Aldous Huxley's Brave New World Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

How valuable is the protection of individuality? In a society dominated by falsified, scientifically manufactured happiness, individuality proves a rarity. Aldous Huxley’s speculative novel, Brave New World, demonstrates the consequences of this type of impassive society. Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all unique from their peers, and they think individually as a result. Because of their individuality, the group is ultimately banned from civilization and sent to a remote location. Being segregated because of appearance or mental capacity and not subject to society’s influences stimulates individuality; however, the knowledge and truth correlating with individuality comes at a price, in this case, happiness.
Bernard’s isolation, resulting from a physical deformity, allows him to fully explore his individuality. Bernard’s height constantly attracts scorn and ridicule from both Alpha’s and lower caste members, and they treat him as a foreigner because he appears different to them. Constantly battered by derision from all castes, Bernard “feel[s] an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behave[s] like one…”(65). Isolation from society provides Bernard time in solitude, affording him the means to question society’s motives for mocking him. Bernard’s lack of faith in society drives him further apart from its inhabitants, creating a cycle that advances Bernard’s isolation from his peers and, in turn, promoting his individuality. Furthermore, the people surrounding Bernard have always taken interest in his physical shortcomings. They gossip about his deformity, suggesting alcohol in his system and a mix-up in the embryonic stage as possible reasons for it. Society isolates Bernard because of his physical stature, “…and [his] sense of this apartness, being… a mental excess, [becomes] in its turn a cause of wider separation”(67). Once again, Bernard’s defects instigate a cycle that further wedges apart his connection to society. However, his “sense of apartness” translates into “a mental excess”, demonstrating that Bernard obtains the knowledge that arose from his isolation in exchange for his connection to society. Bernard essentially gives up an existence of shallow, meaningless happiness for knowledge and truth. Though Bernard desires so passionately to be accepted in society, he does not realize the advantage that his separation has given him. Bernard’s mental excess allows him to think freely, question society, and indulge his curiosity. The same physical deformity that has isolated Bernard has also deepened his individuality.
Helmholtz isolates himself because he possesses a mental surplus, allowing him to explore individuality. Helmholtz Watson, an Alpha lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering, is fascinated by the power of writing. Due to his mental excess, however, Watson realizes that writing proves insignificant without a topic to write about. This high level of thinking isolates Helmholtz from civilization....

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