Brave New World Consumerism Analysis

1762 Words 8 Pages
Consumerism generally plays a major role in the lifestyles of people in today’s society. Often, people value consumerism over religion due to the secularization of society. Society today has prioritized consumerism before religion, though not to the extent as seen in the novel Brave New World. Religion is entirely banned, and in replacement is the figurehead Henry Ford. Society is built on the notion that consumerism is necessary for the function of the World State. The citizens of World State generally comply with these values, but upon meeting John and Bernard, it is evident that consumerism is causing damage within society. The replacement of religion with consumerism is the only source of happiness for the citizens of World State, …show more content…
If citizens consume goods, primarily soma, they will remain happy and continue consuming goods, allowing for the World State to remain in power. This allows for the people to be distracted with work so they don’t uncover the truth about the things the World State is hiding from them. The entire society was essentially built upon the notion of consumerism: they want as much as possible in as little time as possible. It is evident that the World State does not consider the well being of their citizens, only the fact that they are consumers, where it states, “Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles; sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (36). This quote shows that society is made up of consumerism, as the World State and its citizens consume the work done by others. They don’t really care who controls the different parts of the World State, as long as they are working with their own caste and doing proper work. Citizens are taught from a young age that consumerism is the only way to live. If the people were not taught about consumerism, then less people would be needed to work, causing distractions, and could possibly lead to the overthrowing of the World State. To push aside this potential threat, the World State uses hypnopedia to encourage consumerist …show more content…
However, they do not realize this until John the Savage arrives in World State. People are taught not see value in each other, only to see each other as expendable objects that can be used for pleasure whenever they wish. This is evident where in the novel, it states, “‘everyone belongs to everyone else, after all’” (40). This quote shows the hypnopædia or “sleep-learning” has truly hypnotized the people of the World State, causing them to have no moral values. When John arrives to the World State, he is shocked at their low moral values and lack of religion. He does not wish to be with Lenina after he realizes that they have drastically different morals and values. Furthermore, the suppression of emotions through the use of soma prevents citizens from having feelings of empathy and sympathy, which are important for holding moral values. An article written about the uniqueness of human beings states that, “We are the only creatures that show disgust, blush in embarrassment, or shed tears of emotion. We display levels of empathy attained by no other species. We mentally imagine and simulate the actions and experiences of others to a remarkable extent.” (Konner). This quote shows that emotions are one of the major factors that differentiate us from other species. The suppression of emotions causes confusion, and leads to the people of the

Related Documents