Personal Response

Reading the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was definitely not what I expected. There were so many things in this book that at first were disturbing but as you thought about, could find similarities to our world. I found this very interesting because it raised many questions for me about what a dystopia and utopia are and the requirements on what determines it. Brave New World is a known dystopia, so from the start I was expecting dystopian things. Now don’t get me wrong, there were many things in this book that I do not agree with at all and found very unsettling, but when I thought about them in relation to our world, I found many of these issues expressed in our world just to a lesser degree. Once you start to look deeper into the world Aldous Huxley created you start to understand the world in a different way. The things that seemed unimaginable suddenly had a reason behind them and you start to question what you really think of that world.

Everyone in Brave New World is happy. Anything that brings distress in our world doesn’t exist “preventing unhappiness”. People still have the ability to feel sadness, they are just conditioned to take soma to help them move on. If you were to look at Brave New World from the perspective of a person in that world, there would be nothing wrong. Obviously, there are characters in this book that don’t fit in and don’t enjoy the world they live in, but that is the same with our world. It is impossible to make everyone completely happy. Which made me think of these questions. What makes Brave New World a dystopia when everyone is happy and to what extent is it similar to our world?

This also got me thinking about why we consider what we consider as weird. Obviously, people in Brave New World don’t find their way of life weird. In fact, they would find our lives weird. I think what determines what is weird and what is normal, is the predetermined social norms humanity has created. If you look at this idea over the course of years, there are things that have changed from being acceptable in one time to unheard of in another time. People gradually learn to adapt to the society they live in which causes these changes and can lead to drastic changes over years.

After reading Brave New World it has made me question many things about our society and the reason behind why we do things the way we do. The criteria of a dystopia or utopia used to be clearer to me before reading this book but now I don’t even know what to think.

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