Brave New World Questions and Answers
by Aldous Huxley

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What do "ending is better than mending" and "the more stitches, the less riches" mean in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and how do these statements support the aims of the World State?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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These quotes are repeated over and over at night until they are conditioned into people, especially betas like Lenina. The World State relies on high levels of consumption to support its industry, and this means people need to keep replacing goods rather than mending them. In this case, both quotes pertain to clothing. Betas are encouraged to replace clothing that has ripped in some way rather than sewing up the clothing so they can wear it again.

This is of a piece with complicated games that need multiple parts: if people don't keep consuming, a whole series of economic problems will ensue. It's also a symbol of the superficial, disposable nature of this culture. Anything damaged or ugly is put out of sight. 

We need to keep in mind, too, that this novel was written in the early 1930s, when levels of consumption were much lower than they are today, and when the idea of throwing out clothes rather than mending them would have been both more shocking and more laughable than it is now. Now, our society more closely replicates the World State in terms of consumption.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Brave New World, the World State is devoted to consumerism.  The people of this society are conditioned to want to consume goods and services.  There are at least two reasons for this.

On the one hand, the consumerism is necessary for the economy.  The economy of the World State is based on consumption.  If the people do not buy a lot of goods and services, the economy will break down.  Huxley created this fictional economy as a warning to contemporary society that it was excessively dependent on...

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