Comparison of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"

Essay by jubooziHigh School, 11th grade May 2006

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Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" are both predominantly science fiction texts, which represent concerns for humanity in the wild. Conversely, these dystopian texts have been composed in largely varying social, cultural and historical contexts, producing differing themes for both the composer and responder. Ultimately, changes in context affect the composer's implicit beliefs as to whether or not the current values of society will result in the marginalisation or complete destruction of the natural world.

"Brave New World" was first published in 1932, the interluding period between the two World Wars, where technological developments allowed for the mass destruction of human life. Economic depression had also set in, and disenchantment with democracy led to a desire for an alternative form of government. Stability was believed to be the key, and thus a turn towards Totalitarian regimes. Through Brave New World, Huxley satirises a world ruled with such narrow vision, primarily seen through the State motto, "Community, Identity, Stability."

By constructing a paradoxical Utopia, Huxley warns his audience (that seek stability) of the dangers within a world that denies such fundamental aspects of humanity. "Everybody is happy now" and with 100 percent employment payment in soma, and entertainment such as the feelies, there is no cause for complaint. Disease and illness have been eradicated, with universal peace and co-operation the norm. Although ruled by a benevolent oligarchy, the citizens of Brave New World do not realise that in the process of gaining constancy in government, they have been dehumanised. The World State aims to control the human population, overriding the Darwinist theory of natural selection, because "the wheels must turn steadily, but they cannot turn untended." The state also functions independently of the natural world. As Mustapha Mond makes clear, "a love of nature keeps no factories...