Brave New World | Sex, Drugs, and Ignorance

Mar 23, 2023 | Books, Classics | 0 comments

What if you could have everything you ever wanted? What if you could sleep with anyone you want just by asking them? What if you could be happy all the time?

This is the story of Brave new world, a place where every desire is fulfilled. A world where society has been perfected and people live happily and peacefully all the time.

Now, why would anyone think that Aldous Huxley’s Brave new world is a Dystopia novel? 

Brave new world presents a dystopian future of a superficially utopian society. Paradoxically, this dystopian society is shown to be happy and unencumbered by depression and misery.

Social Structure

Images from Pexel

In Brave New World, society is created through artificial reproduction. All the Children are born inside bottles. Before birth, embryos are classified and conditioned to fit into specific social classes based on their genetic makeup. This means that a person’s status in society is predetermined before they are even born.

The Alpha-Plus Class

At the top of the social hierarchy are the alpha-plus individuals. These individuals are the most intelligent, physically fit, and genetically superior members of society. They are the ruling class, with access to the best jobs, the highest salaries, and the most prestigious lifestyles. Alpha-plus individuals are trained to be leaders and decision-makers, with a strong sense of duty to the World State.

The Beta, Gamma, and Delta Classes

Below the alpha-plus class are the beta, gamma, and delta classes. These individuals are genetically inferior to the alpha-plus class, but still, play important roles in society. Betas are trained for administrative and technical jobs, while gammas and deltas are assigned to manual labor and menial tasks.

While the lower classes are not as privileged as the alpha-plus, they are still relatively content with their lives. They have been conditioned to be happy with their social status and do not feel the desire to challenge the status quo.

The Epsilon Class

At the very bottom of the social hierarchy are the epsilons. These individuals are the least intelligent, physically weak, and genetically inferior members of society. They are assigned to the most menial and degrading jobs, such as sewage treatment and garbage collection.

The epsilons are also the most heavily conditioned members of society. They are taught to be completely docile and obedient, with no desire to question their lot in life. They are the ultimate embodiment of the World State’s emphasis on stability and conformity.

You might be thinking that Epsilons are not happy about their lives. But as I mentioned earlier, in this world, everyone is happy. Even the Epsilons. Because they are conditioned to be happy with what they have. Epsilons don’t dream of becoming an alpha one day to be happy. They are just happy that they are Epsilons.

The Brave new world

Images from Unsplash

Welcome to the Brave New World, where everything & everyone is controlled and organized, from the moment you are born until the day you die.

Now, who controls you? Who controls the entire population of the world? They are known as the World Controllers.

The world controllers are a group of ten men who are in charge of the entire world. They are the ultimate authority and are responsible for creating and enforcing the laws, rules, and regulations that govern every aspect of society. 

The world controllers also control every aspect of an individual’s life, including their job, leisure time, and even their emotions. Yes, every single member of society is controlled without them even noticing.

One of the most frightening aspects of the world controllers’ rule is their complete disregard for individuality and freedom. They believe that conformity and stability are the keys to a successful society, and they will go to any lengths to maintain this order. 

The novel portrays them as cold and calculating individuals who are willing to sacrifice the well-being of the individual for the sake of maintaining social stability. They are also portrayed as having a somewhat cynical view of humanity, seeing people as little more than cogs in a vast machine.

The most important role of world controllers is to maintain social stability and prevent any form of unrest or rebellion. 

In order to maintain social stability, the World Controllers ensure that all its citizens get exactly what they want all the time. This universal “happiness” is achieved in three ways. Conditioning, sex & drug.

Manufacturing Happiness

From the moment they are born, all the children of Brave new world undergo a conditioning process. They are taught to accept their place in society and to never question their predetermined role. They are conditioned to believe that their assigned job is the best possible fit for them and that it is their duty to perform it to the best of their abilities.

The government also uses a process called “hypnopædia,” which involves the conditioning of children by repeating the same thing again and again from a very young age.

Everyone belongs to everyone else

Throughout the book, you will see the quote “Everyone Belongs to everyone else”.

In this society, there are no such things as monogamous relationships. Citizens are encouraged to have sex with as many people as they want. They are conditioned from birth to believe that sex is an essential part of life, and that they should be willing to engage in sexual activities with anyone they choose.

The phrase “everyone belongs to everyone else” reinforces the idea that everyone is free to have sex with anyone they desire.

This concept is also connected to the idea of communal ownership, where everything is shared and no one person owns anything. The idea of individual ownership is discouraged, and people are taught to value the needs of the community over their own personal desires.

The Happy Pill

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Conditioning and sex make the citizens of Brave new world mostly happy all the time. And whatever sadness slips through the cracks can be brushed away by using soma, a drug that makes you feel good and put your life on auto-Pilot.

Soma is the ultimate escape from reality. It provides a sense of euphoria and contentment that erases all negative emotions and thoughts.

Soma is described as “the perfect drug” that can make people forget their troubles, relax, and enjoy life to the fullest. The drug is readily available to all citizens of the World State and is distributed freely by the government. It is used as a tool for social control, as the citizens are encouraged to take Soma whenever they experience anxiety, sadness, or frustration.

However, the drug also has some negative effects. It dulls people’s senses and makes them passive and complacent. They lose their ability to think critically and question the world around them.

The use of Soma in Brave New World is a commentary on the dangers of a society that values pleasure and conformity above all else. The citizens of the World State are conditioned to be content with their lives and to never question the status quo. Soma reinforces this conditioning by providing a temporary escape from any unpleasant thoughts or feelings, making it easier for the citizens to accept their predetermined roles in society.

One of the most prominent characters in the novel who uses Soma is Bernard Marx. Bernard is an Alpha Plus, the highest caste in society, but he feels like an outsider and is constantly questioning the world around him. He finds solace in Soma, which allows him to forget his troubles and feel like he belongs. However, his use of the drug ultimately leads to his downfall, as he becomes too dependent on it and loses his ability to think critically.

The use of Soma in Brave New World raises important questions about the nature of happiness and the role of individuality in society. Is it better to live a life free from pain and sorrow, even if it means sacrificing one’s ability to think critically and question the world around them? Or is true happiness only possible when one is free to make their own choices and experience the full range of human emotions, both positive and negative?

Because of Conditioning, sex, and drugs almost everybody in the World State, really does seem to be happy all the time.

A Dystopian Future?

Now you might be wondering how is this a dystopian future. Isn’t it great to have sex with anyone you want, buy anything you want and get high anytime you want?

But remember you can’t choose what you will become. If you are lucky you might be an alpha. But you might also be an Epsilon. You can’t choose what you will become. The conditions of your birth determine who you are for the rest of your entire life. (However, even if you become an epsilon you will be happy because they are conditioned to like what they are nevertheless)

The process used to create an Alpha is different from that used to create an Epsilon. Alphas are produced by carefully controlling the environment in which the embryos develop. They are given extra nutrients, oxygen, and exposure to certain hormones, which help to promote their physical and mental development, resulting in individuals who are intelligent, physically strong, and attractive.

On the other hand, Epsilons are created by depriving the embryos of nutrients and injecting them with chemicals that stunt their physical and mental development. This results in individuals who are short, physically weak, have lower IQs and are mentally deficient, and are suitable only for carrying out menial tasks in society.

The whole population is on drugs to avoid all negative emotions. People become so addicted to this that they can’t live without it.

Interpersonal relationships are shunned. There’s no such thing as devotion to one person since everyone belongs to each other and so they just have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want. 

Children are conditioned not to feel grief over death(given candy in a hospital for the dying) and as a result, aren’t affected by the death of a friend or lover.

Art is dead. Books are no longer available, except for reference manuals. 

Nobody wants to read books anyways. There’s no Shakespeare or Dostoevsky. Poetry is plain simple and mainly used for conditioning. So is music. Films are replaced pornography movies with simple plots.

The satisfaction of every desire creates a superficial and childish happiness that creates stability by eliminating deep thought, new ideas, and strong passions.

A brave new world is a dystopian society because, here, life means nothing. People are born happy, live in a continuous candy-colored ecstasy, and die happy. Then the cycle repeats itself again and again and again. Life is empty. 

So this is my review of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I hope you enjoyed this reading. If you have read this, please leave a comment down below I would love to read your take on this. If you are planning to read this, I believe this review has helped motivate you to start reading Brave New World.

BTW if you like to read Dystopian novels like this I have also written a book review on 1984 by George Orwell: The Dystopian World of 1984 Explained.

Thank you for reading & see you soon with another article.

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