What evidence does Huxley offer that this is not true? In what specific ways has the promise of happiness not been achieved in the brave new world?
"Everybody's happy nowadays," according to the hypnopaedic suggestion. Mustapha Mond himself asserts that happiness and stability are the hallmarks of his society. What evidence does Huxley offer that this is not true? In what specific ways has the promise of happiness not been achieved in the brave new world?
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In BNW "everybody's happy now" redefines happiness to a very basic level. There is no conflict in their lives. The have been created with limited desires from "birth" --- the task they have fulfills their achievement needs. Desires are taken care of immediately; since "everyone belongs to everone else," sex is available on demand. Although it generates the same pleasure as all sex, it has no meaning and, perhaps more importantly, creates no bond. When all else fails, when there are pressures that cannot be deal with through sex, the feelies, electro-magnetic golf and any of their other distractions, there is soma. Some relieves all pressure, and, in extreme cases, can create a "holiday" from their reality.
Happiness is not achieved for all, however. There is an significant element in the population that finds this all meaningless and trivial (but not always for the right reason) who have to move to or be exiled to the Island. These are mostly Alphas who have to be "raised" with a degree of thought capability so they can do their job. The Island is Huxley's statement that everybody's NOT happy now; it's also his statement that a state such as BNW can never make everyone happy, and probably can't generate anything like traditional happiness for anyone.
Is that true? Would we give up the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" that surround us for peace, security, and soma? Is this perhaps the reason that drug addiction is such a problem in our modern world where many of us live in the most comfortable and advanced society in the world? Is mindless happiness the end of all things? I think not, and I think Huxley would agree. Off to the Island (which, of course, has its own, more "human" problems ....)
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