John Savage Desires What Makes Our Society

Unstable Essay, Research Paper

Brave New World illustrates a world where everything that is morally right in our society, is wrong. Monogamy is sinful, massive orgies are not. Serious thinking is unnecessary because life has already been planned out. Hardships and stress can be solved with a few tablets of soma. This is the world which John Savage and others in the novel foolishly came to hate. All of the things that John Savage desires are the things that make our society unstable. Huxley uses John Savage to show the reader that this world is distopian, when this society is the closest example to a stable, utopian society.

Uninhibited sexual freedom provides happiness to this society s citizens, the Fordians. Promiscuity is encouraged, and monogamy is discouraged. There is no room for love, or real emotional ties. John Savage does not agree with these ideas, but he fails to see the implications of loving others. In our society, love and sexual desire are the causes of murder, suicide, and rape. Everyone belongs to everyone else (pg.35). This is one of the many hypnopaedic messages that are repeated to the Fordians. It prevents them from feeling passion, desire, lust, jealousy, and true love. In absence of these feelings, they are free from emotional ties and have no reason to rape or murder someone because of inner desires. They are able to express their sexuality with others, and release sexual tension. Hurt and pain is eliminated from their minds, and these people can live the rest of their lives with child-like bliss. John Savage disagrees with these ideas and objects by stating,

The murkiest den, the most opportune place (the voice or conscience thundered poetically), the strongest suggestion our worser genius can, shall never melt mine honour into lust. Never, never! (pg. 174-175)

This occurs when Lenina wanted to have sex with John. Instead of accepting her invitation, he lashes out at her screaming, Whore! Impudent strumpet! (pg. 176). Meaning that he fails to understand how the Fordian society works. Not only that, but the fact that there are many in our society who can only wish to be in his place.

Another form of happiness that Huxley supplies to the Fordians is soma. The hypnopaedic message a gramme is better than a damn, (pg.49) is repeated to these individuals so that they take soma instead of worrying about their troubles. The soma takes the user on a holiday which causes them to forget all their woes and miseries. A current example of such a drug is marijuana. Users take this drug in order to lift themselves out of depression, or just for entertainment. The difference between Soma and marijuana is that soma is given out as a free daily ration. There are many people in our society that spend large amounts of money in purchasing these types of narcotics that are very dangerous and illegal. Soma, on the other hand, was developed by pharmacologists, so that use of the drug would not be harmful within reasonable dosages. As Mustapha Mond puts it,

if ever by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there s always some to give you a holiday from the facts. And there s always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half you morality about in a bottle. (pg. 217)

Soma is Christianity in pill form, as Mustapha Mond puts it. The user s mind is cleared of hate, and replaced with love, harmony, and happiness. Instead of beating himself when he sins, he can take a gramme of soma and reconcile himself.

Stability is what makes the Fordian society utopian. Predestination is what makes the society stable. It may be unfair and cruel, but a predestined caste system is necessary. Since they are all conditioned to enjoy their position, it does not matter to them if they are an Alpha or an Epsilon. The system works on the iceberg principle, one ninth above the water and eight ninths below. Mustapha Mond clearly indicates why this system is necessary.

The Controllers had the island of Cyprus cleared of all its existing inhabitant and re-colonized with a specially prepared batch of twenty-two thousand Alphas. All agricultural and industrial equipment was handed over to them and they were left to manage their own affairs. The result exactly fulfilled all the theoretical predictions. The land wasn t properly worked; there were strikes in all the factories; the laws were set at naught, orders disobeyed; all the people detailed for a spell of low-grade work were perpetually intriguing for high-grade jobs, and all the people with high-grade jobs were counter-intriguing at all costs to stay where they were. Within six years they were having a first-class civil war. When nineteen out of the twenty-two thousand had been killed, the survivors unanimously petitioned the World Controllers to resume the government of the island. Which they did. And that was the end of the only society of alphas that the world has ever seen. (pg. 203-204)

This passage shows that a society with too many above the water line becomes unstable and rebellious. If those Alphas are trained to work on highly intellectual jobs, then they will not be satisfied with working on a lower-class one. John then questions why others are happy being dumb, Mustapha Mond replies,

they like it. It s light, it s childishly simple. No strain on the mind or the muscles. Seven and a half hours of mild, unexhausting labour, and then the soma ration and games and unrestricted copulation and the feelies. What more can they ask for? (pg. 204)

Everyone is given their place in the Fordian society, and that is what gives it stability. John desires a world where hate and death still occur, which is complete foolishness. Our society strives for happiness, security, peace, and stability. It is all laid out for John, but he refuses to adapt. It is bullheaded and stubborn of him to be so selfish.

Bernard Marx and his companion Helmholtz Watson desire the right of free thought, as well as John. The islands are for those who think beyond the limits of what is allowed, those that are individual . Bernard was terrified of the island, when in fact, it is what he wishes for.

He s being sent to an island. That s to say, he s being sent to a place where he ll meet the most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in the world. All the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self-consciously individual to fit into community life. All the people who aren t satisfied with orthodoxy, who ve got independent ideas of their own. Everyone, in a word, who s anyone. (pg.207)

Even free thinkers are able to live peacefully in the Fordian society. They have the choice to retreat to an island where there are many people who may share the same views. The Fordian society is not communistic. They do not execute those who think for themselves, but allow them to grow. Even though they may not have the ability to spread their knowledge on to others, their needs are fulfilled.

Is the Fordian society utopian? It is impossible to say no when there is less conflict, no pain, happiness, no jealousy, harmony, efficiency, stability, and no disease. John Savage entered the Fordian world, not the other way around. If he wanted to be singled out, beaten, and hated, then he could have stayed in the reservation. The Fordian society was prepared to embrace him, but he was not willing to adapt. Due to his stubborn nature he eventually committed suicide. John was offered a unique opportunity to live along with the Fordians, but his inability to change himself led to his death. If any other savage were given such an opportunity, they would have take in immediately.


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