Theme Of Duality In Brave New World

1445 Words 6 Pages
¨We know what we are, but not what we may be”: the future of society remains a constant area of speculation among literature. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World explores this territory, presenting to readers a future in which society is profoundly changed by advancements in technology. Written amidst the global financial depression of the 1930s, it provides a chilling prediction of a possible future to come. Nearly every facet of life, from birth to death, is controlled by the World State, an all powerful government which retains its power through general lack of opposition. However, there are those who reject the high consumption, pleasure driven society of the World State, among them Bernard Marx and the Savage, John, whom he introduces to civilized …show more content…
Huxley utilizes these elements to create an unsettling yet brilliant vision of the future, demonstrating the classic conflict between the stability of unity and the individuality inherent in humanity. John the Savage becomes the unlikely protagonist over the course of the novel, and Huxley uses his characterization to represent the old ideals of individuality and expression coming into conflict with those of conformity and unity. Huxley characterizes John as an outlier from his first appearance in the novel. John’s knowledge of society and the English language is based almost entirely on the complete works of Shakespeare, causing his entire moral code is centered around Shakespearean ideals. This does not necessarily entail stiff Elizabethan morals, only that he places value on emotion, expression and individualism: “‘But I don 't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.’” (Huxley 255). This lies in sharp contrast to the World State, which heavily discourages any form of individual or artistic expression. In the words of Mustapha Mond, the World Controller of Western …show more content…
The Savage Reservation has the more obvious example of religion, as they continue to worship an amalgamation of pagan religions and Christianity. During Marx’s visit to the Savage Reservation, he witnesses a rain dance ceremony intended to unite the community and bring rain. The community works as one to perform the ritual; Marx enters the terrace to see that “[b]elow them, shut in by the tall houses, was the village square, crowded with Indians” (Huxley 112). The representation of religion in the World State is more subtle, but equally powerful. Mentions of a higher being have been replaced with references to Henry Ford, while traditional religious rituals have become Solidarity Services, a clear parody of Christian religious services. Solidarity Services and the hymns associated with them are centered around the concept of the community as a whole: “Feel how the Greater Being comes! / Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die! / Melt in the music of the drums! / For I am you and you are I” (Huxley 82). Both religious rituals work to unite and placate their communities: the Indian ritual to bring rain and unite the community, and the Solidarity Service to reinforce the importance of uniformity towards society. This similarity is acknowledged in the text itself,

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