Brave New World Book Report Aldous Huxley

by on March 7th, 2015
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In the Brave New World, there is no aging process. After sixty years, each citizen (who has been preserved in image and health to that of his or her prime years) is merely whisked to the Park Lane Hospital for the Dying and submits to the galloping senility Ward and the swift termination of life. This process is regarded with as little emotion as the birthing and conditioning process, as when one dies there is no family to grieve and no importance is placed on the individuals in society. The hospital is the epitome of society, as even in death, one of the most unpleasant and emotional experiences to most people in current society, was received with gaiety and pleasantness. When John’s mother Linda succumbed to her soma-trance and passed away, however, the norm of the New World was distorted.
Aldus Huxley used the scene of Linda’s death to highlight the clash between the Brave New World and the reservation. In the utopia of the new world, the people forfeit their freedom for equality and happiness. The government distributes Soma in an attempt to keep the citizens in a constant stupor, and conditions them in such a way that any emotions besides immediate gratification are eliminated. In reservation society, death is met with grief by the loved ones of the deceased, whereas in the Brave New World children are taught that family and friends are not necessary. In the new world, death is normal, and dead bodies are recycled into fertilizer at the Slough Crematorium. This act corresponds with the conditioning phrase “Everyone belongs to everything”, (pg 205) a phrase that Linda, like any other good BNW citizen, repeats even on her death bed.
Linda had spent her life on the reservation yearning to return to her beloved New World and all the benefits it offered. It was ironic when her prayers were answered many years later, and society shunned the now aged and unattractive Linda, leaving her a loner in both worlds. The civilization she had thirsted to go back to offered her only the comfort of Soma, the drug that eventually ended her life.
Because babies were generally mass produced in a laboratory, citizens had no idea how to react to the grief of Linda’s son at her death. Their lack of emotion angered John, and a riot eventually grew out of his disgust with the hospital workers’ lack of grief. In this pivotal scene, John realizes that this “perfect” society isn’t really as great as his mother had made it out to be. There can be no true happiness without a sense of sorrow and the impact of tragedy.
The horror and pain of Linda’s last few minutes were described by Huxley in vivid detail. The end of her life was marked with the dreadful realization that for once in her life, a citizen of the new world did not know what was in store for his or her future. Because God was not a facet to the society, there was no hope of an afterlife or heaven, instead Linda is left with a feeling of unknowing.


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