A Brave New World vs. 1984
There are many similarities and differences between Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984. With my analysis of both novels, I have come to the conclusion that they are not as alike as you would believe. A Brave New World is a novel about the struggle of John, ‘the savage,’ who rejects the society of the Brave New World when and discovers that he could never be truly happy there. 1984 is a novel about Winston, who finds forbidden love within a society that is not aloud to love. In both novels the main character struggles with his society and government to change, which ends up in disaster.
Huxley wrote A Brave New World in 1931 in England. A Brave New World is an excellent demonstration of how the advancement of technology could ultimately lead to downfall and a controlled society. In this consumer based society, the traditional ideal of love and what reproduction have long been disregarded and despised, "Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet" (Huxley 41). The comparison to a wild jet is intended to show the dangers of these activities. Many of the Brave New World's social norms are intended to “save” its citizens from anything unpleasant by depriving them of the opportunity to experience emotions and to have their own morals and beliefs.
The Brave New World’s society values, “Community, Identity, Stability,” (Huxley 1) are most important. Soma, the magical ultimate drug is what keeps the population from revolting. "What you need is a gramme of soma... All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects" (page 15). The drug is most important to the people of the society as it is supposed to keep them from some of the tougher aspects of life, like disappointment and sadness. The drug is used as a form of recreation, with people often taking ‘Soma Holidays,’ and its use is encouraged at any opportunity, especially when great emotions, like sadness or love begin to arise. The people of the society are conditioned to take the soma to calm them. The conditioning also keeps them from realizing the dangers of their society, and how their society operates by treating people like machines, organizing them into different classes that do different jobs, and even have different intellectual levels. In Brave New World, each class has a name. Alphas and Betas remain individuals; the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are often oxygen deprived in the ‘womb’ and re the throws of society. They do the dirty work that no one else wants to do, and have no realization of how bad they actually have it.
Children begin their conditioning at an extremely young age, and their conditioning would be considered cruel and unusual in our society. “The screaming of the babies suddenly change the tone. There was something desperate, almost insane, about the sharp spasmodic yelps to which they now gave utterance" (Huxley 20). At a young age, the entire society is conditioned to stay away from intense emotion, engage in casual sex, and take their soma.
In 1984, written by George Orwell, the great party leader is the "Big Brother." Big Brother is much more involved in the society than the leader of the Brave New World, "Ford," of Huxley's book, named after the automaker Henry Ford. The main character Winston fears Big Brother and is much more aware of his society than any of the characters in A Brave New World who are constantly ‘pacified’ by soma. In A Brave New World the past is ignored completely whereas in 1984 it is rewritten in order to suit the present.