Brave New World Aldous Huxley's Term Paper

Total Length: 1664 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

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There will always be savages, and the attraction of savagery.

Huxley wrote Brave New World as a warning. Today, in the age of test-tube pregnancy, genetic manipulation, powerful drugs and the mass media, it appears that his warning has gone unheeded and that America is on the road to the scientific utopia he describes. Certainly the world of the savages has been left behind, and for good reason. Modern Americans like their comfort: they prefer their houses heated and air-conditioned, they want to drive and fly rather than walk, they want food that is convenient and gives instant satisfaction, they do not want to be unhappy, they do not want to suffer ill-health, they do not want to grow old and die. Modern technology, from medicine to environmental engineering to genetics, is available to help them fulfil these desires. Meanwhile other desires people may have, for truth, justice, a freedom that challenges, for new frontiers and achievements, slip away. When unsatisfied desires or yearnings rear their heads there is always fast food to eat or a pill to take. No-one would want to deal with the discomforts and pain of pure savagery, and in any case the car, the aspirin and the television set cannot simply be uninvented; but equally, can society fulfil the true needs of the human spirit if it is dedicated solely to satisfying the appetites of the human body? It should be possible to find a third way between the two extremes of savagery and utopia.
Huxley thought so to, and believed it would always be available as long as creative art flourished. In Brave New World he looked to Shakespeare, not only for its beauty but also as a repository of all the dangerous ideas that undermine the utopian view of the essence of man: anger, love, loyalty, fear, struggle, achievement, loss, grief, pain. The role of art is to open peoples minds to possibilities they would otherwise be unaware of; in those possibilities lie the hope of a balanced way forward between savagery and utopia.

Works Cited

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932), online edition at http://www.huxley.net/bnw/index.html.....

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