What are suggestions for a thesis statement on the use of drugs in Brave New World and society today as a means of control and escape?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the first things that the writer may wish to do is research on the prevalence and use of antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs in modern society. While these drugs are often prescribed by physicians, other drugs are simply recreational drugs, drugs that are not prescribed and are taken by those who wish to escape or rearrange reality; marijuana and forms of cocaine fall under this description. Then, the writer will want to determine the circumstances under which the drug soma is used in the New World. With this information, the student can, then, make comparisons and contrasts that will serve to direct his paper.

From this information, then, the writer can arrive at a general statement, or thesis, that includes both Brave New World and the contemporary world. Here are some points to consider:

  • There appears to be an innate weakness in many human beings;this weakness emanates from not being able to handle life under the person's circumstances. For instance, in Brave New World, after Bernard has left on the Eau de Cologne tap, he worries about the cost until he finally reaches Helmholtz. His anxiety is so high that he lets Lenina give him four tablets of soma in order to escape his anxiety as soma raises

a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and [his] mind.

  • In modern society, there is the same wish to escape from anxiety and the other vicissitudes of life.  With soma described as "a euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant," it seems a cross between LSD (which author himself Aldous Huxley took), and cocaine.
  • "If one's different, one's bound to be lonely," John the Savage tells Bernard and Lenina. It is often this aloneness and alienation of people that causes them to consume drugs as an escape.  Certainly, Linda seeks this escape upon her return to the New World and her rejection by the D.H.C.
  • In the New World soma is employed to control people when they begin to feel strong emotion. When, for example, John incites the Deltas to rebel, the police come in and spray the people with soma in order to control them. In modern society, the use of anti-psychotic drugs controls some potentially dangerous people.

With these points in mind, then, the writer can introduce his paper/essay with some points about how drugs have been used by old and new societies (Or another observation that is relevant). After this comes the thesis, which is a general statement on the topic with three precise opinions. For instance, the writer can state that the society of Brave New World is controlled by means of the drug soma, a euphoric hallucinogenic narcotic not dissimilar to some recreational and prescription drugs of modern society; this control is accomplished through its calming effect when ideas cause people anxiety, or when there are desires that are not satisfied, or when people feel an emotional need of which they are incapable of satisfying on their own because of their lack of individuality.

[Write you three opinions in parallel structure as readers will better follow your thought.  Notice the 3 adverbial clauses beginning with when.]


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Brave New World

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