A Brave New World: Religion And Its Society

968 words - 4 pages

Society in all cultures share a common trait: Religion. Studying religion in any society reveals many of their traits and explains the actions of the individual. For example, Jewish people live their lives according to what was written in the Talmud and the Torah. They respect the Sabbath and also eat Kosher meat. Even when looking at Huxley's A Brave New World, analyzing religion still helps us understand the actions of the societies and characters within the book.

When analyzing religion in any society, one must consider what god the society worships and what purpose that god holds. The `civilized' people in A Brave New World worship the automotive pioneer Henry Ford as their god. But, why is Ford the center of their religion? Henry Ford revolutionized industry altogether by implementing the assembly line. The assembly line brought forth a more efficient way of manufacturing goods through mass production for consumption by the public. It was well known to the `civilized' society that this ideology was incorporated into their daily lives. Even the Director says, "We condition the masses...so that they consume manufactured articles as well as transport" (23). Their society even engineer babies in an assembly-line like fashion and one of their main motives in life is to buy and use many consumer goods. Therefore, Ford would be the ideal god for their society.

The `civilized' society is not the only society in A Brave New World. An analysis of the `savage' society must be made as well in order to fully understand how religion plays a part with the characters in the novel. In the `savage' society, the gods worshipped are Pookong and Jesus. Pookong is the God of War to the Hopi Indians and Jesus is the central figure in Christianity who preached love. The mixture of these two conflicting religions show how the `savage' society itself is paradoxical. Just like how a society that worships love and war is a paradox, a society that has freedom but is caged is a paradox as well, and the religion of the `savage' society illustrates this relationship.

The rituals of a society must be analyzed as well to further understand the actions of the society and its people. Huxley writes about two religious ceremonies, one celebrated by the `civilized' society and the other by the `savage' society. The `civilized' people hold a Solidarity Service where twelve people get together and chant and shout out songs about topics such as the promiscuous idea of "orgy porgy" (84) and the idea that "I am you and you are I." (82) In order to continue ingraining the ideas of a stability and community as an adult, these services are held to continue conditioning the people. In this case, religion is used more as a tool than as a way to grow spiritually. For this society, we can understand that stability and community are very important to them and this ceremony shows...

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