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The society of Brave New World (BNW) is filled with peace and contentment. There is no war, there is no want. Nearly every need is met in advance. Each person fits into their little notch in life as perfectly as a round peg into a round hole. They were created to fit that hole. People never suffer unfulfilled desires and they never suffer the depravity of old age. Is this not paradise? Mustapha Mond argues that it is.
Perhaps it is not paradise, but an objective standard by which that can be judged is difficult to identify. According to the Savage, Shakespeare, and our contemporary viewpoint, man has been degraded in this BNW into a slave of appetites and immediate, mindless gratification. But when challenged with the notion of man’s degradation in BNW, Mustapha Mond retorts, “degrade[ed] from what position? As a happy, hard-working, goods-consuming citizen he’s perfect. Of course, if you choose another standard than ours, then perhaps you might say he was degraded. But you’ve got to stick to one set of postulates” (BNW 236).
This is perhaps Mustapha Mond’s greatest argument for the structure of his world. From our contemporary point of view the society of BNW is mental slavery, and many of us would choose anarchy to that slavery. But our contemporary point of view is not the final word on the human condition. It may be that the structure of BNW is ultimately better for the species. It is at least arguably so, so long as one doesn’t campaign for a notion of “inherent qualities” in mankind which are degraded in this new societal structure. Therefore, Mustapha’s greatest argument may lie in the manner in which he challenges the notion that man is imbued with inherent qualities that are undermined by the structure of society in BNW. For there can be no degradation after a belief in those inherent qualities is removed. All that is left is a society that is functioning at peak efficiency. This at least would be Mustapha Mond’s argument.
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