In what way do technological and cultural advancements play a role in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? What does Huxley say about these developments? Do they lead to to disintegration and corruption or freedom and liberation? Choose a passage that supports your position and analyze it to prove your argument.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World leaves absolutely no doubt that the author intended his depiction of a futuristic, dystopian society – called the World State in his novel – to constitute a warning against the dangers of the relentless pursuit of technological advances and the unbridled consumerism evident in the massive proliferation of the automobile that was occurring during the years in which he wrote. Huxley made no attempt at subtlety, and clearly viewed the evolution of modern society from a rather jaundiced point of view. The mere fact that his characters view Henry Ford, the father of modern industrialization, as a deity of Biblical proportions portends a portrait of the future from a decidedly negative perspective. Early in his novel, in Chapter Three, Huxley has one of his “Controllers,” “his fordship Mustapha Mond,” comment on the vast social improvements the World State provided relative to the inferior societies of the past:
"You all remember," said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, "you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's: History is bunk. History," he repeated slowly, "is bunk."
For an author of Huxley’s evident intellect, attributing a word as unsophisticated as “bunk” to a figure viewed universally as a god was unlikely to be accidental. Huxley is ridiculing the ‘dumbing down’ of society that he saw as a potential result of an overemphasis on material wealth and the substitution of character-building endeavors with technological innovations of dubious moral merit. Soon after the above statement by the Controller, the director of the hatchery grows concerned that the higher-being’s comments will be misconstrued. Huxley describes the director’s demeanor as follows:
“The D.H.C. looked at him nervously. There were those strange rumours of old forbidden books hidden in a safe in the Controller's study. Bibles, poetry–Ford knew what.”
The most prevalent example Huxley provides of a...
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