1984 And Brave New World
In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Huxley’s Brave New World, the authoritative figures strive for freedom, peace, and stability for all, to develop a utopian society. The Utopian society strives for a perfect state of well-being for all persons in the community, and over-emphasizes this factor, where no person is exposed to the reality of the world. As each novel progresses we see that neither society possesses family values nor attempts to practice them. Neither are passionate nor creative in factors such as love, language, history and literature. Our society today, in general, is unsure about the future: The nightmare of total organization has emerged from the safe, remote future and is now awaiting us, just around the next corner. It follows inexorably from having so many people. This quotes represents Watts’ fear for the future; George Orwell and Aldous Huxley both explore the future state of civilization in their novels. They both warn us of the dangers of a totalitarian society. Both books express a utopian ideal, examine characters that are forced into this state and are compelled to dealing with this society and all the rules involved. The impracticality of the utopian ideal is explored in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Huxley’s Brave New World. Both authors suggest that a lack of familial bonds, the repression of human individuality, and the repression of artistic and creative endeavors in order to attain a stable environment renders the achievement of a perfect state unrealistic. The lack of familial bonds, in both novels, contributes to the development of a dystopian society. This lack of familial bonds is evident through genetic engineering, the use of names, and a commonly used drug, soma. One of the first mentionings of family in Brave New World is when the main character, Bernard, asks the Controller, the ultimate leader, about the past and why their society does not believe in families. His response suggests that authoritative figures do not believe that there is need for a mother in society and therefore, the Controller responds, “Mother, he repeated loudly rubbing in the science; and, leaning back in his chair, these, he said gravely are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then most historical facts are unpleasant.” The disregard for mothers as a valuable figure in life contributes to the lack of familial bonds. In Huxley’s Brave New World, human life is conceived in a bottle; the embryo no longer grows in the mother’s womb, and therefore no bond is formed between the mother and the baby. There are ‘bottle births’ rather than the birth of a baby from it’s mother. There are also conditioning centers, which become a home for all children for their entire childhood. In such circumstances, one does not receive the special attention that you would receive from a family. Since they do not have family, they do not receive love during their upbringings, therefore the products of this society do not develop the values of love nor do they respect themselves as sexual beings. Orwell’s choice in naming the Party’s leader, ‘Big Brother’ in Nineteen Eighty-Four, gives the reader the impression that all of Oceania is like a huge family. There are no smaller individual families, which results in this society’s lack of close and intimate relationships. The first description Orwell gives to his audience of Big Brother is, ” …standing like a rock against the hordes of Asia…doubt about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the mere power of his voice of wrecking the structure of civilization.” This first impression of ‘Big Brother’ is a frightening and violent image. It leads families to believe that he is a poor role-model in depicting what the word ‘brother’ really stands for. “The word ‘brother’ is the name that one would use in a family. The Big Brother, the Great Leader in Oceania, contributes to the lack of family values and the corruptness of the Party. It is not a justice comparison.” Using Big Brother’s name so often takes away from the family ideal and begins to weaken family relationships. The use of soma, the perfect drug, acts as a negative replacement for familial bonds. When an individual cannot cope with the daily stresses of life they rely on soma, to turn their stress into an illusion. This acts as a substitute to dealing with their problems, rather than relying on family for support or advice. Soma is an “euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant… a holiday from reality.” It leaves the individual with unresolved issues and results in an illusioned life; this is not fair to the family, who has to deal with the individual’s reliance of the narcotic. Soma has a negative effect on familial bonds, and contributes to the achievement of a perfect sate, which is unrealistic. Authority, in the novels.