BNW SQCE Reading Response; Stability Over Individuality

In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley depicts a complacent society void of individuality, creativity, and critical thinking. By manufacturing human beings, and mind conditioning them into passive submission, leaders of the World State ensure the stability of society. The Hatchery not only predetermines the caste of humans, but also preconditions them to enjoy the destiny they are assigned.  

Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of their bodies. “We condition them to thrive on heat,” concluded Mr. Foster. “Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it.”

“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.” ( p. 12 )

This passage demonstrates the extent to which the World State government values stability over personal freedom. In an effort to maintain a peaceful society, leaders have erased individuality. As a person who loves art, this passage gave me shivers because I view art as an expression of individuality, ideas and imagination. Creative people dare us to challenge the status quo, and to solve problems in innovative ways. They open our eyes and expand our minds. Fearing divergent thinking stunts society’s ability to evolve. Exiled artist Ai Weiwei says, “Creativity is the power to act”. Living in a world where artists are silenced, forces us to question, how fictitious is Huxley’s World State?

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