In Brave New World, the World State claims to have abolished religion, but Huxley depicts characters performing actions and saying phrases that are parodies of religious rituals familiar to us....
In Brave New World, the World State claims to have abolished religion, but Huxley depicts characters performing actions and saying phrases that are parodies of religious rituals familiar to us. Describe at least three examples of this type of behavior by characters, and tell what point you think Huxley is trying to make.
In spite of the many alterations to the human being in the New World, the leaders recognize the need to continue to unify people as a means of controlling them, and as a way of satisfying the intrinsic need in humans for the mystic. In Chapter V, therefore, Huxley's satirizes the banality of certain religious ceremonies that simply create a false emotional excitement. In the Solidarity Service there is this stirring of fervent hype, while at the same time there is also the generating of more anonymity as they chant in unity. In one chant, the "congregation" listens as the chorus sings the "Solidarity Hymn,"
Feel how the Greater Being comes!
Rejoice and, in rejoicing, die!
Melt in the music of the drums!
For I am you, and you are I!
It is the hypnotism and indoctrination that cults and religions can create that Huxley satirizes here, demonstrating how the World Leaders manipulate to their advantage man's need to belong with others as they dehumanize further the inhabitants of the New World. And, in order to prevent these people from realizing their anonymity, communion is taken in the form of soma so they will feel an ersatz emotion that will substitute for true religious fervor.
The repeated calling out to Ford also mock the excitement of religious disciples who may call out "Lord, Lord" as they feel themselves imbued with the spirit of the Lord; this chanting of Ford's name as their lord also underscores the residents' of the New World beginnings on the assembly line.
Finally, the congregation reaches an almost orgasmic culmination to their chanting (For most, things are physical and little is mental in the New World). They chant,
Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release
With "yearning bowels of compassion," the participants look around, and Fifi Bradlaugh asks Bernard, "Wasn't it simply wonderful?" Her look is one of "rapture" in which there is no excitement as she has been fulfilled in her "achieved consummation" of visceral feelings, the only ones left to those in the New World. Only Bernard is left unsatisfied "by reason of his unreplenished emptiness, his dead satiety." In such an environment of falsity in which soma and sexual acts replace spiritual desires, Bernard feels more alone than ever, "utterly miserable" as he scowls at Morgana's unibrow, a symbol of the empty "oneness" celebrated in the Solidarity Service that is meant to reinforce what sleep-teaching has taught them; namely, that they are a community, and in this community there is identity and stability.