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Brave New World Vs. the Collector

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Brave New World Vs. the Collector

Imagine living in a world without mothers and fathers, without the love given to friends and received from family, a place full of nameless, faceless human clones. This is the society depicted in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. In this futuristic novel, Huxley describes several reasons behind the dehumanization of the human race. For example, the absence of spirituality and family, the infatuation with physical pleasure and the strong influence of technology are the main factors in connection with the utopians’ loss of human emotion. In contrast to Brave New World, John Fowles’ The Collector presents a different reason for his character’s lack of emotion. In the novel, Frederick Clegg is the story’s anti-hero whose “collector mentality” deems him unable to connect with society and truly feel human sentiments. Although the two novels portray a different set of circumstances, they both ultimately lead to the loss of human emotion and individuality.

For those who believe that a growing dependence on technology will lead to an eventual downfall, Huxley’s Brave New World provides a disturbing look into a hypothetical future where technology dictates everyone’s life and the government controls each stage of their development. In his novel, Huxley creates a world in which humanity is ruled by machines and the lab-born citizens are conditioned to substitute their emotions for promiscuous sex, soma: a drug used to escape reality and the unpleasant aspects of it, and the “feelies,” which is their prominent form of entertainment where the audience can see, hear, smell and feel parts of a film. Overall, technology was used to control society and the total state control eventually resulted in the loss of a person’s humanity and individuality.

Conversely, Fowles’ The Collector is a story about the abduction and imprisonment of Miranda Grey by a butterfly collector named Frederick Clegg. Clegg abducted Miranda because he feels that he loves her and thinks that Miranda would like him if only she knew him. However, Clegg associates his lust for Miranda’s beauty as love. And when Miranda awakens, he is confused as to why she does not want to be with him. Thus, because Clegg does not understand emotion, he cannot understand Miranda’s adversity towards being with him. Whereas Brave New World attributes the lack of emotion with the State’s total control, The Collector’s Clegg is lacking

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