Brave New World

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 391 times

In the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley the theme is survival and negation of the individual. This is clearly developed by the characters of the book and the imagery Huxley uses.

Despite the most rigorous conditioning, the survival of individual characteristics of humanity's unconquerable need for identity and self-expression will go on. Even though the people in the Fordian Society have an intense regime of conditioning, the need for them to be an individual rises above this. Every night while they are children, the Utopians are exposed to hypnopaedic conditioning (conditioning while asleep) through which their unconscious minds under go a tautology of ideas. Utopians are told that "everyone is happy now" everyone is useful. Each caste does not want to be in another, because they are informed that they are the best caste. The negation of the individual, what happens when you take away someone's individuality and what happens when society won't let you be an individual is the second part of the theme.

The theme of the novel is developed by Huxley using the characters to show how their individuality breaks through the so-called perfect world, the Fordian Society. Bernard Marx is a character that Huxley used to portray physical appearance as an individual characteristic that has surfaced despite conditioning. Bernard is an Alpha but there are rumours that alcohol was put into his test tube accidentally because he is not the usual Alpha. He is shorter than the average Alpha, leaner and darker and does not fit into the society because of these physical differences. Self-conscious and paranoid, he always thinks people are talking about him. "I am I, and wish I wasn't." Bernard reflecting on his personality.

The theme of negation is illustrated through John; he is negated from both societies for being an individual. He is ostracised in the Reservation community; they do not allow him to take part in any tribal ceremonies because of his mother Linda, who sleeps with all the men, which of course is against the practices of the Reservation. In the Fordian Society he is an outsider because of; the conditioning of the reservation, the fact he loves his mother, believes in fidelity and is totally against soma. "At Malpais he had suffered because they shut him out"¦in civilized London he was still suffering"¦" Lenina is a character that reinforces the theme of individuality surviving despite conditioning. On the outside Lenina is everything a woman in the Fordian society should be like. She is pneumatic, attractive, and promiscuous. But on the inside Lenina strives for more. Although she doesn't realise until later in the novel, she desires more than just a sexual relationship, she wants to have intimacy. "I haven't been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately." Is the start of her wanting to love just one partner. When Lenina meets John she starts to fall in love with him, showing that even though as a child Lenina was conditioned to understand that "everyone belongs to everyone else" there is still part of her wanting to be an individual away from the "˜society's' teachings.

Huxley uses natural imagery throughout the novel to illustrate the theme, denial of the individual, in this case the appearance. Huxley relates the castes of the "˜society' to swarms of insects, because everyone within their caste is the same (except Bernard Marx) is the same height, colour and weight. They all look the same, no identification, just hordes of twins. Huxley gives the impression that the twins are all around and you cannot escape and you cannot forget the sight. "He woke once more to external reality, looked round him"¦ with a sinking sense of horror and disgust"¦Twins, twins like maggots they swarmed." This is the image of conformity through John the Savage.