George Lucas' THX 1138 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World both depict highly controlled populations and centralized government in a futuristic society. Both works warn of the dangers of technological, biological and psychological control by centralized government, although different approaches are taken to manner in which control is assumed…
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Huxley's opening passage immediately draws attention to this illusion of dystopian literature as follows:
A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY (Huxley 3).
The "squat grey building" is symbolic of happiness and stands in sharp contrast to the World State's motto of community, identity and stability. Each component of the World State's motto can therefore be taken as subtle indicators of intense control, although initially the motto can lead to an early impression of a utopian society. Early warnings of this false impression of utopia are also found in the prominently displayed sign over the grey building: CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE. This signs draw immediate attention of state control.
THX 1138 however gets directly to the measure of control in society and makes no illusions about the nature of repressed freedom in its opening scene. The film introduces THX-1138 who is seen requesting "something stronger" from his medicine cabinet (THX-1138). Population and mind control is prominently unveiled in this opening scene by the request for something stronger. This is a less subtle approach than the opening in Brave New World where the population and mind control is inferred from the sign displayed on the grey building.
In both works the opening scenes introduces two different types of control designed to bring about vastly similar results: control of the population. In Brave New World the Director takes a group of students on a tour of the London Hatchery and the reader learns through this tour that the State controls reproduction by extracting and genetically fertilizing ovaries to control the numbers of human beings produced. In THX 1138, population control is commandeered by controlling sexual desire through the use of sedative drugs. The sedatives are mandatory and cannot be altered as they control sexual desire. Sexual intercourse is an offence in THX 1138 whereas sexual intercourse is encouraged in Brave New World and is of no consequence to reproduction since the State controls reproduction.
Ultimately, the underlying themes in THX 1138 and Brave New World is control through mind conditioning and manipulation. Both works create communities where one on one ties are entirely discouraged and people exist in a world characterized by community relations. Individuality is entirely discouraged. Both works are heavily themed by the concept that individuality provides division and division leads to instability. In furtherance of this ideology, Brave New World focuses on a world where infants are produced in caste systems where they are conditioned to comport with their designated class and status. For instance Delta babies are conditioned to dislike books and nature through associative therapy (Astrachan 35). In this therapeutic exercise, the babies at the Hatchery are naturally inclined to craws toward picture books and flowers. However, they are quickly men by a series of terrifying sounds which instinctively lead to an intense dislike for books and nature.
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“George Lucas THX 1138 and Aldous Huxleys Brave New World Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/performing-arts/1525277-george-lucas-thx-1138-and-aldous-huxleys-brave-new-world.
People in this society are genetically engineered into a rigid caste system and programmed for group-think, while being conditioned to be proud, happy workers whose only goal is the good of society. People are also brought up in what is known as “State Conditioning Centers” to idolize a mysterious founder named “Ford”, and promote the societal norm of "community, identity, stability" (Huxley 1).
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Considering Huxley’s predictions of the world in the future, the readers cannot help but wonder to what extent the writer has managed to get them right, how much the future thought up by an imaginative mind matches that of the reality.
A reflective analysis of "Brave New World" and "THX 1138" confirms that both the works effectively deal with several pertinent themes of the modern world including sexuality, technology, reproduction etc. This paper makes a comparative analysis of the novel by Aldous Huxley and the film by George Lucas in order to determine the importance of control and freedom in human life.
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Even human beings are produced en masse and conditioned - in neo-Pavlovian style - to emotionless social norms in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center. Among the two main characters, Bernard Marx is the nervous, perplexed and critical Alpha-Plus but John "The Savage", the outsider whose moral disdain, revulsion and fright for the "New World" society leads him to commit suicide.