Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World out of fear of society’s
apparent lack of morals and corrupt behaviour during the roaring twenties.
Huxley believed that the future was doomed to a non-individualistic,
conformist society, a society void of the family unit, religion and human
emotions. Throughout the novel, Huxley predicts many events for the future,
most of which concentrate on a morally corrupt society. The most important
of these predictions include: greater sexual freedom, over-population,
brain-washing/sleep-teaching, and the use of mind altering drugs. Aldous
Huxley’s Brave New World warns of a possible future dystopia, based on
social attitudes and medical advancements of his time.
Huxley’s future dystopia is created largely by perverted sexual
freedoms, which in turn cause corrupt individuals, entirely lacking ethics
and morals. Sexual promiscuity appears to be a much more frequent activity
now then it was in the Thirties. Critics blame “…the advent of the pill
for declining morality and indiscriminate sexual activity.” Many believe
that each time medicine reduces the risk of unwanted diseases and
pregnancies, society, on the whole, will increase its sexual activity.
Huxley’s prediction of promiscuity is based on his iron law of sexuality:
“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends
compensatingly to increase.” A current example of Huxley’s belief is China.
China is the last remaining communist regime, it also suffers from having
one fifth of the world’s population within its borders. Needless to say,
China’s large population is a direct result of a very sexually active
society. Aldous Huxley’s fears of the future caused him to write about
sexual freedom and the resulting over-population in Brave New World.
Over-population is another problem which is addressed by Huxley,
and is the direct result of sexual freedom. The fear which Huxley addresses
concerning population control is: “Food supplies cannot grow as fast as
people can, and population growth in underdeveloped countries will jeopardize
the world order.” Simply stated the growing population of earth will
consume more than it will be able to produce, unless some form of regulating
births can be created. This is an obvious truth today, as millions of
people are starving each day. The brave new world that Huxley speaks of,
is a warning to mankind concerning its destruction of the laws of nature.
For example, marriage is forbidden, as well as, pregnancies, and mothers
are non-existent because possible children result in abortion.
Brave New World Ultimate Destruction
Brave New World Ultimate Destruction
In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley tries to convey the belief that every invention or improvement for the “betterment” of mankind is only an instrument for his ultimate destruction. “We are,” he said, “on the horns of an ethical dilemma and to find the middle way will require all out intelligence and all out good will.” This goes for all fields of life, medical, technical, social, etc. Not only in the book, but also in real life, one can see that this belief is evidently true.
A first example in the book is the process in which babies are “born.” The intricate fertilizing, decanting, and conditioning processes is directly used to produce and control a 5 caste system in society. Now, this is not a bad idea, other system is flawed. We see this in people like Bernard. An alpha is supposed to be at the top of society being well formed, tall, good looking and intelligent. Bernard however is somewhat shorter and less handsome than the rest of the men in his caste, and therefore is thought of as queer. This inconsistency in the hatching system shows proof that the system is not completely safe or stable, and will in time produce more and more “social rejects” that can only lead to destroy the system.
The conditioning process itself is also a good example of how innovation and “progress” can lead to the destruction of man. John got this in his belief that everyone, no matter how old, was an infant because of the conditioning systems. To truly mature, he thought, one must face suffering and constant cleansing (leading him to his time at the lighthouse). The acceptance and use of the notion that society should be organized by the pleasures of the people is preposterous in that by only living for simple physical pleasure at whatever moment in time it may be, one is stripped of the ability to strive for long-range, true happiness. By breeding a complete society of infants with no concept of planning for a final goal can only end in destruction as it con not support itself if the hand that rocks the cradle, excuse the pun, would happen to waiver.
Thirdly, in the book, the rationing and use of soma as a release for all people is a big red flashing light on the board of pending social disaster.