Have you ever read a Dystopia novel? A dystopia is a community or society, usually fictional, which is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia, and it appears in many works of fiction, particularly in stories set in a speculative future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. For the 3 most famous dystopia novel, there are George Orwell’s <1984>, Evgeni Ivanovich Zamiatin’s <We>, and Aldous Huxley’s <Brave New World>. <The Hunger Games> is another example of a dystopia novel. I have quite a lot of interest in dystopia novels, but I’ve never tried the famous ones of dystopia novels because I thought they would be very hard to understand. When I was young, I tried reading <Brave New World> but I just couldn’t understand what the book wants to tell me and gave up after only reading the first chapter. However, few months ago, I borrowed an English book named <Brave New World> and started reading. I didn’t know that it was <Brave New World> because the Korean title is quite different and the cover of the English book was attractive to me unlike the Korean book I tried few years before. When I started reading <Brave New World> in English, the words were so difficult and it was so hard for me, but it was interesting! Since I couldn’t read the whole book that time because of my schedules, I borrowed it again and started reading it right away.
The book <Brave New World> has its’ setting on 2540, also called ‘A.F.632′ in the book. They say the start of the use of conveyor belt in Ford’s factory was a great invention and the important change to the world, and made the year 1908, when conveyor belt was first used by Ford, into the standard of the years like A.C.. On A.F. 600s, they don’t have babies with parents’ love. They make babies in a bottle with their improved genetic science skills. With one egg, they splits it into 80~90 eggs. They call this process ‘Bokanovsky’s process’ and call the eggs, ‘Bokanovskified eggs. When those split eggs grow, they become numerous identical twins who has perfectly same features. Each egg is bottled in a bottle and it moves all around the building on a long conveyor belt, passing lots of processes.
One of the processes is to inject some potions to the babies. Those Potions represses the growth of the babies and makes them shorter of more stupid, and makes them to be more appropriate to the circumstances where they would live after when they grow up. Some potions are good, but some are definitely not. The process of injecting those potions of no good are not carried to everyone. There is a class system in the world in <Brave New World>. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. They also differenciate each classes with minus or plus, for example Alpha Plus of Alpha Minus. The bad potions are only carried out to the Gamma and Delta, which makes them look less developed and uglier than the Alpha and Beta. Not only that, Alpha and Beta’s egg are not split unlike the Gamma and Delta. When Gamma and Delta eggs are split and grows into numerous twins, Alpha and Beta just grows perfectly in high qualified cares.
When the babies get out of the bottle and starts to grow, the government carries out special education methods called ‘sleep-teaching’, also called ‘Hhypnopaedia’, and ‘Neo-Pavlovian conditioning’. When the well grown babies and young children sleeps, strange sounds starts coming out from the room and repeats till they wakes up. Beta children, for example, hear whispers such as ‘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 of write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.’ from under their pillows all night long and unconsciously accepts those words like they really thinks so. It’s like a unconscious mind control, making prejudice although they didn’t think so before hearing those whispers. In Neo-Pavlovian conditioning process, they use instinctive conditioned reflex like the famous ‘Pavlov’s Dogs’ experiment. Neo-Pavlovian conditioning is to make conditioned reflex and making them easier to satisfy on their works after they grow up. For example, low classed babies like Delta and Epsilon gets electric shocks and hears horrible noises after seeing and playing with flowers and books. After that, they become to hate flowers and books till they die. That helps them to have any interest to the nature and culture, and only do their works. By using Hypnopaedia and Neo-Pavlovian conditioning, the government can make the people like what they want, and make them have no problem with their works.
Histories are disregarded and old books, old paper books are all banned by the government. No dissents are allowed. Every book have to get through the deliberations about ‘would this book bring social chaos?’ and if the book has any point which could make the people have questions about the society and other kinds of satisfactions of life. They also say ‘Civilization is Sterilization.’ and ‘The more stitches, the less riches.’. The government advises to use new things and to satisfy in the modern, present society. The citizens are had been bainwashed by the government’s education and doesn’t have any complains about those things.
The development of science have brought the improvement of standard of living, but also made the people’s emotions and various personalities to disappear. Freedom of activities and expressions are controlled and only uniformity and evenness remains in the whole society. They doesn’t have any worries about getting a job because the government gives them perfect works, doesn’t have any pressures for raising their babies, no worries for having responsibility for their parents. They also have freedom to have ‘free love’ without promises of love or marriage, maintaining their youth till they die without any pain. When they are frustrated or depressed, there’s a small pill called ‘Soma’ which can get rid of the sad thoughts and only fills our head with happy thoughts. It’s like a drug, but the ‘government’ offers the people, and also supplies to them, like as a salary to the low class citizens, because it could make any kind of complaint about the society to disappear. As the whole society has the same views and doesn’t have any complaints about having no freedom to have other views to the society, they feels odd and also laughs at other ideas, considering those things are nonsense. In the story, ‘Lenina’ and ‘Burnard’ goes to the ‘Reservation’, where non-civilized peoples live, and meets John Savage and takes John to the improved society. John feels interested at the strange kind of society at first, but soon feels very unpleasant about their opened culture and astonishes at the fact that everyone, including small babies, doesn’t have any awareness about somebody’s death. After that, he talked to many people about getting happiness in more mature way, told them many stories of Shakespeare, and talked about this strange form of society. However which every people had in same every time when he talked about those things was the laughter of misunderstood and thinking that it’s nonsense. He throws away the boxful of Soma to help the people escape from the artificial happiness made by the government, and tried to make them understand his thoughts, but always failed. Savage was only a monkey from the wild to the people, although he was more mentally, morally advanced by reading the old books of William Shakespeare.
The setting of A.F 600s was so interesting and the feature of the society was very different. Their values were also very different and it almost felt like another chaos although they made a society like that because they don’t want chaos. In the story, Savager looks like a revolutionist against the government, but he also looks like a madman with persecution complex after his mother’s death. At the last half of the story, he says, ‘I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” It was so impressing to me. It looks like a mad nonsense, but while reading this book, I could completely understand his feelings and I also agreed with it. I felt very pitiful to the people of the controlled society in the book because to me, they looked like small birds which are satisfied to their little cage, not wanting to hear even a word about the other form of society although they could get out of the cage if they want. It was so sad for them that they couldn’t accept any other kind of views and only satisfies in the present. The plot was so interesting and impressing, but it was also so despairing and sad to me. If our future looks the same as the society of <Brave New World>, It would be terrible. Controlled society would be a good way to take control of the whole citizen, but it shouldn’t be too much. Unforeseeable circumstances can be a annoying factor, but those kind of things gets variousness to the daily routines and make our life more animately. After reading this book <Brave New World> I could think about the criteria of happiness again, and also realized that the freedom and variousness of our life is very important for us. If you have lots of space in your head to think a lot, of when you have any complaint about your life, try reading <Brave New World>!