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Brave New World and Gattaca

Brave New World and Gattaca

Huxley Living in a genetically perfect world is not necessarily a great achievement to mankind. It makes one think, “where do you draw the line in the advancement of eugenics?” Both worlds, the Brave New one and Gattaca, are alternative futures (clearly dystopic), written and shown in a believable way (not as much in BNW, though) through the use of satire. Also, for GATTACA, the director incorporates the traditional elements of movie – a murder-mystery tied in with a love story PLUS a science fiction touch – very effectively. Satire in Huxley’s novel is glaringly obvious (mockery of the education system and the morals of today along with many more topics), as he writes with the purpose of teaching and humoring at the same time. However, with GATTACA, the satirical messages are not immediately perceivable – even after having seen the movie three times.

It is apparent that within the GATTACA institution, there is a definite discrimination against the genetic underclass; that naturally born. Director Niccol is mocking the present-day view of prejudice and racism. In the future of GATTACA, this prejudice is referred to as genoism – genetic discrimination. Racism is a less specific form of genoism, and although such discrimination is outlawed, the laws are unenforceable because in this dystopian society, as it is in BNW, one’s “genetic quotient” is known from birth. The underclass people of this world are limited but aware of their social status and they are not particularly happy with it. With the BNW, the lower castes seem to be (they are made to believe so) aware but they are conditioned to like their “light,…childishly simple” work. (p.204 BNW)

Another satirical message explored in both works in that of publicity. Our society is becoming increasingly accessible, yet controlled, through the use of surveillance of ID. Huxley and Niccol are merely pointing out that it is incredibly disconcerting to think that one day, our identities will be verified through daily blood and urine samples. On this topic, the one difference between the BNW and GATTACA is the in BNW, the Director or Controller is aware of the “individuals'” level of promiscuity or behaviour through the word of mouth. There is also one major similarity; in both worlds, the Director is quite conscious of the existence of the Alphas and in the case of GATTACA, the elites.

The Character of Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Free Hamlet Essays – The Character of Polonius

Polonius is the chief counsellor to Claudius, and although there is no evidence , it is possible that he had held a position at court under Hamlet’s father, the old King. He is certainly trusted and held in high regard by Claudius, who tells Laertes that his father is extremely important to Denmark:

“The head is not more native to the heart

The hand more instrumental to the mouth

Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.”

It is tempting to dismiss Polonius as a fool and, as Hamlet calls him a “prating knave”, because of his pomposity and his tedious pedantry, but to do so would be unwise. He is indeed irritating, but he is not stupid. Foolish, perhaps, in his stubborn belief that he knows best what is the cause of Hamlet’s madness, but it is an astute guess, given what he knows about the love affair between Ophelia and the prince, and the evidence of the letter which he shows to the King. He is not, however, always likeable and it is unclear as to whether his children love him, or just accord him healthy respect. There seems to be evidence that it is Laertes to whom Ophelia feels closer than to her father, as it is he whom she tells about Hamlet’s affections and there is a terse note in Polonius’s dialogue with his daughter, especially after the nunnery scene, when her evident distress is curtly dismissed by her father. Polonius is clearly unscrupulous about setting spies on his children, as we see when Reynaldo is sent to Paris to check Laertes’ behaviour. It is also obvious that Polonius is well aware of Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet and that he has been reported to about it, so presumably his spies are at work in the court all the time. He is quick to suggest that Ophelia is used as a decoy to observe Hamlet’s “madness” and as we have seen , seems unmoved by her distress when Hamlet renounces her.

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