In "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, how does the author elaborate on the idea of social criticism?

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Their society attempts to eliminate social criticism.  Everything they do is an attempt to keep things stable, and to keep the people "unquestioning."  One of their hypnopedic learnings sums this up: "When the individual feels, the community reels."  Every attempt is made to smooth over any emotions that might lead to thinking about/criticizing their society.  There are mindless games, the feelies, and, of course, soma.

John, on the other hand, is always interested in feeling; he lives by the older Shakespearean sense that feeling, and feeling intensely, is an important part of life.  He is the critic of their society, their "death watch" at the hospital, their mindless sex that has no attachment in it ... he insists that people feel; because of this, he is a danger to their society.  He is not the only one; others have been exiled, all Alphas, because their conditioning isn't as intense as the lower classes.  But, as predicted, their thinking leads to instability and things don't go well.

You can have freedom or you can have stability; you can't have both.

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Brave New World

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