Technology In Brave New World

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Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World explores the effects of technology on society by creating synthetic experiences. As technology advances, the lives of the people, living in the totalitarian world state, change drastically. Natural birth is banned, since scientists discover how to mass produce embryos and genetically engineer them to fulfill society’s needs. Psychological conditioning allows the state to instill specific instincts and morals in order to manipulate and control the citizens’ thoughts and behaviour. Consequently, the manufactured inability for the citizens to choose how to act and think allows the state to make the characters dependant on a drug, soma, which further stifles the characters’ ability to be autonomous.…show more content…
Lenina’s addiction to soma inhibits her from distinguishing between reality and fantasy, further separating her from her human nature as she cannot decipher who she truly is. Since soma is an opiate that allows society to be controlled, the state is capable of manipulating Lenina, and the other characters; the drug makes them fall under a trance. It is in this hypnotic state, when Lenina goes on a “soma holiday”, that she is convinced she is happy because she is capable of forgetting all her worries (Huxley 66). As the whole state blindly consumes soma, to disconnect from reality and flee their own emotions, the characters lose sense of who they are. In Brave New World “the soma habit [] a political institution [and] the very essence of” life since the “systematic drugging of individuals for the benefit of the State (and incidentally, of course, for their own delight) [is] a main plank in the policy of the World Controllers (Huxley revisited 54,55); it allows for them to convince the population they are happy. Soma is “an insurance against personal maladjustment, social unrest and the spread of subversive ideas” since it draws the population into a trance like state where, in conjunction with hypnopaedia, allows the state to dictate the citizens’ thoughts and detach them from themselves own (Huxley revisited 55). This detachment is the cause of Lenina’s alienation from her own human values, and the acceptance of the immoral, instilled beliefs of the state. It is during these ‘soma holidays’, which act as a “sexual licence, made practical by the abolition of family, is one of the chief means of guaranteeing the inhabitants against any kinds of destructive or creative emotional tension” (Bowering). The soma saves the people “from having any emotions at all” as it has the power to “console and compensate,” it “call[s] up visions of another, better world” (Bowering, Huxley revisited 55). The unrealistic, better world that the soma paints, due to the
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