What do the fates of Bernard, Helholtz, the Controller and the Savage say about the utopian society of Brave New World.

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As with many things, I think they mean what you want them to mean.  From one point of view, it's proof that their society doesn't "work" because "real individuals" don't fit in.  It proves that you can't make an ideal society that works for everyone.  On the other hand, is it any worse than the Island where all the "individuals" wind up and start a war?  The Savage is further proof that the "individual" can't fit in with such a controlled society ... but he kills himself.  To me it's a complicated question.  I once read an article that said that the problem with the drugs we use isn't the drugs, it's the fact that the drugs aren't very good :)  The idea was that, if we could get a soma.like.drug, it would be perfectly OK to use it.  After all, we are all striving to be "happy";  wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to work for it ... if we could get the happiness we seek just by taking a pill?  The liberal tradition would scream NO!  Happiness is something you have to work for ... but why?  After all, we use drugs now (alcohol, "pain" killers) to do pretty much that ... but they don't work well.  So I guess it comes down to how you would define happiness ...

But to get back to the specific question, they tell me that the society doesn't work for everyone, that it's operation is less than perfect.  Some might think that it tells us that it doesn't work at all, that it's a horrible idea (notice, not good/bad).

I think it is a horrible idea, but that's because of my education/upbringing.  But I still sometimes get the feeling that a vote against BNW is a vote for suffering/unhappiness ....

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Brave New World

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