In Huxley's Brave New World, how does the Cyprus Experiment show the importance of difference?
In his extended discussion with Mustapha Mond, John the Savage questions why there are five different castes, especially as the lower castes are forced to lead very restricted lives doing menial labor. Why not, he asks, since it is possible to do so, make everyone an Alpha-plus, in other words, of very high intelligence? Wouldn't society thrive if everyone were of the top potential?
Mond responds that the Cypress Experiment tried to do just that. This experiment put 22,000 Alphas on the island of Cypress by themselves with no other castes to help them. The experiment, as predicted, failed. The Alphas all wanted to do the top jobs that took the most intelligence and involved assuming the most responsibility. Nobody wanted to farm the land and nobody wanted to toil in the factories, so the land wasn't "properly worked" and "there were strikes in all the factories." Everyone spent their time plotting and planning to get—or keep—the top jobs. Alphas, having the capacity to think for...
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