DystopiaIn his novel, “Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley portrays a society in which the government has full control. At the time of the books writing America was striving for this status quo of complacent pleasantry, censorship was an issue, and things that were extreme or painful were being removed. As man has progressed through the years, societies have tried to arrive at a utopian society, where everyone is happy, disease is nonexistent, and strife, anger, or sadness are unheard of. Only happiness exists.
But after reading Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” one comes to realize that this is not, in fact, what the human being really longs for. Huxley’s intended audience seems to be people that have the vision of a perfect society. He wrote the book as a dark satire. It’s meant to mock (in a serious manner) the concept of a perfect society being possible. Huxley successfully made the point that there is more to life than stability and complacent happiness by utilizing a number of rhetorical strategies.Huxley’s central rhetorical strategy throughout the piece is symbolism. Soma symbolises control and conformity.
It is present to keep people calm and acting in a calm, controlled way. If no one is angry, then there are no problems in society. The idea is that they can drug the people until they do not get angry, and then they can do anything to them. In “Brave New World,” religion is the worship of a living soul instead of a Supreme Being.
Henry Ford is their equivalent of a god; they worship the letter T in honor of the original Model T car. They have even trimmed the crosses of Christianity into letter T’s, effectively replacing the cross as a sacred symbol. ||| Huxley realizes the significance of having someone or something to worship. It gives society the impression that they are living their lives for a purpose that is greater than themselves. Huxley also realizes that the concept of religion can be adjusted to fit the situation.
“Our Ford – Our Freud as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters” (Huxley 34). To make Ford omniscient and powerful in the area of psychology they change his name to one of the best known psychiatrists named Freud. Aldous Huxley uses symbolism to support his political stance and to share his concerns about what could happen if people allow the government too much control.
The second rhetorical strategy Huxley employs is a literary element of another kind – imagery. He uses the repetition of animal imagery such as ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ to compliment his satirical tone. He also utilizes a lot of imagery in order to visualize the characters in the book.
One example is the way he describes Linda, the civilized woman that was left on the reservation. “A very stout blonde squaw stepped across the threshold and stood looking at the strangers, staring incredulously, her mouth open. Lenina noticed with disgust that two of the front teeth were missing. And the colour of the ones that remained. .
. She shuddered. It was worse than the old man. So fat. And all the lines in her face, the purplish blotches.
And that neck – that neck; and the blanked she wore over her head-ragged and filthy” (Huxley 118, 119). He describes her in such a way that you can clearly picture her appearance in your head. Imagery ultimately helps Huxley to make his novel all the more enjoyable and vivid to the reader.Through the use of several rhetorical strategies, Huxley effectively proves that a utopian society can never be.
This is because there will always be someone that thinks or feels different that can change and ruin the so called “utopia.” He wrote that the focus of “Brave New World” isn’t science itself, but science as it affects an individual. The vision he renders of a technological, futuristic society is both intimidating and captivating. Huxley is also trying to get a lesson across, that technology is destroying the basics of society: family, cultural diversity, art, literature, science, religion, and philosophy. He specifically uses symbolism and imagery for that purpose. If you can look past the insanity of the society you will find that behind many descriptions, ideas, and quotes there is a deeper meaning that helps Huxley to further portray the struggle of a utopian society.