While reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley my view and opinion of the book changed quite a lot throughout it. The first chapter or two I was rather confused on what was happening. With children being mass produced in labs and by how the characters behaved, I honestly found the book to be quite disturbing at points even. Throughout the course of the book, I began to make some connections between this made-up world and our own. As the book progressed even further, I didn’t find this book so disturbing as before. Or at least not in the same way as before. At first it was simply because of all the weird things, like manufacturing humans in mass, or the fact that everyone belonged to everyone. But now after reading it and reflecting on it I think I am more disturbed by the connections between this world and our own and how the bad side of emotions are basically gone. I can honestly say that by reading this novel, it wasn’t only an eye-opening experience, but also quite a swarm of different emotions.
When reading this novel, I noticed how all the aspects of negative emotions were erased. or at least taken away by soma. By doing this, they erased the contrast effect. The effect that bad emotions have on good ones. If someone never experiences something like loss, then how can they really understand the feeling of gaining something? If no one ever feels sadness, how can they really know what happiness is? Going through the book, i learned that to them, stability is happiness. But if stability is happiness, then there would, as I said before, be no contrast effect which would mean that the people of this world, though they may belive they are happy, they are only getting to experience a muted sense of happiness. Going back to the soma, and I will use Lenina as an example, every time she felt sad, she simply took a couple grammies of soma and poof! Just like that she was feeling happy! But if she never allowed those emotions to surface, never experienced anger, or sadness then how could she be sure that the world she was in was actually “happy world.”
Related to this, everyone has a role in society, they work, and they don’t complain about it. But with no problems if everything bad has been taken away then why are people working? It also leads to monotony – every day is the same. For example, in this world you do your job, take some soma, “have” whoever you want and then repeat. When you think of it, our world is slowly progressing to be like this. Not exactly, but for example in school we wake up early five days a week, go to school, learn, eat, learn some more, maybe do some activities or sports and then go home. Obviously, this isn’t complete the same but, in a way, it is sort of similar and I wonder if one day our world will follow some form of cycle. We wake up, go about our day, and then go to bed only to repeat ourselves, or do something similar the next day.
Finally, in this brave new world, anything that somone could desire has been made so they could have it. If they wanted somone, they could have them. Diseases have been eradicated as well. With everyone not having any needs, society will not progress. Inventions are borne out of solving problems people face but if people don’t face problems, then how can they create any solutions. One might argue that in this story there are no problems, so no solutions are needed but sometimes solutions for one issue create benefits in other areas.