What are six ways I can compare the book Brave New World to our society today?

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a0542959 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a dystopic novel. This means it is a representation of a "perfect" society gone completely wrong. This being said, our society hasn't gone completely wrong, but there are many things present that COULD go wrong quickly. Here are some examples:

1) The way that we reproduce isn't always natural. Many couples use implantation methods (infertile couples, gay couples, and sometimes single individuals). 

2) THe use of stimulants to escape an actual reality. Drugs and medicine are used in both the novel and current society to escape "real life".

3)Technology. In Brave New World, "feelies" are a way to enjoy yourself. Look around you next time you're out and about. Everyone's faces are buried in their phones.

4) Conformity. In Brave New World, all of the characters are constantly trying to conform to their peers and the government. Again, look around you. Going green, wearing skinny jeans, and listening to certain "types" of music are the same type of conformity, just on a different level.

5) Separation of sex and love. In Brave New World you don't have to love someone to have sex with them. Nor do you have to have sex with someone to prove you love them--the two are not combined. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common in today's world. 

6) Children aren't hurt by death. They don't react when someone in their family or someone they knew dies. This is happening more and more often today. People are not always as hurt when someone dies. You could chalk this up to violence in video games creating a more "pain resistant" youth.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To compare Brave New World to our modern society, it might be helpful to focus on some of the following issues.

First, consider the use of artificial means of reproduction. For example, both societies use artificial methods to create life, but our relationship to such methods is very different.

Secondly, the society of Brave New World is highly stratified and divided into different castes, like Alphas and Epsilons. Our society is not quite as stratified, but there are clear lines of divisions, mainly along the lines of wealth, gender, and race.

Thirdly, compare the types of relationships present in our society and that of Brave New World. In the latter, for example, people are encouraged to have sexual intercourse with as many people as they wish without making an emotional connection. To what extent is this liberal attitude toward sexuality prevalent in our own society?

Fourthly, consider the use of drugs in both societies. In Brave New World, soma addiction is a common feature of society, but it is not deemed to be problematic. How does this compare to our own view of drug addiction?

Next, consider attitudes toward education. In Brave New World, education is used to reinforce ideas about social class and uses methods like sleep teaching. You might wish to compare this attitude and this method with our own notions about education.

Finally, John is hounded by the media in Brave New World and realizes that he can never escape their interest in him. You might like to compare this invasion of privacy to our modern paparazzi.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, while the world of throwaway consumption in Brave New World was shocking and comic when the book first appeared, we have probably surpassed Huxley's wildest imaginings of a "disposable" society. We give or throw away clothing, toys, books, and electronics at a rate surpassing even what is depicted in the novel.

Second, we live in a "soma" world comparable to the novel. We use drugs to dull every pain and are in the midst of an opioid epidemic in some parts of the country.

Third, while casual premarital sex was another shocking aspect of the novel in the 1930s, in our day it is accepted practice for most of our society.

Fourth, we also get involved in sports activities that involve a great deal of consumption. Who can hop on a simple bike in a pair of shorts these days: Does it not always seem that it has to be an expensive, twenty-one gear vehicle that also requires a major expenditure in biking clothes—and the same with other sports?

Fifth, we also do our best to avoid seeing ugliness and are often shocked when we witness it.

Sixth, we also often prefer a world of mindless pleasure and amusement to the pain and suffering the Savage insists are part of what make us human. 

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