Personal Response – Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a book based on an ideal society, where the social normality’s are based on the ideology of science instead of normal human relationships, creation, and behaviors. At first I didn’t understand nor like this book, I thought it was weird and a bit disturbing, but as I kept reading I realized that there are a lot of similarities between this Brave New World and the world we live in now. A similarity in the book that stood out profoundly was the usage of the drug soma. Soma presumably makes everyone in the society diminish the pain in their life, ultimately making them happy, this reminds me of present day where people take prescription drugs such as anti-depressants to get the same affects and result as soma.

And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there’s always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears – that’s what soma is.” (pp. 209-210)

I like this passage because it explains that once you take soma you go into some sort of a trance called a “soma-holiday” which means it takes you away from the real world and into a world without sadness, much like what common drugs can do to you in our society. In the end, I found this book to be very interesting although I still think some parts were confusing and gory, I believe that is what makes it such an intriguing book to read especially because there are specific aspects that we can relate to our world.

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