ENG 2420: Science Fiction

Professor Belli — Spring 2017 — City Tech

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

Class Discussion: Brave New World

*We’ll continue to use this space to discuss the novel. You should make one initial comment on chapters 10-18 by W 3/1¬† + two additional comments by F 3/3.

We’re extending our discussion of Brave New World to the OpenLab, to dig even deeper into the text.

Initial comments are due by W 2/22, and then a minimum of two additional comments by F 2/24. A friendly reminder that, in addition to posting your own comment(s), you are responsible for checking back in and reading through the whole discussion, prior to each class. This “discussion” is part of the required reading for the course.

Feel free to pick up on something we discussed in class, bring in aspects of the text we didn‚Äôt get to, raise questions, offer excerpts/analysis, provide connections to our contemporary world (references & links to other texts articles, songs, videos, etc. would be great, but remember to keep your discussion grounded in the novel), raise–& take a shot at answering!–big existential questions raised by the text (e.g., can happiness be ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ if it is manufacturing chemically?), or anything else relevant. The goal is conversation that will lead to continued close reading/understanding of the text

Brand new world

A lot of people have called the governmental regime “totalitarian” in nature, Huxley explicitly describes it as such. Huxley stated in Brave New World Revisited that the only way to create a permanently stable society is for the regime to have absolute power. The regime must then promise that people are happy all the time, be able to control the behavior with every person, and ensure that independent thinkers are forbidden from disturbing the social fabric. Huxley the realize some of the main sources of social stability. Science creates and conditions people to become happy members of society. The comment by the Director, “What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder,” reveals the extent that the conditioning can alter behavior.

The interplay between sexuality and emotions is complex. Huxley realized that monogamy, sex, and family ties generate most human emotions. Thus, the society rests on promiscuity and baby factories. The goal is to eradicate emotions by replacing them with pure sexual desire and nothing else. This, combined with the baby factories, destroys family life and monogamous relationships.

Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson have deep questions on the society that they live in, though they do not know how to put such questions into thought or words. This impulse towards the rational comes from differences, strength for Bernard, brain for Helmholtz – that blocks their ability to accept the ordered world around them. Plus, Huxley makes a statement about creativity, progress, and the ability of powerful authorities to stifle such things. Foster and Lenina represent the majority of society, who have a limited range of actions and do not do anything amazing which I don’t understand. Their conversation that hey have repeats phrases learned during hypnopedia (learning while asleep or hypnotize.), therefore contains no new smart ideas.

Lenina goes out on a date with Bernard twice before their trip to the Savage Reservations, and each time she finds Bernard to be weird. Bernard prefers to walk with her in a park so that they can spend time talking. However, Lenina cannot sum up the idea of intellectual conversation and convinces him instead watch a wrestling match. Bernard refuses to take any soma and is unhappy in the middle of a large crowd. That same night, Lenina expects Bernard to stay over and sleep with her, but he has to take a lot of soma before he can do so because he feels embarrassment over entering into sex so early in their relationship.
This becomes hard for Bernard and Lenina to release their emotions. Since both of them forget to bring any soma, they cannot hide behind the narcotic’s pleasures. Lenina cannot hold back her emotions. The way the Indians live induces an intense amount of disgusted in her. Bernard tells Lenina that men have lived this way for thousands of years, but she simply cannot believe it.

John agrees to leave in the hopes that the Utopian world can accept him. Huxley uses the future dystopian society as a point of contrast, the novel makes a larger point about the way all societies treat unfamiliar cultures. John symbolizes this difference, as he is too civilized and emotional for the savage lands but too savage for the civilized world.

With the play. Hard for me to see but I think John was falling for Lenina. Convincing himself that he loves Lenina, and the chapter expresses his love by the way he looks at her and inhales her perfume. John retains humbleness, for when he imagines undressing Lenina, he immediately feels ashamed for his impure thoughts.
The play also parallels John and Lenina’s romantic situation, since the two are from different worlds. Lenina inhabits the civilized world, a world that looks down upon reservation people who live savage and incomprehensible lives. The reservation people, on the other hand, cannot understand the scientific society that now lacks emotion, religion, and natural life. The passion that John feels for Lenina mirrors the love that Romeo and Juliet, two lovers from fighting families, have for each other.

Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley , shows how a futuristic society ¬†tried to create a community ¬†where everyone is happy. With the use of science women no longer gave birth babies where produced in the science lab . In the begining of the story a scientist name Henry Ford ¬†took a group of kids to a lab where he displayed to them how humans were being produced,¬†“And this, said the Director opening the door, is the Fertilizing Room” as spoke telling the kids the procedures they wrote the words down as soon as they came out his mouth , “Each of them carried a notebook, in which, whenever the great man spoke, he desperately scribbled. Straight from the horse’s mouth”. it was such a privilege for the group of kids that listen to scientist as he spoke.

In the Laboratory the babies where group in a caste system with¬†Alphas being at the top followed by Beta, Gamma, Delta, and the bottom Epsilon. The eggs excluding Alphas and Beta undergoes a process that causes the egg to divide “One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.” They could even produce up to 96 human beings from what would’ve been one. The kids were then taken to a room where a group of babies of the lower class “Delta” on the floor, in front the babies were books and flowers. The babies received a shock from an electrified strip on ground, these babies would eventually grow up to dislike nature and book and most likely will be doing factory work when they grow up on the other hand babies on the top of the system such as Alpha had a brighter future planned for them. “We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future … He was going to say “future World controllers,” but correcting himself, said “future Directors of Hatcheries.” As the group made their way outside the ran into Mustapha one of the 10 world leaders .

Mustapha Mond explain to the kids how mothers gave birth to babies in ¬†the past and how they would grow up and lived with their family , the kids were disgusted . They didn’t have any idea what he was talking about they were more comfortable watching and hearing about babies being born in a lab. Even thought the main goal of the scientist were to make everyone happy in a perfect community not everyone was satisfied. Bernard who was apart of the Alpha society wasnt satisfied with his body size being smaller than the men in his caste, he felt left out. Benito noticed that bernard looked annoyed and offered him a drug called soma that would make him happy.

The reading raises a lot of questions one of which i have to ask is what is the definition of happiness , ¬†why couldn’t all ¬†the babies that were being produce have equal role in the community. Even with the help of technology people that were at the higher rank in the caste system still wasn’t happy ¬†for example Bernard. People can dream or try to create a world where everything is perfect sort of a utopian environment but things will never be perfect ¬†based on reality.

 

 

Mass Production, Caste, and Conditioning in this Brave New World

Reading Brave New World, the first few chapters introduces a world that is strange compared to our reality.   This book seems to show a world where society mass produces humans, separates them into castes, and condition said humans to their predestined roles.

In the beginning¬†chapters, it shows that humans, rather being born the traditional way, are ‘decanted’. ¬†In their reality, humans are created in¬†bottles using eggs from donated ovaries and sperm¬†on a conveyor belt, conditioning the fertilized egg to its predestined fate until it can be ‘decanted’. ¬†The babies then are conditionalized even more depending on its caste and predestined roles they have. ¬†In addition, fertilized eggs of lower caste are treated so that each egg can produce as many as 96 identical humans. ¬† This shows a desire to have as many humans as possible, especially as many of the lower caste as possible. ¬†This is likely because, like a pyramid, there is always more space on the lowest of the triangle compared to the top. ¬†The book they goes on to show how society in the book is structured based on how the fertilized eggs are treated.

The fertilized eggs are examined and separated into a caste system of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilons; where Alphas are the highest caste and the lower caste, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are mass produced. ¬†This shows that the higher officials decides who is¬†born to be of a higher caste and predestine those they decide more inferior before the fertilized egg even develop into a baby. ¬†It also shows that, in the book, people are not all born, and thus are placed in predetermined roles. ¬†Also, they create¬†the lower castes to be¬†dumb animals, to even a point of trying to develop Epsilons to physically and mentally mature as fast as possible to perform the lowest of manual ¬†labor. ¬†This can be especially be seen in the first chapter where they deprive oxygen and treat the bottles containing the lower of the 3 caste systems, with the lowest cast getting the least oxygen, so that they’ll be smaller in size and intelligence. ¬†This is also seen in chapter 2, where nurses condition Delta babies to hate books and flowers, so that¬†it is driven into their brain beyond adulthood to hate books and flowers, and thus are discouraged to read. ¬†This especially shows that society is interested in created stupid workers that stay to their job instead of trying to attempt a job or challenge higher caste systems.

After the first chapter, the book shows how humans are conditioned, from decantation, to accept their roles in society. ¬†The book shows babies of the Delta caste introduced to flowers and books, and then being both subjected to loud alarms and electric shocks. ¬†Though inhumane to us, in the book, it was explain as normal as it is done 200 times to that the Delta babies will grow up hating flowers and books, discouraging them to read or enjoy nature. ¬†The treatment to condition babies to their caste and roles is even seen in the higher class Beltas as they sleep with repeating ¬†messages, known as hypnopaedia, ¬†reinforcing the caste so that they don’t interact with the lower caste while being happy and not challenging the higher caste. ¬†Hypnopaedia was also used to make the babies happy with future roles they will receive. ¬†This book shows that humans from birth are shaped and molded from birth to their roles like gears shaped for machines.

Brave New World, Blog chp 1-9

With reference to the Science Fiction novel Brave New World, ¬†this is a book that was written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley.¬† The book depicts and anticipates technological advancement in reproduction, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning.¬†We can see this clearly being outlined in the novel with reference to¬†(page) xii,¬† top¬†paragraph, quote ” It is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals. the triumphs of physics, chemistry and engineering are tacitly taken for granted.”

Also related to the fact of the aforementioned quote, is the last paragraph on page(xii) ” This really revolutionary revolution is to be achieved, not in the external world, but in the souls and flesh of human beings.¬† Living as he did in a revolutionary period, the Marquis de Sade very naturally made use of the theory of revolutions in order to rationalize his peculiar brand of insanity.”¬† The start of the novel in chapter (1), clearly depicts and gives the imagery of a medical facility where there were students that were very eager to learn and soak up every ounce of knowledge they could through what appears to be residency of new and upcoming doctors.¬† Chapter (1) page 2 second paragraph, ” A troop of newly arrived students, very young, pink and callow, followed nervously, rather abjectly, at the Director’s heels.¬† Each of them carried a note book, in which, whenever the great man spoke,¬† he desperately scribbled.¬† Straight from the horses mouth.¬† It was the rare privilege.¬† The D.H.C. for the Central London always made¬†point of personally conducting his new¬†students round the various departments.”

Fully¬†immersed in learning, the students quickly started gaining new knowledge of eggs and embryo’s and the way they split. Page (5) paragraph (1) ” From eight to ninety six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full- sized adult.¬† Making ninety human beings grow where they never grew before. Progress”.¬† Clearly stated by the name given to him as the Director of Hatcheries and conditioning referred to on page (2), he is quite the enthusiast when it comes to Bokanovsky.¬† This is a process of fictional human cloning that is a key aspect of the world envisioned in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.¬† The process is applied to fertilize human eggs in vitro, causing them to split into identical genetic copies of the original.

 

Brave New World

So,¬†Brave New World, really kicks off with the exposition hard in these first chapters. The creepy tour is kinda like a bastardized version of Willy Wonka, with the kids, who I believe are mainly boys and seem to be of the beta cast, on how this new globalist society has constructed its self, from the how humans are grown in hatcheries, to the cast system, to the hypnopaedia and the “Neo-pavlovian” teachings. This is probably a really great way to involve the reader, it gives a perfect form of detachment and estrangement to our modern day lives, while also giving us means to quickly learn a lot about this “brave new world”. there is so much info dumped on to you in just the first few chapters that it could fill a 10 page paper…

It seems that this part of the book focuses on the destruction of the individual on even the level of having a destiny in order for the sake of society, even inter twining the two with the case of women getting their ¬†ovaries removed to grow kids as part of ¬†“their inescapable social destinies”. The forced fetal alcohol syndrome and oxygen on the lower casts really shows how this society views human lives, and that is to live and die as a blood cell in its stream, and to be replaced as such, of course you could have upwards of six teen thousand siblings and/or clones to replace you so, I guess to them its part of the whole “perfect” system. ¬†The way people are taught or “parented” in these hatcheries is a lot less about critical thinking and curiosity, and is more about conformity, ¬†consumer ship, safety and productivity. The “neo-pavlovian” part is probably the most disturbing, with the whole hurting babies so that they detest nature and book, which I think is an analog for the society in this book, it perverts the natural side of humans being child birth through use of knowledge that harms us, like the fetal alcohol syndrome, and even using sleep to better a fix humans in this society, as if challenge in any form no matter the size is like a cancer and detriment to this “perfect” society. This also brings ups the idea of, is the human culture of this earth stagnate due to its embrace of conformity and safety, If there is no challenge, there is no solution. If there is no solution, there is no advancement.if there is no advancement, it will lead to stagnation, which can be very bad if this societies weaknesses are shown and exploited, which as happened in the past, always does, and when it does, will the people change or die with there titanic society. Another thing on culture, it seems that human sexuality has been repressed to the point were even parental terms are seen as to have a perverted attribute to it, which shows to the oddity in humans that when we make a great step in becoming estranged from our roots as hunter gatherers, we make great steps in sexual repression, ¬†generally in the same magnitude.

Analysis of Brave New World

The Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, shows us a world that is technologically advance that is able to clone humans or grow them in a lab since natural birth is not a thing in this society anymore. It set in a Central London Hatchery where they use the “Bokanovsky’s Process” to clone humans. In the World State, society is structure by a caste system first with Alphas at the top followed by Beta, Gamma, Delta, and the lowest Epsilon. Alpha and Beta does not undergo the Bokanovsky’s Process because it might damage the egg. In the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY” ( Huxley 15) ¬†Identity does not apply to the lower caste system because the are clone they share the same identity. Cloning contradict the motto and only applies to higher caste because clones or lower caste human don’t get their own identity because the are identical two each other. The cloning and mass production of humans was made by Ford, Ford in the story was thought to be a god and even a character called Bernard pray to him in a group session.

The Bokanovskified egg ” The lower the caste … the shorter the oxygen.” ( Huxley 24), this sets up the clones to unable to do any other caste jobs. This is just like a robot being programmed to do a specific job and doing it without questions. They further condition them by ” books and loud noises, flower and electric shocks” (Huxley 30), this show that lower caste will be less educated then the alphas and betas, associating flower and electric shock will condition them to hate nature and never to go to country side. This was stated so it can maximize profit for the World State.

Mustapah Mond is one of the ten world control. ¬†In the book the student that are in a tour meets Mustapah Mond and looks up to him. Mustapah Mond is like a leader for a section of the world. Mustapah Mond explains to them what happened before the World State was formed, he tell them about the past and how ¬†that mother gave birth to children and how people have families and don’t have many sexual partners, where the world was run by emotions that caused a 9 year war that had an economic collapse.

As we can see Alphas and Betas were focused a lot during the story where they where shown to ¬†be very different as they have freedom to do things lower caste can’t, the upper can have many sexual relationship partners and also enjoy a drug called soma which make them feel happy. Reorganizing society and reconditioning them to do a predestined role in society. In the point of view of the society it is utopian society.

The book was very interesting to read, starting off with very detail of the setting and how technologyand society worked in the book. It shows us hierarchy of power and how each humans from different caste are treated by the society. It also show how society eliminated emotions from lower caste making them like machine working for machine.

Brave New World

the story start when The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is giving a group of students a tour of a factory that produces human beings and conditions them for their predestined roles in the World State. He explains to the boys that human beings no longer produce living offspring. Instead, surgically removed ovaries produce ova that are fertilized in artificial receptacles and incubated in specially designed bottles. The Hatchery binds every embryo for a specific rank in the World State. The five ranks are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon undergo.

the Bokanovsky Process, which includes stunning an egg with the goal that it partitions to shape up to ninety-six indistinguishable incipient organisms, which then form into ninety-six indistinguishable people. The Alpha and Beta fetuses never experience this separating procedure, which can debilitate the incipient organisms. The Director clarifies that the Bokanovsky Process encourages social security in light of the fact that the clones it produces are foreordained to perform indistinguishable errands at indistinguishable machines. The cloning procedure is one of the devices the World State uses to actualize its controlling proverb: “Group, Identity, Stability.”

 

The Director drives the gathering of understudies to the Nurseries. Posted on a notice board are the expressions, “Newborn child Nurseries. Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms.” The understudies watch a Bokanovsky gathering of eight-month-old children wearing the Delta standing’s khaki-shaded garments. A few medical caretakers give the children books and blooms. As the children slither toward the books and the blossoms, cooing with joy, cautions ring deafeningly. At that point, the infants endure a gentle electric stun. A while later, when the medical caretakers offer the blooms and books to the infants, they recoil away and howl with fear.

The primary portion of the understudies’ visit, portrayed in the past area, shows the World State’s mishandle of natural science in molding its natives. This area concentrates on the utilization of mental innovations to control the future conduct of World State natives. Molding, consolidated with pre-birth treatment, makes people without distinction: every one is customized to carry on precisely like the following. This framework takes into consideration social strength, monetary profitability inside restricted imperatives, and a general public ruled by negligent acquiescence and juvenile conduct.

 

Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
Like drops within the Social River;
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.
. . .
Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release.

 

This tune is sung amid the Solidarity Service went to by Bernard in Chapter 5. It gives a case of the commonplace “religion” the World State uses to keep its individuals in congruity with societal guidelines. The melody’s senseless wording underscores the detail of the function.

protagonists  · Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, and John

antagonist  · Mustapha Mond

themes · The use of technology to control society, the incompatibility of happiness and truth, the dangers of an all-powerful state

genre  · Dystopia

full title  ·  Brave New World

author  · Aldous Huxley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brave New World Reading Response

Factory is a term describing a building, structure, or a place that mass produces a product or good. This is usually done by way of a conveyor belt or assembly line. Historically it was one of the most popular methods of production during the industrial revolution. You can take a handful of unskilled workers and produce a line of complex machines or other products that used to require a skilled craftsman or artisan to create. Who wouldn’t want to make complex products with unskilled workers? The question then is what if the products were human beings.

The story Brave New World is a science fiction novel. The book opens up with a factory that produces humans. I’ll be honest here, I’m having a rough time following all this but I think I get the important bits. Humans are incapable of sexual reproduction, for whatever reason. and must be produced by surgically removing ovaries and then using the egg cells inside to mass produce human infants. ¬†A called the Bokanovsky process is a method of splitting an embryo that could produce¬†ninety-six identical clones. These products would then be separated into categories called Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. These designations are assigned on birth or during the Bokanovsky process. The Alpha and Beta products seem to be the higher echelon of people and Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon are lower class or even sub-human. After their “birth” they are then raised with a number of beliefs and values. The story shows us a number of Delta infants who were presented with books and flowers. When they approached the books and flowers they were shocked. This was done hundreds of times to instill a fear or distaste for books and nature.

Mass production of humans is a scary thought. But the truth is that we already came out of a human production facility. And no I don’t mean the hospital, I’m talking about school. Its more accurate to say that school is a training facility for humans but it has its own kind of human production. Theoretically a school is meant to train humans to become more efficient and productive. Its like taking your car or computer to the shop for upgrades, changes, or repairs. But in comparison to a factory it is a facility that takes the raw materials of an uneducated human and produces a refined educated adult. I of course know that this doesn’t work out as well as some would hope for but we live in a system that takes tax dollars and puts us in a facility that mass produces educated tax payers. I’m not sure how you feel about school, but it felt like a factory to me. I’m sure we all had our ups and downs in school but it has always been for a single goal. Under this thought process one could say that graduation is our approval as a complete product.

Reading Response#3: Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a science fiction story that happens to take place in a timeframe where readers would observe and notice that there are some scientific techniques that are utilized within the society like for example human cloning. It seems that the setting is in a futuristic tense and also in book one of the locations that it takes place in would be in Central London and also technology plays a big role in society.¬† In the first chapter on page 15, it uses the three words “community, identity, and stability” as a motto and it is a saying for the cloning that they do to produce humans. The way human beings are produced is differently than the way they usually are, they are created by parts that are fertilized and they are packed and then analyzed to see what caste they would belong into so that they can determine where they would be sent to to perform tasks and they are created in many numbers so that many can perform tasks. The World State also uses some of the babies in which it makes nurses try to give them flowers and books but as they approach those things they are than shocked than soon afterwards they do not want to be involved with those objects, which leads them to dislike the objects.¬† This process would make them grow up with a hatred of books and flowers.

Throughout the story human reproduction and what the people do socially in the world are controlled and altered and it seems as though this utiopia is actually a brutal one because of all of that.¬† As the director is giving the students a tour, he takes them to see a area in which many boys are playing with others while they are naked. One boy was uncomfortable with what was happening around him and he was sent to a psychologists. Usually a type of play or interaction like that among adolescence would be considered wrong but in the World State that concept does not really seem to apply to them. A character by the name of Mond is introduced and he is one of the leaders of the civilization at that time. There was history before the World State became like it is today, there used to be stabiity among the people but it lead to various bad things like war or disease which caused many deaths. Since the world state exists it implements it’s policies on the way reproduction and social interactions are so that they would not end up dealing with conflicts that can cause problems for them.

This story is interesting because of the fact that we get to read about a type of society that involves almost utmost control over it’s people in a way. Usually when reading science fiction stories it would seem that there would have more freedom but in this story it is a bit different. Also I find it interesting because of the fact that the civilization does various things differently that we living in the real world would consider to be not right.