The Effects of Technology Based on the Novel "A Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

Essay by wylshepardHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2008

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The idea of genuine technology was basically invented in the 1930's. From the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931 to the creation of semi-automatic transmissions in 1937, I would consider the 1930's to be the true beginning of all technological advances. Now, in 2008, we continue to work off of these advances, creating new and improved forms of technology every single day. In Huxley's new world, technology wasn't looked at as an opportunity to advance and improve, as the members of the civilized society were technology themselves. Overall, these three ages in technology can be used to either prove or disprove Huxley's theory that Americans are moving towards the "civilized world" presented in a brave new world faster than anyone is aware of.

In the 1930's, technology was used but never abused. The people of this time were well aware of technologies unreliable nature and the possible effects of too much reliance on material objects.

These people knew that technology was making their lives better and easier but they never allowed technology to be the driving force behind their productivity or success. Many life changing aspects of technology that we still use today were invented or greatly improved in the 1930's, from full color, full talking movies to air mail service across the Atlantic Ocean, the 1930's brought forth technological advances that we still rely on today.

In 2008, technology is looked at in a different manner. Technology is no longer looked at as a prized possession that is only utilized when needed; it has become the driving force behind our lives. Now a days, technology is blamed for our inconsistencies. As a society, we have found a new comfort in blaming our material objects for the many problems that we occur on a daily basis. From arriving late to work due to a flat tire or not being able to hand in an important paper because your printer would not work; we've discovered that not only do we rely on these objects, but so does everyone else. Therefore, the excuse that your computer broke or that your car wouldn't start is looked at as a completely justified excuse because we have all experienced it. Yet, if we know that these things happen, why do we continue to allow ourselves to rely on such inconsistent objects? In recent years, technology has moved from a luxury to a necessity and our ability to live without technology has vanished. Technology has become vital within our lives and in most cases it is not a bad thing, yet it's not hard to see that our dependencies have slowly added to our stupidity. We're taught that calculators are our brains in math, so kids grow up not understanding fundamentals like multiplication and addition, and we've learned to rely on spell check to perfect our essays so our spelling capabilities continue to diminish. We're slowly forcing ourselves into a hole that we didn't know existed, and although technology has brought us to where we are today, it's also very likely that it's going to be the thing that's ruins us in the end.

In Huxley's world, technology is neither a luxury nor an abused object; it's a way of life. Within Huxley's civilized world, technology is not considered to be computers and cell phones; technology is seen within their forms of creating and maintaining life. From soma to bottling, these are considered to be their ways of life but they are also extreme forms of technology that extend much beyond our years. In Huxley's world, the need to improve on present technology does not exist because once stability is reached; the risk of messing up stability is more concerning than the need to discover new forms of technology. Overall, Huxley's world is looked at as perfect but it leaves no room for expansion, which is what truly sets it apart from the 1930's and the present times.

Huxley was worried that our society today is quickly moving towards the society he created in Brave New World, and I believe that he had every right to be concerned. Everyday scientists devote their lives to trying to find new and more effortless ways to create babies; and as technology continues to prosper, the new and improved ways of getting pregnant and having children begin to seem more and more like methods used in Brave New World. Another similar aspect is America's growing reliance on drugs and alcohol. We've come to have a hard time finding happiness naturally, so we've formed a very serious reliance on false happiness substitutes, which are very similar to soma. In the 1930's the use of technology was growing, but it compares in no way to our advances in technology over the past decade. After examining the pace of our recent advancements, it becomes clear that these successions will not be stopping anytime soon. Therefore, the possibility of our society turning into Huxley's society is basically inevitable.

It's expected that technology will continue to advance. Yet as it advances, science and technology are becoming much more serious and we've reached a point where there's no stopping it. We rely on technology to keep us together but we soon may see technology tearing us apart. Our society has slowly begun to create its own caste system, but as technology advances, we may see it creating caste systems outside of our control. Technology is an aspect of our life that we cannot live without and as it continues to allow us to be independent, it's also what's keeping us tied down, and it may eventually be what runs our lives.

Websites Used:White, Matt. "Technology." The 1930's. Decades. 27 Feb 2008 .

"1930's." Wikipedia. 19 Nov 2007. Decades. 27 Feb 2008 .