Thomas More’s Utopia And Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World

2413 words - 10 pages

Thomas More’s Utopia and Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World , are novels about societies that differ from our own. Though the two authors have chosen different approaches to create an alternate society, both books have similarities which represent the visions of men who were moved to great indignation by the societies in which they lived. Both novels have transcended contemporary problems in society , they both have a structured, work based civilization and both have separated themselves from the ways of past society. It is important when reading these novels to focus on the differences as well as the similarities. The two novels differ in their views of love, religion, and the way to ...view middle of the document...

In order to maintain a society free of social inequality both authors set up a civilization based on strict societal structure. In More’s Utopia, a system was set up so that all work was completed. The people of Utopia felt that “many hands made work light,” and so all work was divided equally and fairly. Every year 20 people from the city move to the country to learn from the farm workers who moved before them, in turn 20 people from the country move to the city and learn from those who live there. This is done every two years and insures equality and precision. The farm workers know exactly how much produce is needed to feed the city and its district, but they plant more to share with their neighbors. When it is time to harvest, crews come from all over the city and neighboring areas and they are able to get everything done in one day. Brave New World also uses a very structured system in their society. Advances in eugenics allow the Controllers to reproduce almost any type of human being they need. The elimination of birth gives way to decanting, where all of the fetuses develop in a tube. In order to have a well balanced society, the Controllers use injections of alcohol to make some of the babies unintelligent. These babies grow up to be the epsilons, who although conditioned to believe they were the best caste to be, were actually the lowest class and did all of the mundane work. As the Controller Mustapha Mond elegantly puts it, "The optimum population is modeled on the iceberg -- eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above." In order to further insure stability, the Controllers of Brave New World have also provided the workers with endless distractions, some of which are similar to those that are popular today. Foremost among these is soma, "the perfect drug." It is "euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinate" and has "all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects." All workers are required to take the drug (everyone receives a daily ration), making it an indispensable component of social control. The social control that both societies thrive on is one that our society lacks, the authors imply that a more structured environment might bring our society to a higher level.

In order to maintain the social control that both novels posses, it is necessary to separate themselves from the ways of the past society. In Utopia, the king had the earth that connected them to land dug, in order to become the secluded island that they are. In Brave New World, people who still lived by the way of the past were retained on reservations. These people, “savages,” were surrounded by electric fences. Members from the new society had to obtain a pass that was seldom given out in order to get into the reservation. Separating the new societies was essential, which we see in both novels when the new society meets with the inhabitants of the old.

Although there are many similarities between...

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