Satire In Brave New World

What is Huxley satirizing in "Brave New World?"

Work on a clear thesis statement and supporting evidence from the text.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since satire has as its purpose ridicule with the hopes of reform, Aldous Huxley satirizes many of the contemporary trends and values of his time when he foresaw the dangers of the advancement of science as it related to the advancement of humanity. "Brave New World" is a world of mass-production, even of people; it is a world society where values are pleasure, order, and conformity. These values are held so that there will be no wars, no conflicts, no unhappiness. However, in this false utopia there are flaws, for science cannot totally eradicate humanity despite its great advancements. Afterall, in the human psyche and soul, one must know unhappiness to truly feel happy, one must know adversity in order to enjoy peace, and one must have interpersonal relationships that are difficult in order to appreciate and experience real feelings; one MUST be human.

Huxley satirizes the attempt of people to find happiness in the rising communism of the times which suggests that all should be "equal." The various castes of BNW are taught to associate only with their own so no one is different. When a character, Bernard, expresses feelings that are taboo, the others laugh and joke about him. Electric shock and hypnopaedia condition children. People take soma anytime they are unhappy. They value only material things; Nature is scorned. When the savage/natural man, John, comes to BNW, he is sickened and dies.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the novel Brave New World Aldous Huxley uses satire to provide a social commentary on various aspects of modern society. Huxley satirizes everything from sex, love, entertainment, science, morals, drugs, and government through his fictional utopia in order to examine and warn readers about the threat of totalitarian regimes. Huxley criticizes society's propensity to take prescription medication to repress emotions, which is then contrasted with John's self-inflicted punishments. Huxley juxtaposes John's ascetic lifestyle with the utopian society's affinity for entertainment and physical stimulation. The concepts of free love and lack of self-control are also examined and satirized throughout the novel. Lenina and the other citizens of the utopian society believe that "every one belongs to every one else." Love exists only in a physical debased form throughout the utopian society, which Huxley uses to satirize the increasing promiscuity of the modern era. The lack of religious ideals coupled with reverence for anything scientific is also satirized by the worship of Ford. Satirical content is also evident in the utopian society's class division and insistence on conformity. Huxley sought to illustrate how a future totalitarian regime could eliminate individualism and freedom by removing any painful (physical or emotional) experience from society. 

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Even though Huxley wrote this novel in 1931, his satire about contemporary social and moral issues still stands the test of time. In his book, Huxley comments on people's constant desire to be happy at all cost. They want to be entertained, not educated. For example, Lenina loves "Three Days in a Helicopter" because it makes her happy without doing anything. People's reliance on soma to make them happy is a satire on how much people will do not to feel sad or uncomfortable. Even the lack of parental values is satirized because in the world of Our Ford, there are no parents. Lack of moral values are also made fun of because 'everyone belongs to everyone else."However, people have had to give up real freedom to the ten world controllers,and do know seem to understand that to experience happiness, one must also experience emotional pain. That's the truth that John brings to the society.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Brave New World" is Huxley’s satirical look at a totalitarian society of the future, in which the trends of Huxley’s day have been taken to extremes. When John the Savage encounters this world, he cannot accept its values and chooses to die rather than try to conform to this “brave new world.”

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Brave New World

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