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Community, Identity, Stability - How the People of the Brave New World Live by Their Motto

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“Community, Identity, Stability”: How the People of the Brave New World Live by Their Motto

        Though it may be different from society today, Huxley’s Brave New World lives by a motto, “Community, Identity, Stability.” One may wonder why in the world Huxley thinks the way he does. Why does Huxley think his society should live by a motto? According to Leon Kass, “Years ago Huxley saw it coming. More important, he knew what it meant and, in his charming but disturbing novel, Brave New World, Huxley made it strikingly visible for all to see” (Kass 1). Huxley may not think exactly how we do today, but he seems to be able to look into the future pretty well. Unfortunately, Huxley’s novel is basically preparing us for what our world is slowing but surely turning into. After reading this novel one may begin to wonder what persuaded him to think this way. According to Nicholas Murray he did not have a very easy lifestyle. Murray states,

“Born into the rain, Aldous Huxley told the New York Herald Tribune in 1952, I have always felt a powerful craving for light. Huxley had in mind his lifelong struggle with defective eyesight, which sent him first to the Mediterranean and then to Southern California. But the wider metaphor is irresistible. His life was a constant search for light, for understanding, of himself, and his fellow men and women in the twentieth century” (Murray 1).

So, as one can tell Huxley was a very caring individual who wanted to look out for others and not only himself.

        The first thing in the motto is community. The Brave New World definition of community is slightly differing from ours. Their definition as stated in the book says,” Come, Greater Being, Social Friend, Annihilating twelve-in-one! We long to die, for when we end, Our larger life has but begun” (Huxley 81). According to the American Heritage dictionary our definition states, “Community is a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.” (“community” America Heritage 1). Community to many can be considered as a group of people coming together to help another person, whereas Brave New World thinks of it as their life has not really begun until they die. Huxley provides many examples of community in his novel. Huxley states, “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as social human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage or future…” (Huxley 13). As one can tell the World-State does not give the babies a choice of what social class they go in to, therefore the babies do not get to develop their own personalities it is developed for them. According to O’Neill,

“The people of Brave New World are kept chilled with a drug called soma. Described as having “all of the advantages of Christianity and alcohol and none of their defects”, it’s a psychoactive drug that induces feelings of calm, thus negating any need to discover and potentially tackle the true source of one’s sorrow” (O’Neill 2).

So therefore, they never know truly what they are feeling, because they are always so drugged up on soma. The Bible tells us “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-5). That is telling us that we encourage and love each other more in the times of need rather being rude to one another, because things are not going our way.

        The second part of the motto is identity. The American Heritage dictionary say that identity is “the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others” (“identity” The American Heritage 2). One would think of identity as when a person truly realizes who they are and what they believe in.  Brave New World and The Bible look at identity from two totally different perspectives. According to Kass, “Accordingly for Huxley, it is lack of freedom that will be the major price of engineered perfection”, including the freedom to be unhappy” (Kass 1). Huxley thinks that the government should pick one’s identity for them, where The Bible states that, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).  

        The third and final part of the motto is stability. The American Heritage dictionary says that stability is “the quality or state of someone who is emotionally or mentally healthy” (“stability” American Heritage 3).  Most people if asked would say that one is stable when they have nothing going on to distract them from the important thing. Brave New World has a few examples of stability. According to Huxley, “Bovanosky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability” (Huxley 7)! In the novel Huxley states, “If we could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved” (Huxley 7). One would think that a stable person would be more than likely a happy person. “The authoritarian state in Brave New World is obsessed with making people “happy”—even if they don’t want to be. Its aim is “universal happiness” because if people are happy there’s more likely to be social stability” (O’Neill 1). Stability in today’s world is slightly different from that of Brave New World. “While philosophical essays and moral exhortation are today largely impotent, good literature can “at least for now” capture our impoverished imaginations and thus keep the human flame afflicter” (Kass 1). The Bible tells us that “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteousness and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). This scripture is telling us that no matter what we go through God’s ways are just and that he is the rock of our salvation.  Once we realize that God always has our backs, we should become more stable.

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