What idea does Aldous Huxley develop in Brave New World about the influence of community on the attitudes and values of an individual?  Thank you so much for any help given.  

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his foreword to "Brave New World," Aldous Huxley states that as political and economic freedom dininishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.  The promiscuity of the inhabitants of the New World make relationships between the genders meaningless.  But, with their minds upon sexual activity and the taking of soma to relieve any negative thoughts, the people of the New World are easily controlled. For, as Huxley writes,

In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his [Mond's] subjects to the servitude which is their fate....Today it seems quite possible that the horror may be upon us within a single century.

The love of servitude, Huxley, continues is accomplished by propaganda but truly as the result of a deep revolution in human minds and bodies.  Here is where Huxley is concerned with the amazing progress of technology.  He declares his theme as

not the advancement of science as such; it is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals.

With babies scientifically bred into separate classes, and conditioned from early childhood, the state easily controls its individuals.  If there are some glitches, and someone feels too much emotion, a drug, soma, is given to them to eliminate such aberrant feelings.  Thus, in "Brave New World," by the means of science--treatments, drugs, solidarity services, hypnopaedia (sleep teaching)--human lives are greatly affected.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that this is unique to Huxley's book, but Huxley definitely uses this book to argue that the society can completely determine a person's attitudes and values.

Huxley looks at a society where socialization (the process of instilling a culture's values in its younger members) is taken to extremes.  The children are exposed from the youngest ages to a great deal of conditioning.  We see this, for example, in Chapter 3 when the children are engaging in erotic play.

So Huxley's idea is that societies can totally indoctrinate the younger members and determine what attitudes and values they will have.

Read the study guide:
Brave New World

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question