A thematic overview of Brave New World--in depth
THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO CONTROL SOCIETY
? Brave New World warns of the dangers of giving the state control over new and powerful technologies.
? One illustration of this theme is the rigid control of reproduction through technological and medical intervention, including the surgical removal of ovaries,
? Another is the creation of complicated entertainment machines that generate both harmless leisure and the high levels of consumption and production that are the basis of the World State's stability.
? Soma is a third example of the kind of medical, biological, and psychological technologies that Brave New World criticizes most sharply.
? Whereas the State talks about progress and science, what it really means is the bettering of technology, not increased scientific exploration and experimentation. The state uses science as a means to build technology that can create a seamless, happy, superficial world through
? The state censors and limits science, however, since it sees the fundamental basis behind science, the search for truth, as threatening to the State's control. The State's focus on happiness and stability means that it uses the results of scientific research, inasmuch as they contribute to technologies of control, but does not support science itself.
THE CONSUMER SOCIETY
It is important to understand that Brave New World is not simply a warning about what could happen to society if things go wrong, it is also a satire of the society in which Huxley existed, and which still exists today. While the attitudes and behaviors of World State citizens at first appear bizarre, cruel, or scandalous, many clues point to the conclusion that the World State is simply an extreme?but logically developed?version of our society's economic values, in which individual happiness is defined as the ability to satisfy needs, and success as a society is equated with economic growth and prosperity.
THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF HAPPINESS AND TRUTH
? Brave New World is full of characters who do everything they can to avoid facing the truth about their own situations.
? The almost universal use of the drug soma is ...
Brave New World by Huxley, Themes