate to the feeling that society is a caste system and that the government is trying to have complete control over everyone through indoctrination and manipulative ideas that reinforce conformity.
“Happiness” in this novel is defined as everyone neatly fitting a pre-determined mold that society has chosen for them. Critical thinking, creativity and individuality will lead to social isolation and therefore a lack of happiness. It was true then and is true now that there are so many advertisements and trends in thinking that are just trying to tell us to be happy. The self-help book genre, which has been very popular over the last decade, is founded on this idea. When people are angry or frustrated with the monotony and lack of freedom in their lives, many times we are simply told to be happy and to think positively. If not, we are scorned and told that we are negative, pessimistic and people will often choose to not associate with that person. Even in the 1930s, Huxley understood this as one of the means of social control.
Huxley was writing this novel at an interesting time in history and he is exposing the corruption and social control of both the East and West. In some parts of these chapters, he is writing a critique of Communist Russia. This is clear when he describes a society that has destroyed the family unit, outlawed religion, assigned all of its citizens to very specific tasks, and punishes those who dissent. He even names his characters Russian names such Marx and Lenina. However, I think he is trying to show that American and English society are doing the same, just with a different economic system. This is evident in society’s worship of Ford. Ford’s factories at this time were creating an assembly line of workers performing monotonous tasks all day long. The efficiency by which the system runs takes the individuality and creativity out of the manufacturing process. This creates a society of drones.
Earlier in America and England, society encouraged frugality and restraint with money and resources. But now that Ford has taken over as the new God, people were being encouraged to buy more and more so that the economy can be supported and everyone can be “happy.” The first five chapters of Brave New World, present an image of the future in which society is tightly controlled and regulated in order to ensure efficiency. Although written for a specific time in history, its messages of social control, erasure of individuality and socially caste systems can be relevant at any time.
Can you imagine a world where things become alive after midnight?
There once was a difficult young girl who had been known to cause her parents a lot of concern. She was a shy child and had difficulties communicated with another kids and had a trust issue. She only played with her toys and spend most of her time in her room. She seemed live in her own dream world. Her parents, in particular, tried to be understanding with her child. They knew that if her daughter continued to be isolat that it would cause her great heartache in her life.
Ona day, In her sixth birthday, girl had received a beautiful doll from her parents because only toys made her happy. However, this doll was very differnet from all her toys. The doll was almost girl size. A little girl was delighted to have a new playmate. She decided to name the doll “Susan”…she had always liked the name Susan. That evening she was playing with Susan before bedtime and she noticed something very strange, Susan seemed to blink! The young girl thought maybe her eyes were playing tricks on her. She decided to go to bed and put the strange occurrence behind her. While she was sleeping she woke up during the night and felt like someone was watching her. She checked the room but saw nothing and she went back to sleep.
The next day when she woke up, the entire room had been rearranged, some of her furniture had moved and several of her toys had moved from her toy chest on to the floor! She decided to clean up her room and play with Susan again that day and everything seemed normal. However, she was still suspicious so she decided that she would pretend that she was sleeping and watch what happened in her room that night. Things seemed normal…until the clock struck midnight! Sunddently, light was on and started a magical sounding music playing. The doll “Susan” opened her eyes, got up and started walking around the room, she had animated! Susan started to play with the other toys and was playing tea at the table. The little girl watched in amazement wonder and horror as Susan took out her favorite dress from the closet and put it on! Every toys that Susan touched become alive. All the things seemed to had wing and flied. They stared walking and dancing together. Then a butterfly started fluttering from the open window. A watermelon was walking. Flowers were swaying and dancing with each other. Toys were all celebrating and partying. The little girl could not take it anymore, she wanted to be part of the celebration. She got out of bed and started dancing with her toys and Susan. She was happily laughing. Suddenly, the sound of heels meeting the floor filled the room. The toys got scared and went back to the shelter and safety of the closet. Girls was scared that her parents woke up and went back to sleep.The next morning she woke up and she saw Susan sitting on the chair with the rest of her toys!