Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction

The task of predicting the future is as impossible as finding a needle in Texas. Huxley’s predictions of the future has proven to be eerily accurate in several areas; his predictions with regards to sex, our obsession with youth and beauty closely resemble societies’ views on these issues today. However his prediction on the futures view of parents is off the mark. Religion is slowing beginning to resemble progressing towards Huxely’s view of religion. Huxley was a psychic because of the accuracy with which he has predicted the evolution of today’s society over fifty years ago.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World the people treat sex as a form of entertainment rather than a way to reproduce or a way to express love between a couple. Most forms of entertainment in Brave New World somehow relate to sex. For example the feelies are porno’s with a more advanced plot line and the added bonus of experiencing the same things as the actors on the screen. The government encourages sex and promiscuity among its citizens, if a person is not promiscuous they are seen as outcasts. The more partners a person has the more popular the person is.

A person is discouraged from having along term relationship with one person. If they have a long term relationship their loyalty to the government and Ford is in question. And you know how strongly the DHC objects to anything intense or long and drawn out. Four months of Henry Foster without having another man – why, he’d be furious if he knew… Sex is discussed openly in Brave New World, it is not seen as dirty, shameful or something to be discussed behind closed doors. From a young age children learn about sex and contraceptives. Children are taught to used contraceptives every time they have sex without fail.

They are encouraged to participate in sex play from a young age. Those who do not wish to participate are taken to a psychologist for an evaluation. One night stands in Brave New World are an every day event and a part of life. Even the religion in Brave New World is linked to sex. During their solidarity services they chant , “Orgy- porgy, Ford and fun, Kiss the girls and make them One. Boys at one with girls at peace; Orgy-Porgy gives release” (pg. 75) Once Ford has come to them the service reaches its climax and they all have sex. Sex in Brave New World is not a private matter and is openly practiced.

To ensure that sex’s purpose than is for entertainment the government makes only thirty percent of the female population fertile. This ensures that the population will not view sex as a form of reproduction because the majority are not capable of sexual reproduction. In our society sex is discussed more freely than it has been in the past. In the past sex was viewed as a private issue not to be discussed openly. Today sex is shown in all forms of media in magazines, movies, and TV. You can not turn on the TV without hearing about some aspect of sex on one of the talk shows or a news show.

The pages of magazines are filled with articles on sex. Children are learning about sex and the importance of contraceptives at younger and younger ages. In grade eight girls are taught how to use a condom and other contraceptives properly. Partners often do not stay together for life as they once did divorce has become common. The idea of common law relationship has become more popular people do not wish to be tied to one person for life whether it be by law or through religion. One night stands frequently occur in our society among single people.

The swinger lifestyle has begun to grow again after dying off after the 70’s. A growing number of people in our society wish to have sex with different people instead of the traditional one person. Safe sex is being taught more often to teenagers rather than the benefits of abstinence. Governments in developing countries or countries with large population have begun to teach about contraceptives. Science has already gained the ability to clone sheep it will not be long before they are able to apply that same technology to humans making sexual reproduction obsolete.

We as a society are moving away from the idea of sex as a form of reproduction and an act performed between two loving individuals towards sex as being purely a form of entertainment. The people of Brave New World have an obsession with youth and beauty. All Alphas are given hormones at the age of thirty to assure that they would not age past that point and would retain their youthful appearance until they died.

When Lenina saw Linda and the other savages on the reservation she was disgusted as were the children at the hospital when they first laid eyes on Linda. .. had never seen a face that was not youthful and taut-skinned, a body that had ceased to be slim and up right. ” (Pg. 183) Those Alphas who were not beautiful such as Bernard were believed to have had something added to their bottle at the hatchery which caused the defect to occur. The most beautiful guys got the most girls and vice versa. The washrooms had a vacuum to make their skin perfect they also had eight perfumes. At the age of sixty all the people were allowed to die and they were cremated.

The phosphorus from the bodies was used as fertilizer for plants. Looks were the most important thing and the thought of aging to most of its citizens was unbelievable. In our society looks help to define who we are and help to open doors and opportunities for us. The good looking people in our society are noticed first. They often get good jobs and are treated better. We have been searching for the fountain of youth since the beginning of time. We have failed to find it so, many people have turned to plastic surgery to retain their youthful appearance.

It is not only woman who have plastic surgery, men are also seeking ways to continue looking young and to make themselves more physically attractive. The number of people who exercise has increased. Some exercise for health benefits but the majority do it to help make their bodies more attractive to the opposite sex. The media bombards us with the image of the so called “perfect people”. Men with rippled abs and woman with a size three waist and size D chests. Those in our world who are not considered beautiful are belittled because of their appearance.

Some people will go to such lengths that they starve themselves. We have been searching for a way to remain young forever and will continue to do so till we discover it. Parents in Huxely ‘s Brave New World have become obsolete. The government believes that efficiency is the most important thing and the most efficient way to reproduce is through cloning children and the process of decanting. They believe that the mental state of the child can be most effectively formed through a combination of hypnopaedic responses and conditioning. The government believes that parents hinder the growth of their children.

The government has transformed the word of mother or father into a smutty word a word that makes people feel uneasy and embarrassed. The whole concept of parents is repulsive and primitive. “… ‘the parents were the father and the mother. ’ The smut that was really science fell with a crash into the boys’ eye-avoiding silence. ” (Pg. 20) They can not grasp the bond that exists between a parent and a child because they themselves have never experienced this and they think it’s dirty. They also find decanting to be more efficient because they can alter the individual’s genetic code to fit the needs of the country.

If the country has high elevation they can alter the individual so that he thrives at low oxygen level. With the process of decanting they also condition the child to accept the world state’s motto and way of life. “We decant babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future… ” ( pg. 11) They believe that if a child is already born with a specific job it is much easier to train them for the world because they only learn the information they need to do that specific job.

Also if children are decanted the government can begin to condition them right after birth without having to take the child away from parents who may not be willing to relinquish their child. The government believes a parents jobs can be carried out more successfully by machines rather than by humans. In our society we have learned that the parents role in a child’s development is irreplaceable. We see in today’s society that children who only have one parent in their lives are more likely to get into trouble and have a harder time being successful.

A parent gives a child more than book knowledge. Book knowledge can be learned from any source. A parent supplies a child with things that can not be shared by machines such as unconditional love, morals and support. A child knows that no matter what they do or say they will always have the support of their parents behind them. A parent is not just a person who gives eggs or sperm. A parent has a special bond to their child that can not be replaced with conditioning no matter how hard we try. A parent will stop at nothing to protect their child and give their child the best opportunity possible.

What children learn from their parents helps to shape them into the adults they will become. On this issue Huxley’s predictions were wrong. Parents continue to be a vital force in society because of their important role in rearing the most vulnerable- children. In a Brave New World religion is the worship of a mortal instead of a supreme being. Henry Ford is their equivalent of a god, they worship the letter T in honor of the model T car. They have even cut the crosses from the past into letter T’s. Huxley realizes the importance of having someone or something to worship.

It gives society a feeling that they are living their lives for a purpose that is greater than themselves. Huxely also realizes that the concept of religion can be manipulate to fit the situation. “Our Ford – Our Freud as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters… ” ( pg. 34) This quote emphasizes this point. To make Ford all knowing and powerful in the area of psychology they change his name to the name of one of the best known psychiatrists Freud. Religion is also just another reason for them to have sex.

Their solidarity service that has a remarkable resemblance to a church service turns into an orgy at the end. The solidarity service consists of twelve people passing around a cup of a strawberry flavored drink laced with soma. The service is only for the those of the higher casts. It’s as if Huxley is saying that only people of higher intelligence are able to understand religion and benefit from it. In a Brave New World religion is used by the government as a way to control the people. In our society religion represents different things for different people.

Over the years churches have changed what they stand for to fit the views of society at that time. For example the Roman Catholic Church once believed that being gay was wrong and that the gay person would go to hell. Their view on being gay today is that we should love the individual but hate the sin. This change in views maybe small but it shows how churches change their views to fit the needs of society. There has been an increase in the number of people following cults in recent times. This shows an increase in people worshipping mortals instead of the traditional supreme beings.

Traditional western religions have begun to give way to alternate religions which may indicate that people have become frustrated or disillusioned with traditional religions . Huxely’s prediction of the future has proven to be accurate on many counts. Today’s society has an eerie resemblance to his “Brave New World”. The moral and religious fabric of our society is unraveling. Sex as entertainment is commonplace and religious leaders become pop stars using mass media. To date parents have continued to be a vital and active force. With further scientific progress, parents may also become part of our past.

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