Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World made me view our society in a different way, consisting of mass production, corporateness, and broken relationships. There are a lot of people in my class who had immediately jumped to conclusions upon reading the first chapter as it was pretty unsettling, not saying that All Quiet on The Western Front wasn’t, but this book was unsettling in a different way, a dark and disturbing way. The first chapter went over the influence of mass production in this ‘brave new world’ which has led to technological advances such as meeting the demand of customers at a faster rate by producing multiple products at a time, or in this case, the mass production of humans in a way that would force them to work endlessly to boost the economy. Upon reading the chapter, it took me a while to understand what I have just read here. Not only does it imply that people’s futures were already decided upon fertilization, but also the fact that they were happy about it? The first chapter introduces us to the social classes among humans, which were created to determine what type of jobs they would have, and whether they were going to have a successful life. The social classes ranged from the Greek letters of alpha to epsilon where alpha (the top) would receive the most benefits and the be provided with the highest level of education, and the lower classes (specifically gamma and below) would be limited in their amount of knowledge by being limited in what they were allowed to do. The reason behind this was to accustom the lower classes to the lower paying jobs that they would be working in their futures. The type of social class would also determine the amount of oxygen they would receive as embryos as a way to control their amount of intelligence, the type of education that they would receive, and whether they were going to undergo Bokanovsky’s process where the ovula would be multiplied hundreds of times using a series of X-Rays. This was all concluded at the end of the first chapter which was originally a lot of information to take in for myself and would make anyone feel more or less confused on how to make the connections with the information that we were provided with the actual events of the story, but I didn’t let that discourage me from seeing the whole picture, I knew that there was a certain degree of meaning behind this nonsense; what was Huxley trying to communicate to us, the audience? How would the society of a world like this look like? I decided to dig in deeper.
I knew that there was some sort of hidden message inside this book, perhaps something that Huxley wanted to warn us about, so once I dug deeper inside this book, it all started to come together. First of all, mass production: During Huxley’s era, mass production was starting to become a major aspect of American society as it did help companies meet the demand of their customers at a faster rate, where the goods made by smaller businesses would start to seem irrelevant. Secondly, the social classes: for many years, society has always had some sort of gap between social classes where people could be treated differently depending on how much they make. Although it is not as commonly seen today as it was back then, it is still an important issue that should be addressed so these differences wouldn’t restrict what people would be able to do in their daily lives, the unacceptance of contradicting or ‘controversial’ opinions as seen in the various chapters where Bernard Marx is seen as an outsider as he does not agree with the common belief and is outcast as a result, and the abuse of drugs which is viewed to be a suitable alternative to therapy by getting rid of all negative emotions. Once I have realized all these things, I have noticed that we are in fact heading towards that direction. Although our society hasn’t gotten to the point where Huxley imagined it to be, I do have reason to believe that we are heading towards that direction, or if not, already living in that society. Nowadays, we start to see cases of smaller businesses collapsing due to the expansion of major corporations, people being treated differently depending on where they live or how they live their life, people being neglected, ignored, bullied, or in more severe cases arrested because of how they think or believe in, and the legalization of certain drugs as a way to ‘boost’ the economy while placing our modern day youth in a position where drugs are easily accessible to them are prime examples of how we are already living in the ‘brave new world.’ As human beings, we tend to laugh when our enemies fall, involve ourselves into modern-day situations and dislike one another for thinking differently if it means following a different religion or having a different political view, and hold grudges against other people because they may have done something wrong to you as a result of something you did to them or something that happened to them, where have we gone wrong? Even though we strive to be open minded towards other people, even if it means accepting other views and opinions, we tend to resort back to our humanly nature of attacking other people. This is what I believe Bernard is a victim of, being different from the others for sticking to his own ideals, and for that, I do admire him despite his flaws. Overall, this book has made me reflect on the many things that have been going around the world in a different way now that I have seen the way our society could look like if we continue to live our lives in this certain way.