The Tempest really warrants the biggest discussion here, since it features most prominently in Brave New World In fact, we think if you really wanted to, you could probably read the novel as a twisted parody of Shakespeare's play.
In case you haven't read The Tempest, it goes something like this: Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been exiled on an island with two spirits: the mostly good Ariel and the generally bad Caliban. Prospero knows magic, so he shipwrecks a boat full of his enemies on the island. Miranda, who's never seen a man before other than her father, falls in love with the first one she sees, Prince Ferdinand, and they spend the whole play trying not to have sex with each other before they get married. She's the one who delivers the line, "Oh brave new world, that has such people in it," when she sees all the men who have been shipwrecked on her island.
If you want to see Brave New World as a parody, John is like Miranda, because he's faced with a whole new world that holds largely sexual temptations. In a way, he's also like Ferdinand, what with being a man and all, which makes Lenina a promiscuous version of the virginal Miranda. Prospero is the authority making all this happen, so he's analogous to either a very absent God or a very present Mustapha Mond. As for the tricksy little spirits, Helmholtz seems benevolent and serves John well, so you could say he is like Ariel. On the other hand, Bernard, who totally is more like Caliban. (Bernard is even physically deformed a little bit, just like Caliban.)
The other Shakespeare plays provide similar analogies for John's life. Thinking about Othello, for example, John is much like the character of Othello, a man somewhat isolated from others because of his different skin color. (Othello was a black man in a white world; John is white and grew up on a Native American reservation). We actually can't take credit for this connection, since Huxley does it himself.
Hamlet is a great connection, too. In this play, Hamlet about possibly murdering his stepfather Claudius, who is sleeping with his (Hamlet's) mother Gertrude. Similarly, John hates and thinks about killing Popé, the man sleeping with his (John's) mother. Many scholars ascribe Hamlet's behavior to an Oedipus Complex, which later we'll argue John has himself.
You've also got Romeo and Juliet: two lovers from different families = two lovers from different worlds. John and Lenina often reverse these roles in some great instances of gender-bending. We're covering the big connections here, but of course there are many other fun things to say about John and the remaining Shakespeare works quoted in Brave New World.
So far, all our Shakespeare discussion has been a removed look at what trickery Huxley was up to when writing. But what does Shakespeare actually mean to John? Does he get all these connections? You could argue either way. On one hand, yes, John gets it. He relates the racism in the feely Three Weeks in a Helicopter to that he saw in Othello. He imagines himself as Romeo and Lenina as Juliet. He gets the new world connection with The Tempest—why else would he so aptly quote Miranda?
On the other hand, John doesn't get it all. He doesn't make the connection between the racism he suffered and Othello's. Nor does he see that Lenina is actually the farthest thing from the virginal Juliet we could imagine. Most importantly, he doesn't get that the "brave new world" line is incredibly He seems to be missing the (Freudian) point.
If this is true, boy, are we in trouble. If John mindlessly quotes Shakespeare without understanding the rationale behind it, what is King Lear than simply more hypnopaedia? John wasn't indoctrinated in his sleep, but the lessons he has imbibed are equally unreflective. John even admits this, a little bit, himself: "These words and the strange, strange story out of which they were taken (he couldn't make head or tail of it, but it was wonderful, wonderful all the same)—they gave him a reason for hating Popé; and they made his hatred more real; they even made Popé himself more real." Uh-oh. If you need more evidence, check out , when Mustapha asks John is he knows what a philosopher is, and John responds with a definition taken obscurely and somewhat out of context from Hamlet: "A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth." Many scholars use this line as proof that John is clueless.
Free Brave New World papers, essays, and research papers. in the world, but their presence has no impact on him until a female character enters the story. .. of Brave New World Literary Analysis Essay Of Brave New World - Postman's Analysis of Brave New World As analyzed by
The World State is definitely a static middle ground for any sort of emotion. People are content and happy, but there's no real joy. (If you want to argue with us, you should use that paragraph at the end of Chapter 5 that describes Fifi Bradlaugh.) Citizens may be irked once in a while, but no one is ever really angry. that is the very absence of emotion.
The logic that follows, then, is that to have one extreme—real pleasure—one has to have the other—real pain. In the World State, these translate, as far as we can tell, to sex and violence, the two extremes of passion. Now, from reading your book, you'll know that sadism and masochism figure in big. Look at the oddly placed bits of violence in the highly sexual media that is "the feelies": along with the sensation of a kiss is a bang on the head. Then you've got Linda's first sexual encounter with Popé, where John ends up getting abused. In Bernard's Solidarity Service, a woman's implied orgasm is described "as though she were having her throat cut." When Lenina grabs John (in the sexy way), she drives her nails into his wrist. The biggest connection is the climactic scene, when the mass orgy goes down with an unhealthy dose of group flagellation.
John himself is responsible for this correlation in Brave New World. The novel seems to argue that, to have one, you need to have the other. But John doesn't want sex anyway—so why all the violence? One explanation is that John keeps punishing himself for thinking sexual thoughts. (See the scene where he dives into a bush of thorns to stop thinking about Lenina's naked body.) If he's angry at Lenina, it's really just misdirected anger at himself for not having more mental restraint. The second explanation is that John self-mutilates because that's the closest he's going to get to sex. In a way, the extremes of violence are akin to the extremes of orgasm—both are intense feelings that, in a world of emotion-less nothingness, are as close as John can get to being human.
After which they go on to a more advanced lesson.” (Page 27, “Brave New World")
These hypnopedic lessons are repeated 120 times a day, three days a week, which means 360 repetitions per week.
And now we’d like to turn your attention, once again, to Brave New World. Huxley’s novel isn’t just a warning about science—it’s a warning about education. The citizens of his future-world-gone-wrong are indoctrinated with irrational lessons in morality and behavior from day one. Teach them the same over and over, and before you know it, this indoctrination is a part of who they are. (Actually, according to Huxley, it drips onto them like wax and forms a big, blobby mess where a person used to be.)
“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.” (Page 15, “Brave New World")
In Huxley’s novel conditioning is much more extreme in our culture, although there are uncanny similarities between the two.
In his foreword to the novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley envisioned this statement when he wrote: "To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda...." Thus, through hypnopaedic teaching (brainwashing), mandatory attendance to community gatherings, and the use of drugs to control emotions, Huxley bitterly satirized the society in which we live....
Comfort, answers… either way, the topic here is one of unease. In Brave New World, physical ease means God isn’t needed. In today’s world, the question can be expanded to ask whether mental ease means God isn’t needed.
In 1958, Huxley published an essay called Brave New World Revisited, in which he basically says, “I was right” and predicts that his horrifying vision of the future will sooner rather than later. Is the future so bright we have to wear shades? Or is it so dark that we should thank our lucky stars Huxley's predictions haven't quite come true? …Yet.
Brave New World: A Critical Analysis. A recommended read for anyone, a true eye-opener to our society's follies and rapid progress towards perfection.
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