Aldous Huxley's Brave New World presents a portrait of a
society which is superficially a perfect world. At first inspection, it seems
perfect in many ways: it is carefree, problem free and depression free. All
aspects of the population are controlled: number, social class, and
intellectual ability are all carefully regulated. Even history is controlled
and rewritten to meet the needs of the party. Stability must be maintained
at all costs.
In the new world which Huxley creates, if there is even a hint of anger, the
wonder drug Soma is prescribed to remedy the problem. A colleague,
noticing your depression, would chime in with the chant, 'one cubic
centimetre of soma cures ten gloomy.' This slogan is taught to everyone,
from the youngest to the oldest. Unhappiness, intellectual curiosity,
disagreement, suffering - none of these feelings is allowed in the world
which Huxley creates. At the first sign of unhappiness, Soma is
prescribed. Emotions of all types are strictly controlled to provide stability
and predictability within the population.
Another of the panaceas for social ills is the belief that everyone
would enjoy his or her work because he or she was 'made' or trained for it
when young. Consequently, from birth, everyone in Brave New
World is slotted to belong to a specific social and intellectual strata.
In conjunction with this idea, all births are completely planned and
monitored. There are different classes of people with different intelligence
and different 'career plans.' The social order was divided into the most
highly educated, the Alpha+, and then in descending intelligence, the
following divisions: Alpha, Beta, Beta -, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon, which
is the last group comprised of those citizens of the lowest intelligence who
are necessary to perform society's most menial jobs.
Another of the problems with the society...