What 4 behaviors are encouraged in the world state and is discouraged in today's American society?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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  • Disdain for the other castes.  Repeatedly, Lenina says that she is glad that she is not a Gamma or a Delta.  This dislike for the lower castes, a result of the hypnopoedic conditioning, keeps her caste from mixing with others.      

In today's society "tolerance" is encouraged.  Helping those less fortunate and understanding differences in mental and physical capacities, etc. are all behaviors that are fostered in liberal societies.

  • Happiness within one's own caste.  Alphas who control the predestination of fetuses and the conditioning of infants maintain that the members of every caste are happy, in their own ways. Yet, there is some discontent within other characters such as Bernard and Helmholtz.  Even the Episilons, who are of low intelligence and seemingly content, expressing a longing cry--"Roof!...Oh, roof!" reveals for an instant that conditioning cannot completely remove the human need for air, space, and beauty.

This contentment is counter to the legendary "American Dream" in a society in which the child of the inner city can become a senator.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Don't know if I can make it all the way to four, but I can think of a few.

  1. Drug use.  The world state encourages (and almost requires) the use of soma to control people's moods.  You could say that soma is the equivalent of various illegal drugs.
  2. Sexual promiscuity.  In this society, a person (like Lenina with Henry or like Bernard) who does not have a lot of sexual partners is seen as weird or even a threat (why Bernard is going to get sent to Iceland early on).  Here in the US, promiscuity is certainly not encouraged by the dominant values.
  3. This may be a lot like #2, but sexual play among children is encouraged in this society (like in the first couple of chapters).
  4. Lack of human feelings.  People in this society are encouraged not to care about each other and not to feel sad when someone dies (like when Linda dies).  In our society, we are encouraged to be caring.

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