Study of a brave new world

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        Brave New World then is centred around control and manipulation. As ever, the fate of an individual depends on the interplay of Nature and Nurture, heredity and environment: but the utopian state apparatus controls both. Naturally, we find this control disquieting. Meanwhile, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts focuses on how blind our world is, how careless we have become. The beautifully written poem by Auden is almost a result of Brave New World. There are many different themes between the poem and the novel which relate. Both these pieces share themes about the potential corruptions our world and their development. The two merge together and create the absolute definition of what this world has become.

The general idea of the poem is response to tragedy, and how people morn for a while (if at all), but eventually almost always move on. The title refers to the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. Auden visited the museum in nineteen thirty-eight and viewed the painting by Brueghel, which the poem is basically about. The major theme behind this poem is the is the apathy which is above everything when it comes to human suffering. Poetry has been and always will be about truth and honest feelings toward a subject. This particular poem demonstrates that both ordinary and extraordinary events occur every day. Although this is true, it is the extraordinary events which never strike anyone's fancy. This is not because they seem miraculous (although they would), but merely because they seem too good to true, for lack of a better word, impossible. Life goes on while a "miraculous birth occurs", but also while "the disaster" of Icarus's death happens.

The poem itself is about a painting, based on the Greek mythological figure, Icarus (also known as the son of Daedalus). Now Icarus and his dad were stuck in Crete, because the King of Crete wouldn't let them leave. Daedalus made some wings for the both of them and gave his son instruction on how to fly. There are many variations to the story, but one goes to tell the wings were made out of wax. He told his son to not fly too close to the sea because the water will soak the wings, and not too close to the sun because the sun will melt them. Icarus, however, appeared to be obstinate and did fly to close to the sun. This caused the wax that held his wings to his body to melt. Icarus crashed into the sea and died.

Auden's poem, like many, leave you hanging by the end of a thread. The subject matter is taken very seriously and his views are expressed. Some have even claimed to find hints of Auden's eventual reconversion to Christiantiy in the poem. The reader of the poem is placed in front of the Breughel painting in a museum, and at the same time is expected to project those images and truths to the world outside. There is also a sort of continuity through the poem as you read it and are allowed to see what the poet means. This allows a reader to become aware of his human position. The poem first discusses a "miraculous birth", and at the end "the tragedy" of a death. But the "miraculous birth" leads to the arguable question, which is is whether the birth is of Jesus Christ. Everyone watches although they are not a part of the incident itself, they still watch. Could this be a line which demonstrates the importance of this individual being born and foreshadows the significance of his birth? "They never forgot".

Regardless, the theme in the poem is human suffering. If you add these things together, and stir really well you might even get some hints at religion, mainly at Christianity. Also, the poem suggests a religious acceptance of suffering. Religious acceptance basically means coming to terms with the ways of the world. No one pays attention to the horrible things, just good things. People only care if there is a human connection-in other words, if one has gone through the exact or almost identical experience. When a massive or traumatic event occurs, it usually does so when everyone's lights are out. People's fancies are stuck by the ordinary, instead of the extraordinary, because people will not believe the truth, every individual focuses on their life, and not the extraneous: "Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may/ Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry/ But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone/ As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green/ Water..." this represents what suffering is and begs the questions: are the people not concerned? Do they not care? Suffering takes place while we are eating, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, guaranteed there will be a new tragedy for every meal. Why is it so hard to empathize with an event, but when one is hurt, they question 'why me?' and ponder on the thought of people dancing and laughing while they are drowning in their own misery.

The sad and simple truth is that people don't empathize even if it is an important person or huge incident. Even if this statement is stood corrected, within a short duration, guaraunteed, people will go back to their own lives as if nothing had happened. No remorse is felt for smaller incidents at all, and this is plainly because it is in human nature to forget in order to stay happy, either you side with this or go with the 'ignorance is bliss' ideology. Either choice is just a repression. People would rather repress their memories then regress them.

One should know the history of the painting to grasp a true feeling of the aim or intention. The artists' name is Peter Breughel, who lived in the early sixteenth century in Belgium. His paintings have always been known to possess a moralizing significance. The "Fall of Icarus" was his only mythological work. In general Breughel "accents the figures in his drawings with a delicate line, however, the persons he paints seem stubby and at the same time lively". He had his own unique style of painting, one which raised many debate.

Within the painting, every person is "minding their own business", but this can also easily be perceived as turning a blind eye. Either way, the people fail to notice Icarus's legs in the water, and even prior, presumably, while he was falling as well. The way the image is painted, the direction is steered away from the legs and the area around the legs is dark and shadowy. If one analysis the painting and imagines it in the sense of a scene or movement, if people turned away from what they are doing, and turn to Icarus, it would be too late. The idea of one 'blinking, and before their very eyes, and everything will be lost, is very relevant to this painting. In this case, it is the miraculous honest event that is gone, and the truth of it will never be known. And take note that it is quite easy for a human to forget what they do not want to remember.

There are many things to take note here, before moving on to analyze Huxley's novel. First and foremost, Auden and Huxley both lived during the same time. Both witnessed World War I as well as World War II and the impact the War's had on the people. Therefore it is easy to see the relation between the two pieces. Both express a vast variety of emotions due to the trauma the authors felt. Secondly, both pieces (arguably) have a hidden theme of religion. Faith held significance within both their lives. Something we don't see much in this world due to the consumerism. Both the poem and the novel foreshadow the disturbed world our world has already become.

Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931 while he was living in Guatemala and El Salvador. It is worth noting that was writing the novel when there were political, economical and social problems in both America and Europe. The background to the novel has to do with World War I, and every result it had placed upon onto the people-fascism, depression, industrialization. Huxley describes the world he has created as a time "In a dystopian world in which mass production techniques are applied to human biology, a young man tries to deal with a society in which population and social rank are determined by the state and true happiness is achieved only at enormous cost to individual freedom. "

-+S t a s i s

Brave New World is a without a doubt about a dictatorship. Like a communist country, there is no war, poverty or crime. Society manages to stay alive with technology. There are Alphas, who are above and more superior to any others. The lower orders are necessary in BNW because Alphas. The Alphas are the ones that do not work, and stay happy throughout the novel. In Brave New World, there is no depth of feeling, no suggestions or ideas, and definitely no creativity. Individuality is forbidden, and any form of true happiness is exterminated. Its inhabitants are laboratory-grown clones. They are conditioned, and brainwashed in their sleep. The utopians are never educated to prize thinking for themselves. In Brave New World, the twin goals of happiness and stability - both social and personal - are not just prized but effectively equated.

I m b e c i l i t y

        After taking soma, one can apparently drift pleasantly off to sleep. Bernard Marx, for instance, takes four tablets of soma to pass away a long plane journey to the Reservation in New Mexico. When they arrive at the Reservation, Bernard's companion, Lenina, takes some soma when she begins to tire of the Warden's lecture, "with the result that she could now sit, serenely not listening, thinking of nothing at all". Such a response suggests the user's sensibilities are numbed rather than heightened. In BNW, people resort to soma when they feel depressed, angry or have intrusive negative thoughts. They take it because their lives, like society itself, are empty of spirituality or higher meaning.

A m o r a l i t y

Soma, is just like a drug within our modern day society. The happiness it offers is not temporary, but an illusion rather. Soma, like any drug (cocaine for example) just manipulates the person's mind to make them think all their problems aren't there or don't matter. When in actuality, the problems are still there and should matter. This is what society does for these individuals. It oppresses them, leading them to make decisions which are wrong. It opens doors and options which do not always benefit the people at all. John for example, no matter what he takes, his happiness is still very vulnerable to disappointment.

Huxley implies that by abolishing nastiness and mental pain, the brave new worlders have got rid of the most profound and sublime experiences that life can offer as well. Most notably, they have sacrificed a mysterious deeper happiness which is implied, but not stated, to be pharmacologically inaccessible to the utopians. The metaphysical basis of this presumption is obscure.

        There are hints, too, that some of the utopians may feel an ill-defined sense of dissatisfaction, an intermittent sense that their lives are meaningless. It is implied, further, that if we are to find true fulfilment and meaning in our own lives, then we must be able to contrast the good parts of life with the bad parts, to feel both joy and despair. As rationalisations go, it's a good one.

        The contrast between true and false happiness, however, is itself problematic. If there are a group of people being oppressed their vision becomes impaired and their capability of differentiating between real happiness from fake happiness becomes disturbed. One can easily deceive their own mind, let alone have others deceive their mind in order to feel happy or dwell on the thought of it.

Thesis- paragraph

The painting

The poem

The book-Brave new world


Conclusions, and history, or opinion