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Consumerism in "Brave New World"
Transcript of Consumerism in "Brave New World"
Kate Begland and Morgan Koranda
Creighton Period 4 Definition of Consumerism the theory that increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable
the consumer's interest in buying large amounts of goods Quote: [Linda on clothes] "'And look at these clothes. This beastly wool isn't like acetate. It lasts and lasts. And you're supposed to mend it if it gets torn...Besides, it never used to be right to mend clothes. Throw them away when they've got holes in them, and buy new. The more stitches, the less riches. Isn't that right? Mending's anti-social.'" (Huxley 121). Questions:
How is this attitude towards clothing similiar to our attitudes about it in the United States today?
Is this attitude reasonable in "Brave New World", or is it wasteful?
How does the tradition of buying purposefully ripped jeans instead of ripping them ourselves represent the culture of consumerism in "Brave New World"? Quote: "'We condition the masses to hate the country', concluded the Director. 'But simultaneously we condition them to love all country sports. At the same time, we see to it that all country sports shall entail the use of elaborate appartus. So that they consume manufactured articles as well as transport.'" (Huxley 23). Questions:
Is it necessarily bad to condition people to consume more if it helps society?
How does this particular conditioning negatively or positively affect the lower castes? Quote: "'Strange to think that even in Our Ford's day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatsoever to increase consumption. It's madness. Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games.'" (Huxley 31) Questions:
Why is it so important for games to be complicated?
Was it a bad decision on the part of the government in "Brave New World" to create these rules about games? Quote: [World Controller] "'We haven't any use for old things here.' [John] 'Even when they're beautiful?' [World Controller] 'Particularly when they're beautiful. Beauty's attractive, and we don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones.'" (Huxley 219) Questions:
Is it true that the beauty of old things encourages less consumerism?
Does this mean that consumerism always causes things to be cheap and low quality? Quote: "'And that,' put in the Director sententiously, 'that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.'" (Huxley 16)
Quote: "The principle of mass production at last applied to biology." (Huxley 7). Questions:
How does consumerism support the system of "unescapable social destiny"?
How does consumerism play a role in this mass production of human beings? What are the benefits and detriments in the consumerism we have today as opposed to the consumerism in "Brave New World"? Consumerism Today Consumerism Statistics 1968- consumer debt averaged about 63% disposable income
2000-consumer debt averaged about 106% disposable income
1.5 million Americans per year get plastic surgery
Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States: 8 billion dollars per year
Ice cream in Europe: 11 billion dollars per year
Perfumes in Europe and the United States: 12 billion dollars per year
Pet foods in Europe and the United States: 17 billion dollars per year
The Importance of Consumerism
in "Brave New World" The World State thrives on consumerism by keeping its citizens in need of unnecessary material items, from additional machinery designed to help people play simple sports, to designing people for specific industries Consumerism is completely vital to the world created by the World State. Without consumerism, Brave New World would not be the same satirical and suggestive novel that we know today. It's a prediction that the novel makes about future society that has somewhat come true in America today
"Consumerism." University of Southern Maine. Web. 01 May 2011.
Consumption and Consumerism — Global Issues." Global Issues : Social, Political, Economic
and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All — Global Issues. Web. 01 May 2011