Essay Satire Brave New World

Essay Satire Brave New World-82
One practical consequence has been to heighten our already exaggerated fears of state-sanctioned mood-drugs.

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The drug heightens suggestibility, leaving its users vulnerable to government propaganda.

Soma is a narcotic that raises "a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds." If Huxley had wished to tantalise, rather than repel, emotional primitives like us with the biological nirvana soon in prospect, then he could have envisaged utopian wonderdrugs which reinforced or enriched our most cherished ideals.

Hence to treat his masterpiece as ill-conceived futurology rather than a work of great literature might seem to miss the point.

Yet the knee-jerk response of "It's Brave New World!

Nor does it make him happy with his station in life.

John the Savage commits suicide soon after taking soma [guilt and despair born of serotonin depletion!? The drug is said to be better than (promiscuous) sex - the only sex brave new worlders practise.

In part this is because people worry they might become zombified addicts; and in part because they are unwilling to cast themselves as humble supplicants of the medical profession by taking state-rationed "antidepressants".

Either way, the human cost in fruitless ill-being is immense.

Likewise, biotechnology could have been exploited in BNW to encode life-long fulfilment, information-sensitive gradients of bliss, and super-intellects for everyone - instead of manufacturing a rigid hierarchy of genetically-preordained castes.

Huxley, however, has an altogether different agenda in mind.


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