Compare the society in Brave New World with modern American society. 

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mbjohnse eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many similarities, not necessarily because there is anything especially wrong with America in particular, but simply because Huxley did a good job of capturing some of the problems with human nature. In American society, people often seek the easiest path, the path that feels the best, the path that brings the most pleasure. We see this as more people distract themselves from serious issues and ideas and prefer to spend their time with information products, drugs, technology, and entertainment. Society is often very frivolous, with most Americans spending hours each day watching TV. This may remind you of the thoughtless public in Brave New World, which consumes drugs regularly, obsesses over pleasure, and scoffs at intellectual stimulation. Rather than seeking to solve problems through drive and pain, Americans often just gossip about sports or reality TV stars. This is not so different than the entertainment distraction we see in the novel.

This goes beyond just America though. People have the tendency to avoid pain and seek pleasure; this is healthy and normal. And yet one paradox of the human condition is that once we accomplish these goals we find ourselves feeling empty. Perhaps this is because conflict and struggle define us. Americans have not yet done away with hardship by any means, but the nation's immense wealth often leaves Americans feeling like the dog that caught the car. After achieving wealth and status, what comes next? Without the struggles of a hard life people will often turn away from more important matters and focus on indulging themselves. We see a more extreme version of this in Brave New World.

It's important to note that things have not gotten nearly so bad. Many people still value things like art, religion, political causes, ethical values, and self improvement in America. This novel was not so much a critique of American or British culture so much as it was a cautionary tale for human beings. Pleasure and the easy life are important, but we must not seek them at the expense of everything else that we hold dear.

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Brave New World

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