Presentation on theme: "Brave New World Caste System – Alpha pluses at the top; Epsilon minuses at the bottom – Each caste is bred and conditioned to fulfill specific social."— Presentation transcript:
Brave New World Caste System – Alpha pluses at the top; Epsilon minuses at the bottom – Each caste is bred and conditioned to fulfill specific social roles – World State’s motto – Community, Identity, Stability
– Lower castes are really sub-human and are bred and conditioned to do menial labor. – Higher castes are bred and conditioned to do the “thinking” work of Brave New World. All humans produced non-sexually – Alphas and Betas are manufactured individually. – Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are mass produced through a kind of cloning known as bokanovkification.
Bread and Circuses – All the people in Brave New World are bred and conditioned to be satisfied by fulfilling the the social roles they been bred and conditioned for. – Also, they are bred and conditioned to be satisfied by the gratification of their most animalistic impulses.
John the Savage – Bernard Marx takes Lenina (the names are not accidental) on a vacation to the Savage Reservation in New Mexico. – The people from Brave New World to go the Savage Reservation for much the same reason as people from contemporary America go on safari to Africa. – Americans go to Africa to see wild animals in their natural habitat.
– People from Brave New World go to the Savage Reservation to see the wild humans in their natural habitat. – While at the reservation, Bernard and Lenina discover John the Savage. – John is the illegitimate son of the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning. – When he was young, the Director had taken a young woman to New Mexico, just as Bernard does.
– The Director, however, had abandoned the woman there when she became separated from him on an hike through the Reservation. – Sex is just for recreation in Brave New World. There is no such thing as love between the sexes. – Sexual reproduction is scandalous – ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’ are dirty words. – Bernard and Lenina bring John back to London, where, eventually, he has a confrontation with the World Controller, Mustapha Mond.
Mustapha Mond vs. John the Savage. – Mond quotes and then rejects both Newman and Maine de Biran. – John argues that the “humanity” of those in Brave New World is degraded, with no possibility for heroism or nobility. – Mond concedes that Brave New World has no heroism or nobility, but claims these are mediocre commodities.
– When John then claims that these virtues are necessary for genuine humanity, Mond responds that John is asserting his right to be unhappy. – Is John claiming the right to be unhappy, or is he claiming the right to be happy in a truly human way, which means one must risk genuine unhappiness? – Is human life in Brave New World truly human life, or only its imitation?
Final Thoughts – “The ultimate effect of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools.” – Herbert Spencer – Does eliminating from life all suffering and inconvenience, especially through biotechnology, run the risk of eliminating what is truly human?
– “Medical technology offers us, in many cases, a devil’s bargain: Longer life, but with reduced mental capacity; freedom from depression, together with freedom from creativity or spirit; therapies that blur the line between what we achieve on our own and what we achieve because of the levels of various chemicals in our brains.” Francis Fukuyama, Our Post-Human Future
– As we proceed headlong with biotechnology, especially technology that treats humans and human life as commodities, à la Brave New World, e.g. cloning for bio-medical research and “harvesting” stem cells from embryos, do we run the risk of hearing the words novelist Tom Wolfe used, in irony, as the title of an essay spoken to us in earnest: “Sorry, but your soul just died.”
Homework (Treated as a Pop Quiz) – Identify the exact source from which Aldous Huxley took the title for his novel Brave New World. – How does the source from which Huxley took the novel’s title relate to the novel’s overall theme?
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