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Ersatz Happiness - Essay Example

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Ersatz Happiness In the “Brave New World”, Aldous Huxley depicts a dystopian society. Several elements of his work reflect the current issues of his world as well as the concerns of the 21st century. In this new world, “Soma” is an indispensable drug which took 2000 scientists and six years to perfect…
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Download file to see previous pages However, this kind of euphoria is clearly false and robs a person’s right to a substantial life. The different characters in the story also portray hints that being in the new world is not really satisfactory. In the same sense, all the other methods that the Utopians have such as the “feelies” in order to have a “happy” life are blemished. The feelies is a kind of a movie theater that is supposed to be the main source of entertainment. In this cinema, the senses are falsely generated. Thus, Utopian’s ersatz happiness equates to a meaningless existence. The author, Huxley, cautions his readers against scientific utopianism. Though his novel was published in 1932, the principles that may be derived from his work are still quite applicable today. Unlike the contemporary utopian novels of his time such as “A Modern Utopia” by H.G. Wells, he sought to picture a pessimistic future. This may be influenced by the industrial revolution that was quite apparent in the 20th century. There were also particular companies that advocated advancements concerning science and technology such as Imperial Chemical Companies (ICI). In its prime, it was known as the “biggest chemical group in the UK” (Bawden 1). This may have influenced Huxley’s portrayal of pharmacological achievements. ...
A number of them could have viewed cutting-edge science as a savior. In addition, due to the unemployment at that time, the use of marijuana was introduced by Mexican immigrants (Monroy 27). Some people used this psychoactive drug to escape reality and experience a moment of elation. This is somehow parallel with Soma which was used to annihilate negative moods. In the story, there are indications that the Utopians felt that something was missing in their existence. They have occasional inklings of dissatisfaction. “Happiness is not a static state. Even the happiest of people- the cheeriest 10% -feel blue at times” (Wallis 2). There is a need to experience painful emotion to truly feel happiness. It is the healthy combination of negative and positive emotion that helps people to make a sense of reality. Without feeling low, it is difficult to realize the opposite. Hence, the people in the new world did not really have euphoria in the real sense. The difference between the so called perfect world and that of the outside is portrayed when the difference between the Savage Reservation and the new world was described. This is especially noticeable in John who was known as “the savage”. He spent his early childhood in the Reservation and was brought to Utopia. Indeed, he did not have the culture that denotes a very stable society. However, he still possessed quite humane characteristics such as truthfulness as well as benevolence. Comparably, people who are genuinely happy have more positive attributes. “Kindness might create a virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness and altruism” (Dixon, “Kindness Makes You Happy and Happiness Makes You Kind). According to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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