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Can someone explain the significance of happiness in this novel?

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tdaze7 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM via web

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Can someone explain the significance of happiness in this novel?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:08 AM (Answer #1)

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The notion of happiness is significant in the novel Brave New World because it is the rationalization behind everything that the society does. Mustapha Mond explains in chapter 17,

"Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and universal happiness" (281).

Along those lines, the society determined long before that period in the book that happiness is based on the lack of responsibility and sacrifice in life. John the savage argues that the society has given up "everything noble and fine and heroic" in the process (276). All extremes have been done away with, from passion and anger to heroism and nobility. In order to have happiness in one way, certain things should be denied in other ways. Everything the society does, manipulates, or controls has "happiness" on its mind, well, their definition of happiness, anyway. And Huxley, through the character Mond, poses a very interesting and structually logical argument for how the society acts in order to achieve that happiness.

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