In BNW, human beings in World State seem “happy” and “content”. When Bernard Marx shows an unorthodox behaviour about the discussion of Lenina, Henry Foster immediately recommends him a depressant that has “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” This means that the feelings that soma are divine when being moral and euphoric feeling that you can become easily excited when you’re a bit tipsy.
It gives no disadvantages of Christianity where you can feel unable to achieve something celestial or feeling sick whilst you’re drunk therefore soma is an effective drug with no side effects of misery or suffering as a result. This suggests citizens of the World State don’t know what happiness is because they push away time to reflect on why they are suffering and where the problem lies by following their hypnopaedia motto e.i “Ending is better than mending”. This motto means that fixing problems is troublesome. This leads citizens to be “happy” only because the State has told them that they only achieve it by taking soma “to become happy”. Those in the caste system who take soma aren’t as any different to a person who’s had a lobotomy because anything can be bliss if you’re not living with discontent. This shows how the World State has redefined freedom e.
g when Lenina explains what’s freedom defined to her: “I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time.
Everybody’s happy nowadays.”but what Marx implies is, citizens of the WS cannot have the free choice to be unhappy. They’ve been indoctrinated that being free is being able to live in leisure, so they’re just satisfied and not “happy”. It could be suggested that their consciousness has been held back to such a length, that it creates primitive thought as there is no critical thought on whether responsibility lies on the drugs rather than on the person’s behaviour. This can be seen by the lack of independent thought of different castes from decanting e.g “Gammas are stupid.
” Huxley uses satire to make fun of people that want to live “happy” lives by creating a society where it’s socially unacceptable to be sad. He takes everything that can cause depression, sadness, and instability in our society, and completely deletes it from his brave new world. No siblings, no wives, no mothers or fathers, no individuality, no history, no war, no crime. He shows how no matter what society deems necessary to create a utopian state, something will go wrong.Meanwhile in Gulliver’s Travels, Houhynhmns can’t feel emotions e.
g a mistress arrives after the death of her husband and remains “as cheerfully as the rest”. Death can be considered one of the biggest affliction of humanity since we have fear over it whereas in animals it’s expected but never obsessed about. In the way of the Houhynhmns, they are very prepared and don’t allow negative emotions to reside in them which makes them oddly similar to virtuous Christian members. However, Swift might be making the statement that they are supposed to represent the innocence of humanity rather than the corruption, since they take everything with ease and without worry. Alternatively, Swift could be using them to show Gulliver as a willing and obedient servant e.g “but as I was going to prostrate myself to kiss his hoof, he did me the honour to raise it gently to my mouth.” to highlight the philosophical debate of rationality where horses are often used as an example of it. Since, readers would consider the animals Houhynhmns represents to have an inferior conscience than humans so therefore, Swift patronises those who follow the mentality that being rational is being human and being without emotion is normal.
In BNW, written language is unimportant. Not only have they lost free will, they have lost the old written language since banned books are only kept by Mond and they can only recite slogans from what the World State have engineered. This makes citizens of the World State miss out on the eloquence that they might have had like John the Savage. This can be seen when Helmholtz has something to say, he believes, but he cannot find the words within him: “I feel I’ve got inside me – that extra, latent power. Something seems to be coming to me”. The fact that Helmhotz can’t express himself, shows how back-wards BNW is because the lack of language stifles their efficiency in hypnopedia. He could achieve much more in improving his language if he could unconceal his struggle to find meaning and expression for his feeling of emptiness.
Ironically, Helmhotz complains that such plain and predictable language is incapable of poetry but when John reads him Shakespeare, he recognises the “old fellow” achieves the power of language which he cannot and exclaims “what a superb piece of emotional engineering!”. However, Helmhotz doesn’t understand anything past the “emotional engineering” qualities that he thinks is missing from his own propaganda work: “Makes our best propaganda look absolutely silly”. This is because Helmhotz doesn’t live in the savage reservations where individuals experience thoroughgoing passions just as Shakespeare did by living in a comparatively primitive society. For John, on the other hand, who has grown up in an extremely primitive society and resorts to Zuni obscenities to express his disgust, Shakespeare’s language is of an advanced, reflective civilisation. It seems that a balance has to be struck between the primitive and the sophisticated in order for a culture to achieve greatness. Huxley could be suggesting that the culture of his own time has already become too cut off from natural experiences to retain its poetic capacity. Using Shakespeare as an allusion to show how society is inferior to previous achievements. It shows Shakespeare to be good and modernity bad or alternatively, Shakespeare offers a standard of eloquence and sensitivity against the savage reservation, the world state and the reader’s own world can be judged.
But John’s use of it is anything but creative, there’s a drawn parallel between world state with falling back on slogans in place of thought. E.g lenina as “vestal modesty” when she truly isn’t modest in the slightest. In Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver constantly talks about truthful writing and how he writes the truth. In his fourth voyage, he meets the Houyhnhnms and quickly learns that the Houyhnhnms “have no letters, and consequently, their knowledge is all traditional” and have poems that reflect “benevolence and friendship”. The only negative word is “Yahoo” and is represented by the mare’s behaviour towards Gulliver “gave me a most contemptuous look”. This shows the intense prejudice of Yahoos even of Gulliver who readers may find he is different from a Yahoo. However, Gulliver shows his distaste by concluding “I never beheld so disagreeable an animal” after having a frightful encounter with one.
The Yahoos are envisioned as degenerated evolution of mankind because they have lost language and technology by the present day of Gulliver. This means they are more primitive because they hold no logic that e.g prescribing a mixture of “dung and urine” in order to cure maladies is repulsive and counterproductive. However, Gulliver and his “master” both agree that European Yahoos have the same behaviour that parallels in the life of the Yahoo because Yahoos have been stripped down their basic desires e.g obsessed with “pretty stones” they find by digging in mud, which represents the distasteful materialism and ignorance of the elite Swift encountered in Britain. However, whether the Gulliver’s should believe that he is more similar to the Yahoos than the Houhynhmns is debatable. There is no written language so there is no documented history on whether Houhynhmns once valued anything other than friendship.
This can be compared to earlier in the book where in Glubbdubdrib, Gulliver finds out about the greatest history of the world to be exaggerated e.g “3 -8 This can be seen in Gulliver’s Travels with the philsophers of the past and corruption”. This matters because Houhynhmns can be considered savages because they are barbaric to Yahoos instead of giving them the opportunity to become like them as Gulliver has done.
This sort of behaviour typically is synonymous with primitive cultures. Swift suggests humanity is …Furthermore, in BNW, religion is regarded with hostility and fear: “The DHC looked at him nervously….” Mond says “I won’t corrupt them” meanwhile DHC is “overwhelmed with confusion” Although the DHC has power of authority, the mention of religion makes him anxious because these spiritual beliefs belong to the Savage Reservations for being a remainder of the old “dysfunctional” world. Even when Mond uses Christianity as an example for the idea of soma: “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” Mond can identify the exulted feelings under Christianity of doing good deeds but Christianity isn’t liked or pursued otherwise because all Abrahamic religions push for men and women to build a family. This instigates that since Christianity stunts technological growth, it can be seen as primitive and so can the reservation. Especially anything regarding history of man and how they came to be, “You all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk.” Using slang such as “bunk” and overrating Ford’s saying by using “inspiring and beautiful” is really just Huxley patronising them.
This condescending statement is a clear indicator of Huxley’s opinion of the modern world at the time, it is shown that Huxley predicts WW2 and the aftermath that e.g “chemical warfare” or having the WS a totalitarian government. This represents a loss of morals which should make us different from animals but since the citizens of BNW (can’t think unless you’re an Alpha), they can’t exactly be all that different from animals since they can’t make ideas and to be rational creatures, they must have to be dissimilar to animals. This suggests that they are irrational and harbour no incentive to be more than they are. Have no clue how to link this back to primitive.However, in Gulliver’s Travels, even with a lack of written language and whether it’s true. Gulliver believes in Houyhnhmn history because they are collective and avoid profit seeking or factionalism that skew history by “prostitute writers”. Swift uses Gulliver’s protests about truth in his voyages by reminding readers that Gulliver is a fictional character by his burlesque style created for satire.
This consistent protesting makes sure that readers can In BNW, humans have lost their humanity. “Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write.
” They are cruel to those to the lower castes because Epsilons and Deltas will never experience the same privilege that Betas or Alphas have e.g “Deltas” associate books and flowers with loud noises . They never have any freedom to do anything other than be working for everyone else. No one works for them.
The upper castes are cruel and capable of cruel acts which link to savagery and barbaricness. The loss of science, art, feelings, and individualism are willingly sacrificed for ‘Community, Identity, Stability.’In GT, humans have lost their humanity because they do what modern readers would consider inhumane/immoral acts e.
g “,” which makes them an animal. Swift’s tale “represents human nature itself as the object of contempt and abhorrence” as noted by James Beattie. But GT period suggests animals are irrational and therefore humans and animals aren’t the same because in a modern view, we’ve evolved. and have a corrupt system which makes us inefficient which in BNW concept we’re primitive but in GT we’re fiends. Hous are represented as this superego to us, we are the ids and humanity is the ego. This can be seen within the yahoos which are regarded so negatively that even in the language that’s the only negative word. The Yahoos livelihood and humans have a parallel life that it could only be assumed they are they the same, but maybe Yahoo’s are more dumbed down to basics and that they are the truly “humane” people because they do not know how or what to be more than they are, they are stifled growth, their primitive nature helps them remain at touch with human nature.
You could say that about the houhynhmns but they have a caste system themselves, and their lives are efficient even if their technology isn’t.After telling thing about thing even after leaving out, he concludes “I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”It could be read that “bulk” meaning most and not all still clarifies a little hope for the human race and that in turn humans aren’t as bad as they might seem.