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What is hypnopaedia teaching in Brave New World?

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mickel | Student | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 15, 2009 at 8:04 PM via web

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What is hypnopaedia teaching in Brave New World?

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danylyshen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Hypnopaedia is sleep teaching, and the controllers use it in Brave New World to "condition" its populace to accept promiscuity, use and abuse soma, and "brainwash" them to accept the values and tenets of the Brave New World. Hypnopaedia is a form of subliminal reinforcement whereby hypnopaedic slogans such as "a gramme is better than a damn" are played while the individual is asleep. While awake, the individual will spout off these slogans automatically and behave however the controllers want them to behave.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:24 AM (Answer #2)

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A type of sleep and subliminal conditioning, hypnopaedia is part of the mental programming system of the New World--one of many ways in which science is used as an instrument of power. 

In Chapter 2 of Brave New World the Director explains the principle of "sleep-teaching." Contrary to what was originally believed, science cannot be taught through hypnopaedia because one "must know what science is about" the director explains. But moral education can be taught through sleep-conditioning because, the director points out, it "ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational." Therefore, the World State has children learn such things as class consciousness as they sleep. To exemplify his point, the Director has what is being broadcast to the children under their pillows:

....I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are....too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides, they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.

Along with Elementary Class Consciousness, the children are also taught Elementary Sex. This programming makes the children believe that "everyone belongs to everyone else." Engaging in sexual activities are merely recreational acts without any significant meaning because the residents of the New World are conditioned to believe that there are no true personal relationships. There is no such thing as love because at an early age, children are programmed in their sleep to believe that sexual engagement with others is only for recreational purposes. In addition, children are programmed in their sleep to believe that Nature is of no value, and they learn no aesthetic values because they must also be involved in the consumption of goods instead.

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