Which contemporary trends does "Brave New World" reflect?
Though Brave New World was written in 1932, it foreshadowed many facets of society today. For example, the drug used primarily in the novel, Soma, is an embodiment of the entire New World culture. While Lenina and her friend are lounging at the ice cream bar in Chapter 6, she says, “A gramme in time saves nine”(59). Lenina has spoken a mantra which has been conditioned into her mind. Soma, is a stimulant that allows the taker to be desensitized to his/her reality. Unlike the drug Prozac, which helps with depression, Soma brainwashes the user and makes one totally indifferent. Huxley warns of a self-induced form of “mental censorship” that is strongly enforced by the government. One can say a modern day equivalent of this drug is the television, where content is not controlled by the user and material/news is simply spoon fed to the watcher. Soma, an opiate for the masses, makes the idea of individual thought nonexistent in the New World culture.
Huxley saw the advent of Propaganda in our lives, and was especially concerned about the influence of advertising on children (as well as the rest of us). The goal of all advertising is to sell product by convincing us that without the company's product we will be "less" than we could be with it. Of course, the manufacturers probably do not care a whit about how much better we look, feel, whatever ... just that we develop and attitude toward life that says we need more and more things, and especially the things that they are selling.
Huxley had his hypnopedia, which may or may not have worked; we had advertising which we KNOW works because of the incredible amounts of money that companies spend on it.
Did you ever wonder what we would be like/wish for/be interested in if there were no television ....