In Huxley's Brave New World, why do adults encourage erotic play among young children?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Huxley's society in Brave New World controls humans both psychologically and genetically. The first two chapters outline how people are manipulated genetically to accept their projected social positions once they are born. The society is completely against monogamy and families because there are different rules and loyal feelings associated with them. Huxley's government wants people to be free to explore their passions outside of the rules of marriage and family. In this way, people can feel loyal to themselves rather than to other people. If people are permitted to seek out their own passions, then the government believes that everyone will be happy. Little children are encouraged to look at each other's naked bodies in order to cultivate the individual passions which lead to selfishness rather than selflessness. Those participating in marriage and families tend to sacrifice everything for those whom they love. This government believes that people shouldn't have to sacrifice anything in order to be happy; and that loyal love is one thing that limits a person's happiness.

It is wise to cross-reference chapter three with chapters sixteen and seventeen because the philosophy behind the society is clearly divulged there. When Mond and the Savage discuss the differences between free thinking and learning as opposed to one based on narcissism, Mond says, "But that's the price we have to pay for stability. You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead" (264). Here Mond means that if people are permitted to follow their passions rather than their loyalties then happiness and stability can exist. Hence, little children are permitted to run around naked in order to cultivate the idea to follow their senses rather than to learn self-awareness or loyalty.

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Brave New World

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