All forms of art have greatly influenced my life and have had an enormous effect on me as a person. Throughout high school, of all the great works of literature, poetry, and other types of art that have given me a feeling of joy, my senior year I discovered one piece of literature that stands out and opens my eyes to the world around me. Art, literature and music not only intrigue and inspire me, but also despite all of the thought provoking choices at hand, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, has had the greatest affect on my opinion of the world.
I believe that this story is similar to what our society is becoming and has opened my outlook on the world. Aldous Huxley greatly described an innovated world in which all matters of truth and individuality are gone. The characters in this book are born into a caste system, in which they are conditioned to think and act according to which caste level they belong. Although, he did not predict that the human race would actually yield to this sad, loveless lifestyle, surprisingly they adapted rather quickly.
After reading Brave New World, I was not only rudely awakened by the lifestyles of this race, but also shown what is truly important. With cloning being one of the new discoveries in todays society, I can see how mankind could become a sea of walking machines, easily compared to those in Brave New World. From birth, the characters are told how to act, think and dress. To an extent, our society follows the same format with all of the advertisements and pressures from the entertainment world to act and dress a certain way.
But yet, our children today are not put to bed with subliminal messages playing in their ears and being told where they fit in as a whole. Although, as young children, through music, television, and movies, we have been introduced to the evils of life, such as drugs, sex, and death. In return, the harsh reality that we view at such at a young age will automatically reflect the way we develop as a person. I realized the importance of our freedom as well as our individuality.
Along with helping me to discover what is truly important, Aldous Huxley, through his writings, aided me to see the value of my thoughts and personal feelings. In reading Brave New World, I have come to realize the significance of true humanlike feelings and experiences. Throughout this book, happiness is signified solely by Soma, a drug given to anyone feeling dissatisfied in his life. The characters are not taught to feel, but trained to be happy.
For example, when a hostile group of people get out of hand, the authorities throw quantities of Soma into the crowd in order for them to calm down. Instead of facing confrontations and expressing ones feelings, Aldous Huxley avoids real life situations. Unlike todays society, people are encouraged to have promiscuous sex with no commitments, giving women contraceptives and protection from childbirth and disease. One theme that is constant throughout this book is the idea that ridding the society of morals creates a universal happiness.
These values, such as test tube babies and sex without responsibilities, helps me to realize the impact of these experiences on my own life, compared to that of the imaginary world produced by Aldous Huxley. I am fortunate to be able to experience love, remorse and other natural emotions. The story has influenced my opinion on life as a whole and has helped me to realize that our society today is at great risk of following in the same footsteps of the novel, Brave New World. After acknowledging the downfall or our society, I have become more aware of the life around me and the potential we gain through love and true knowledge.