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Societal Issues in Brave New World

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Joey Wager

on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Societal Issues in Brave New World

The issue of
obsessive stability
described in the book was caused by the chaos around him, but mostly what the chaos brought to society:
Fear of war
. The war allowed vulnerability in England, and the Great Depression hit them hard because of that.

Parallel to
Brave New World
's society, The British society's fear of war allowed the government to feel total was necessary, and
individual freedom
began to vanish.
The Controllers in Brave New World poses as the government, albeit a totalitarian one. Drastic decisions were made out of fear in hopes of avoiding another war.
However, none of the prevention techniques made improvements. The great depression hit England in the late 1920s. Unemployment reached 70%, strikes were frequent, and the government did not know how to cope with the falling economy.
Real-Life Connection
Brave New World
was written in 1931. It was based in England, where the after-effects of World War I continued to linger. Soon after, European economies were ravaged by the Great Depression, a result of the crash in the U.S. economy.
Seeking a stable utopian society, many aspects of life were sacrificed.
Intelligence
,
creativity
, the
arts
, and
diversity
were either suppressed or eliminated. Through stability, happiness could be achieved, and that would lead to a uniform and content population. It was a dystopia that only those with any diversity left could see.
Societal Issues in Brave New World
In
Brave New World
, prior to the beginning of the book, a war had occurred, the Nine Years War. This is the equivalent of World War I. The war is frequently mentioned as the start for change in society; the beginning of
obsession

towards stability
. The Great Depression is shown in the book as "The Great Economic Collapse.
Such societal chaos served as the metaphorical base for the violence caused by the Nine Years War in
Brave New World
. It was described as extreme instability, and it created the
fear
for which the entire concept of civilization in Brave New World was designed.
As reflected throughout the book, Huxley's parodies show what he thought the world was coming too: A world where individuality is lost. He believed humanity is becoming a society increasingly dependent on technology and the good of society; a society without diversity.
A major issue displayed in the dystopian satire
Brave New World
is the extreme obsession with stability created by fear of the flaws of humanity.
“No social stability without individual stability.” (Huxley, 149.)
Briggs, Asa (1983) A Social History of England. London: Weiderfeld and Micholson

The war created
anarchy
and chaos in society. Freedoms were revoked by new laws, including the reformation of freedom of speech, and elections were postponed.
"The reforms it (British government) initiated were designed to enable it better to deal with the responsibilities of imperialism up to and including war. "
bbc.co.uk/schools
Schultz, Stanley K. (1999). "Crashing Hopes: The Great Depression". American History 102: Civil War to the Present. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
“Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning, truth and beauty can't.”
(Huxley, 136)
The "Great Economic Collapse" was parallel to the real-life Great Depression. This further caused societal instability and in the book, and served as the
turning point
.

"The Nine Years' War, the great Economic Collapse. There was a choice between World Control and destruction. (Huxley 11)
The obsession with societal stability as a major issue is because it largely eliminates
individual freedom
.
In both the novel and English history, there was a point when the chaos was enough that someone had to make a change. In 1931, when Brave New World was written, it was unknown how society would change. Aldous Huxley simply predicted and described one, of the way he believed society was heading.
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