Brave New World EssayJean Jacques Rousseau once said “I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery”. A majority of people would agree with this statement because any amount of danger is worth liberty. But most of all peace is not worth giving up a person’s right and freedoms. In the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley the World State is a truly horrific place for making citizens sacrifice humanity for the sake of having a perfect world.Conditioning has been a key process in making the World State a perfect world but at the cost of the citizen’s ability to think for themselves. There are two ways people in the World State are conditioned shock therapy and hypnopaedia.
At the beginning of the book the director shows his students how shock therapy is performed “now turn them so that they can see the flowers, books … electricity then running through the floor” (p.17) This quote shows how the World State uses pain to condition the citizens into thinking flowers and books are bad . The effectiveness of shock therapy can be seen when Lenina and Bernard are in a helicopter above water. She says “oh it’s horrible”… she was appalled by the night, the foam flecked water, the pale face of the moon “let’s listen to the radio quick” (p.78) As a result of shock therapy Lenina has lost her ability to like nature in order to make the World State a perfect world. Nature is not promoted because it is a pastime that does not contribute to the economy.
World State citizens are also conditioned to dislike books because they can gain knowledge from books. The knowledge they gain from the books could make them question the World State just like John after he read Shakespearean plays. It is evident that the World State conditioned to lose their free will and individuality; they are molded into a prototype that is economically and socially acceptable. Furthermore hypnopaedia is also a method of social conditioning used on the people of the World State to make it a perfect world. Making the World State perfect comes at the cost of the citizen’s right to have values. Hypnopaedia is sleep teaching.
The World State teaches people morals and values while they are sleeping by repeating slogans to them many times. Phrases often said in the book include “the more stitches , the less riches” (p.42), and “ending is better than mending” (p.42) Both these phrases strip the citizen’s humanity by making them unable to hold onto something for a long amount of time. Whether it is relationships, clothing, or other objects people of the World State will not spend their time being attached to them. These hypnopaedic slogans instead only support consumption of goods, teaching people not to fix or hold on to broken object.
The same is also applied to relationships. The World State’s citizens do not prefer to hold onto relationships with others. This can clearly be seen when Bernard describes Helmholtz.
He says “It was said that he had six hundred and forty different women” (p.58) It is clear that the World State is a harrowing place for using hypnopaedia to control the citizens opinions on values to further progress their society.Furthermore soma is used to distract the population from realizing their enslaved to keep order. Soma is a hallucinogenic drug which is used by everyone in the society . This is because the consumption of soma is promoted using hypnopaedia but also because it can relief immense stress. Soma has been used several times within the book to relief stress. An example of this is when linda comes back to the World State. Bernard says to the readers “The return to civilization for her was the return to soma … without ever being made to feel as though you’d done something so shamefully antisocial that you could never hold up your head again” (p.
133) Soma relieves the stress, which she gets when she is shunned by everyone in the World State for being old, fat, and for having a baby. Rather than going against the World State and tell people to accept her Linda is tricked into taking soma. She takes soma because it is much easier than facing her problems. Soma is easy to access and has no side effects. “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects” (p.46), says Mustapha Mond. She also takes soma rather than talk to the people of the World State about the way she is because ” the holiday it gave was perfect” The World State is a truly awful place because soma is used to distract them to keep order.
Moreover the caste system is the most horrific thing done to the citizens of the World State to make it a perfect world. The caste system has many regulations, which removes the humanities of its people. The caste system is implemented straight from birth. People are divided into one five groups, alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon.
One’s job, clothing, friends, and intelligence, and physique are unfortunately determined depending on which group they are in. Everyone’s conditioned to like his or her assigned job. Alphas do jobs, which require intellect such as being a teacher. On the other hand epsilons do labor work such as being garbage man.
The World State does not allow for people to have equal opportunity to gain the job they want and assign them instead to keep economic stability. Alpha’s are forced to wear grey, beta’s mulberry, gamma’s green, delta’s brown, and epsilon’s black. This takes the citizen’s individuality away from them in order to keep social stability.
Intelligence and physique is controlled by the amount of oxygen infants are given after birth. “The lower the caste,” said Mr. Foster, ” the shorter the oxygen. The first organ affected was the brain.
After that the skeleton”(p.12) The lower the caste, the lower a person’s level of intelligence is and physique. The caste system is not only wrong for restricting the citizen’s but also for using harmful methods to attained it, all for the sake of a perfect world.
The World State controls its citizen’s free will and individuality through; electric shock therapy, hypnopaedia, soma, and the caste system. The World State believes this is what has to be done to achieve a perfect world. Shock therapy compels citizens to hate nature because it does nothing to improve the World State. Shock therapy compels citizens to also hate books because it could cause them to question the World State.
Hypnopaedia brainwashes citizens to not be attached to objects so they can consume more to improve the economy. Soma distracts the citizen’s from the World State’s corrupt ideals and processes. Finally the caste system predetermines jobs, clothing, intelligence, and physique so citizens to reduce conflict. All in all the World State citizens are enslaved to make the it a perfect world.