I had the opportunity recently to read A Brave New World in my British literature class.
Science equals progression, or at least an attempt at it. It is a way of better understanding the world around us and the elements within it, I believe in it, but I think it has its limits in regards to the progression of society’s happiness as a whole. Not everyone finds happiness from science’s progression. Though science might prove life to be less difficult for certain people, perhaps even a majority, it does not make it easy for everyone. The narrator expresses this concern in the following quote: “It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled” (Huxley, 231). Mustapha Mond’s choice of words stress the importance of not relying on science to fulfill everyone’s’ happiness, as it is merely one aspect in society that can bring relief and progression to particular people’s’ lives. Others find happiness through art, nature, religion, politics, etc… However, progression is a broad term. Society in A Brave New World speak of science as the tool for progression. It is great because it explores and finds remedies to sicknesses, creates innovative technology…. For the other people in society sciences’ advancement is not so great, in the story or in real life. As science has progressed over the years in real life and continues to today, other tools and aspects in this world have played a part of progressing one’s well-being and happiness. The science that proves a person to have cancer does nothing for her or his happiness when it shows the person to have a limited time to live. Science progression and a wonderful thing to so many people who have benefited from it. For instance, when science proves to heal one of his or her illness.
Huxley seems to portray a world where happiness is not proven to be absolute. Nothing is absolute in the story as nothing is absolute in the real world in relation to how people perceive progression, whether it is art, science, politics, or something else. Art like books has shown to be a tool for artists and writers to provide an example of society, both modern and throughout history. It is to many, a reflection of society and who we are. However, none of it is true as a whole. The author seems to be saying that society struggles to function as one in relation to gaining happiness.I can’t help but reflect on the three words mentioned on the first page that seem represent Huxley’s society, “…community, identity, stability” (Huxley, 1). Community means exactly that, people coming together to benefit themselves from others and vice verse. But how do they do that when they have different concerns, desires for happiness, and problems? I think the answer is in each individual. As I understand the author to be trying to demonstrate, it is each person in society who creates the happiness in society as a whole. His use of the word identity stands for one being happy with her or himself. If people cannot identify with themselves how can society be happy as a whole. Society progresses in different ways for some and in other ways for others. This happiness among the society of individuals has to last (stability). That is the theme and challenge I see in the story and in society today.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: HarperPerennial. 1989. Print.