Brave New World Revisited Analysis English Literature Essay

Aldous Huxley describes Brave New World as a “ incubus ” universe of familial technology, brainwashing, drugs and recreational sex. The New World State is a perfect society gone amiss: a society to be feared by the modern-day audience with the purpose to warn about anticipant hereafter developments. Margaret Atwood offers a totalitarian society built around the individual end of reproduction. The Handmaid ‘s Tale presents a “ incubus ” universe whereby adult females, and possibly work forces likewise, are stripped of their single rights and individuality.

The early 1930s saw much involvement in ‘eugenics ‘ . However, many were cautious about back uping such positions after World War II and the Nazi Germany ‘s “ Final Solution ” . Controversially, Brave New World offers a plausible history of the positive effects of eugenics in a system where human features can be chosen in progress. Huxley ‘s vision of the hereafter is one of felicity, yet this felicity is in exchange for freedom. This prophylactic narrative high spots the limited and black consequences of a society where perfect efficiency leaves no room for emotion, will or mind.

Set against the recoil of the 1980s and the 2nd moving ridge of feminism during the 1970s, Atwood portrays a society non come oning towards equal rights for adult females, but instead these rights are taken off. Babies are the most valuable trade good in this society to co-occur with the worsening birth rate, and so to accomplish conformity adult females are objectified and stripped of all rights to show a terrifying and alarming hereafter society.

Written in 3rd individual with an all-knowing storyteller Brave New World gives a personal history of single experiences for a figure of different characters, leting Huxley to include an foreigner, John the Savage, who can place the defects of this alleged perfect society that are apparently unseeable to those who know no different. The World State is an already established system, and so through “ John ‘s ” eyes merely does Huxley show the imperfectnesss of the futuristic and unreal universe. The World State has no past, and possibly on its ain would non be considered so imperfect, yet the Savage Reservation offers an alternate society that highlights the blemished qualities of the World State. The World State and the Savage Reservation seem to lie parallel to each other. It is merely when John crosses between the two that the reader is exposed to the daze of “ external world ” .

In contrast, The Handmaid ‘s Tale is a first individual assumed autobiography, giving a retrospective history of personal experience. Atwood gives a non-chronological history as Offred moves between past and present, showing the reader with a disconnected representation of clip. Through Offred ‘s eyes merely do we get down to grok this ‘cautionary narrative ‘ . Gilead is a lone society, whereby all members are expected to follow with the ‘rules ‘ . There is no other universe to compare to, merely the past highlighting what they used to hold. Rather than portraying an already established system Atwood portrays a society in passage and reformation, leting comparings to be made between past and present, and therefore foregrounding the differences between Offred ‘s yesteryear and her current state of affairs. The reader accompanies Offred through the Red Centre and basically “ Re-education ” , and this sense of journey and understanding allows the reader to sympathize with Offred and the “ incubus ” universe she lives in. Offred frequently recollects her past, giving frequent inside informations of the “ clip before ” when “ Luke was still at work, [ her ] girl was at school ” , stressing how she used to populate and what she has lost. Puting accent on the freedom that Offred one time had, these flashbacks contrast with the manner she lives now as a Handmaid and advance the “ incubus ” qualities of her current state of affairs.

Brave New World portrays a society where all members are considered to be ‘happy consumers ‘ , if so so it is anything but a “ incubus ” . Ultimately, dwellers are populating in a controlled and stable society, “ they ‘re good off ; they ‘re safe ; they ‘re ne’er ill ; they ‘re non afraid of decease. ” Social control is based non on panic, but on pleasance, yet in a manner that modern-day readers find unacceptable. It is these ‘ideal ‘ qualities that connote a “ incubus ” universe, whereby “ they ‘re so conditioned that they practically ca n’t assist acting as they ought to act ” . The word “ ought ” Acts of the Apostless as an jussive mood ; they have no control over their actions and can merely act as they should act, as if it is their responsibility. This complete deficiency of freewill and independency makes the World State so feared and appalled. Huxley includes many tendencies that strip off the basic qualities that make human existences alone persons ; we can non conceive of a universe where natural reproduction is non a necessity, disease is banished, “ and if anything should travel incorrect ” , there is “ soma ” .

The Handmaid ‘s Tale, nevertheless, does non value felicity and alternatively promotes a restrictive and restrained society. Womans have been stripped of all single rights, including names, and left imprisoned and isolated. The Republic of Gilead is non moving out of concern for persons, but instead proposes an reply to fluctuation in universe population. Atwood presents a wholly totalitarian society, taken to such an extreme that adult females are merely seen as possible ( alternate ) female parents. Directly turn toing the reader Offred declares “ I wish this narrative was differentaˆ¦I ‘m regretful there is so much painaˆ¦But there is nil I can make to alter it. “ , demoing the desperate and absolute state of affairs many adult females are in. Possibly, Atwood is repeating the earlier female stereotype whereby adult females were objectified as a agency of reproduction, expected to remain at place and bear kids.

However, in The Handmaid ‘s Tale adult females are ‘protected ‘ , the streets are safer and adult females are non targeted by work forces. Atwood differentiates between a former society that promoted force against adult females, and the present society that protects them from such injury. Coinciding with the feminist conflict against erotica in the 1980s, Aunt Lydia shows “ old ” adult movies with in writing images of “ aˆ¦women being raped, crush up, killed ” . It becomes obvious “ that was what they thought of adult females so ” and so, if work forces are non allowed to see such images so they will non happen it acceptable to perpetrate such Acts of the Apostless, and adult females become safer. However, that is non to state that Atwood condemns the yesteryear, nor idealises this hereafter, but instead strives to make a sense of balance between the two.

Offred continues that she has “ tried to set some good things in every bit good. Flowers, for case, because where would we be without them? ” Obviously, if “ flowers ” are the lone “ good things ” present, there is something incorrect. You could see the significance of “ flowers ” as symbols of freedom and growing, both repressed for Offred. Flowers are used throughout the novel, from the word “ FAITHaˆ¦surrounded by a garland of lilies ” on a shock absorber, to the “ tulipsaˆ¦shedding their petals one by one ” , to show the imposed limitations on the adult females, contrasting their limited growing and freedom with the free and unhampered development of nature. In Brave New World, faced with the “ rushing emptiness of the nightaˆ¦the pale face of the moonaˆ¦among the hastening clouds ” Lenina can merely cry how “ atrocious ” and “ awful ” such independent nature is. Nature is non appreciated, yet it does still be and finally represents that which can non be controlled.

There is a sense of linguistic communication limitation in Brave New World as the evident conditioning of all World State dwellers presents a restricted and finally conditioned usage of linguistic communication. When faced with any state of affairs, citizens are incapable of an original response and merely fall back on cliche mottos and Proverbs. Huxley ‘s usage of lampoon means that certain quotation marks such as “ stoping is better than repairing ” and “ everyone belongs to everyone else ” hinder linguistic communication and meaningful discourse, while besides advancing the cardinal impression of commercialism and philistinism. Lenina, when faced with Bernard ‘s irregular attitudes, has certain stock phrases that she is about inclined to state ; “ a gm in clip saves nine ” , “ After all, everyone plants for everyone else. We ca n’t make without anyone ” , and ironically, “ I am free. Free to hold the most fantastic clip ” . Lenina is non free, and even her linguistic communication is restricted to what she has been conditioned to state and believe. Shakespeare allows John to give form to his experiences, comparing them to that of Hamlet and Othello. It is apparent, nevertheless, that John besides has a wont of falling back on mottos in topographic point of his ain idea, utilizing Shakespeare to joint his feelings which he may otherwise be unable to show. While this usage of linguistic communication seems to deprive away any sense of individualism, you could besides oppugn whether the World State truly is such a “ incubus ” if both environments produce this stock attack to communicating. It is difficult to reprobate the World State as a “ incubus ” when John, a Savage Reservation dweller, besides has a conditioned attack to communicating utilizing Shakespeare in topographic point of personal and free discourse.

Throughout The Handmaid ‘s Tale communicating is besides limited. An old “ Vogue ” magazine becomes contraband, “ books ” and “ authorship ” become “ bootleg material ” and newspapers are “ censored ” , as the Republic of Gilead purpose to discontinue all signifiers of communicating. Handmaids are non allowed to read and fear stating anything that may be interpreted as rebelliousness towards Gilead. Womans are defined entirely by their gender functions as Wifes, Handmaids or Marthas, depriving them of single names and individuality. Feminists and distorted babes are considered subhuman, denoted by the footings “ Unwomen ” and “ Unbabies ” , while specially created footings characterise the rites of Gilead, such as “ Prayvaganzas, ” “ Salvagings, ” and “ Particicutions. ” This perversion of linguistic communication allows Gilead to exercise control over the society ; through use of linguistic communication Gilead maintains its control over adult females ‘s organic structures and their actions. Atwood uses linguistic communication as a tool of power.

In Brave New World recreational sex is an indispensable portion of society ; sex is a societal activity, non a agency of reproduction, while those few who can reproduce are ‘conditioned ‘ to utilize birth control. The axiom “ everyone belongs to everyone else ” promotes any sense of “ household ” , matrimony or parentage as obscene and even violative. The relationship between John and Lenina Crowne is complex due to the wholly opposite universes they inhabit. Lenina, being “ uncommonly reasonably ” , is desired by many work forces. John, nevertheless, is sexually immature, repulsed by Lenina ‘s promiscuousness. This indifference clearly shows how their two universes can non run into as one. For the modern-day reader it is difficult to grok a universe where household no longer exists, the word ‘father ‘ is “ adult ” and natural reproduction is no longer needed. For many, this may be considered a “ incubus ” state of affairs.

In Atwood ‘s ain words, The Handmaid ‘s Tale is “ what happens when certain casually held attitudes about adult females are taken to their logical decisions. ” Womans are valued merely as possible alternate female parents: fertile adult females have no pick but to reproduce, for they are simply “ two-legged uterus ” . Offred ‘s relationship with the Commander, and perchance his married woman besides, is described as “ serious concern ” missing “ passion or love or woo ” . Offred and the Commander are making their “ responsibility ” instead than seeking out an emotional relationship. Nick, hence, offers Offred freedom, a opportunity to be “ in control ” , yet this relationship is out. Basically, while Lenina is ‘conditioned ‘ and encouraged to seek out sexual activity, although non emotional relationships, Offred is non given the opportunity, permitted merely to carry through her supposed intent, i.e. reproduce. It is besides of import to retrieve that work forces excessively suffer in this ‘ideal ‘ society. Work force are segregated in the same manner as adult females, being ordered to function military intents and so besides restricted to what they can and can non make. It is incoherent to conceive of the hereafter in this manner, where emotional relationships are out and replaced with “ ceremonials ” as a agency of reproduction. The reader is invited to experience understanding for the Handmaids as they are denied all single rights, left stray and restricted in a “ incubus ” universe.

Bing dystopian novels it is possibly expected that Brave New World and The Handmaid ‘s Tale will uncover “ nightmare ” universes in order to knock and warn about future developments. Although Brave New World promotes a society whereby every person is ‘happy ‘ and procure, the reader understands this as unacceptable. Huxley presents the World State in a manner that the reader, as does John, sees it nil more than an unnatural phantasy. The Handmaid ‘s Tale besides reveals a “ incubus ” universe, although non so much based on pleasance seeking. The Republic of Gilead objectifies adult females, go forthing them with no sense of individualism and merely one option: to reproduce.

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