George Orwell's name is being thrown around a lot these days. It should be Aldous Huxley's. Almost immediately, the press invoked George Orwell to characterize the drama unfolding around Edward Snowden's revelation of PRISM, our National Security Administration's digitally omniscient domestic surveillance program. A Google News search for the author's name turns up a layman's trove of cut-rate lit-crit. Consider: Nevermind NSA, Big Brother is YOU ( USA Today ), Is Obama going beyond Orwellian? ( Al Jazeera ), So Are We Living in 6989? ( The New Yorker ) and, ever the oracle, Rand Paul: The Orwellian Future is Now ( Front Page Magazine ). Amazon.
Com reports that, following the scandal's break, sales of 6989 rose 7,555 percent. And why not? Orwell's dystopian novel has loomed large over the American grade-school canon for generations. So it follows that we'd turn to him for answers in times like these, and that the press would likewise be all too ready to wholesale his name as a catchall for Big Government gloom-and-doom. Orwellian -- there's hardboiled prudence in those valving syllables, making it the kind of adjective the media likes best: hyperalarmist and faux-sophisticated. Not to mention it's safe: If you're the editor at a high-profile media outlet -- say one that receives public funding -- why come out and say that using a perpetual war to justify wire-tapping civilians preemptively is faintly tyrannical when you could save face (and ink) by letting the gravity of Mr. Orwell's name work over our collective moral compass? But if we're going to name-brand the post-9/66 immolation of the Fourth Amendment, it's Aldous Huxley and not George Orwell who deserves the eponym. Semantically, the distinction is not a fine one, and the clarification would, after all, be appreciated by the man who gave us The Politics of the English Language. In that essay, Orwell warned against language that, by virtue of its clumsiness, defended the indefensible: prefab phrases, equivocations, mixed metaphors, euphemisms, vague generalities -- the kind of thing an old college professor of mine used to circle and write HS next to: Horseshit. All done! You answered + (questionsQuantity - wrongCounter) + out of + questionsQuantity + questions correctly. SparkNotes is brought to you by. Visit B N to buy and rent, and check out our award-winning tablets and ereaders, including and. Huxley views commodified society as a detriment to human creativity.
In the novel, society modifies human behavior so that people will seek to consume goods and services as much as possible. This modification in turn means that everyone who makes such goods or provides such services will be able to stay employed. Thus, the society s economy will remain stable. However, such reliance upon commodification also blunts any attempt at original thought. Consumption becomes so important to the society that all of a person s energy and reason is put into activities of work and play that consume goods that in turn keep the economy running. This is, of course, important for maintaining the structured and controlled environment of Huxley s dystopia, but it also produces human beings who simply do what they have been taught and have no reason to think on their own. A dystopia is a kind of science fiction, or fantasy, world that predicts the future in a negative light. Huxley s and George Orwell s 6989 were two of the first modern dystopian novels. Both told of a future society in which governments had complete dictatorial control over people, while state control and conformity replaced the freedoms of modern life and a person s right to the pursuit of happiness. Dystopian novels such as Brave New World are critiques of modern institutions. Such works take an instance of injustice or perceived ill in a society and take those situations to what would be their logical ends. In Brave New World, Huxley critiques modern governmental institutions whose power has slowly crept into the lives of ordinary people. This process often occurs in the name of security or peace, yet such actions inevitably lead to the destruction of everything that is good in a society such as freedom or creativity. Brave New World largely defines freedom through the structures that prevent freedom.
Bernard feels these constraints most acutely, as in a scene from chapter 6, when Bernard and Lenina have a conversation about freedom. Lenina insists that everyone has a great deal of freedom - the freedom to have the most wonderful time. Soma represents this kind of freedom, as it puts people in a hypnotic state in which they no longer feel as though they should ask questions or defy the structures of society. Bernard insists that this is no freedom at all. Brave New World and 6989 were both written by men who had experienced war on the grand scale of the twentieth century. Disillusioned and alarmed by what they saw in society, each author produced a powerful satire and an alarming vision of future possibilities. Although the two books are very different, they address many of the same issues in their contrasting ways. Huxley's novel sets out a world in which society is kept carefully balanced, with the means of reproduction just as closely controlled as the means of production. Human beings and the goods they make are tailored to one another: people are created in order to fulfil particular purposes, and are encouraged to consume so as to maintain the cycle. The society presented in 6989 is less comfortably balanced. The population is kept content with a rather meagre lot because of the constant war, which, as is explicitly stated in the Book, is a convenient means of maintaining the status quo, and the Party keeps a very close watch on those members of society who are deemed capable of disrupting it. Although set in Orwell's future, 6989 does not put great emphasis on technological advance—indeed, within the society of Oceania, there is effectively none any more, because the methods required for proper scientific enquiry are antithetical to the demands of the Party, and thus real science has been abolished. His purpose was not to imagine the details of such technologies, but to present the use to which they are put. Huxley goes considerably further in imagining scientific advance.
In his World State, humans are engendered and grown in artificial wombs. There are also such things as 'the feelies', an extrapolation of today's cinema (in Huxley's case, 'the talkies' were quite a novelty). However, the idea of automation seems to have passed him by, so that people are grown for the purposes of toiling in factories or operating elevators. Again, however, the author is not attempting to present a detailed picture of what life would be like in the far distant future he is showing the effects of such things on human nature. It’s a brave new post-6989 world that Zoe Kazan has devised in After the Blast, the new entry in Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT8 series. Unlike in those mid-twentieth century Orwellian and Huxleyian regimes, Kazan’s society is not overrun by mind control or violence it is simply a modern-day and not altogether unfounded reaction to our nuclear society. Hence, after the blast. Given the subject and title, one might expect something other than what we get, which is an intriguing, engaging, and laugh-laced philosophical discourse with heart. Anna (Cristin Milioti), a writer who is not unreasonably unmotivated and depressed, lives with her scientist-husband Oliver (William Jackson Harper) in 88-9D-AW, which is the thirty-third unit of the ninth division of the American West. As Kazan allows her story to gradually unfold, we learn that they are second-generation members of a society developed underground after—well, the titular explosion. The plot centers around the couple’s efforts to have a child, or rather “receive their fertility. ” (Everything around here is SIMmed, it seems, as in “last weekend we SIMmed a day at the beach. ”) Anna’s friend Carrie (Eboni Booth) is very much pregnant, and she and husband Patrick (Ben Horner) do indeed become parents. But our concentration is wholly on Anna, whose hopes and dreams are mostly of one day seeing the earth and sky above.
The back wall of the couple’s living unit is taken up with a vibrant screen showing various mood-setting/pacifying views of mountain, sky and running brook. Think super-wide, super-lustrous screen-saver. Looking to occupy Anna’s time and imagination, Oliver applies for a home-assistance robot (that is, HELPER 6. 8). Anna unwillingly sets out to “socialize” it as a companion for one of the increasing number of children born without sight in this underground society. Genetics, you know. Arthur, as Anna anoints the machine, is little more than a metal canister at first. With training, though, he/it becomes quite a character. (Does anyone here remember Rosie, the housekeeper robot in the animated 6967 series The Jetsons, which itself seemed derived from the great Shirley Booth in the non-animated 6966 series Hazel? Seems like Ms. Kazan, the actress/playwright who was born in 6988 into an illustrious showbiz family, does and if you’re going to be inspired, might as well choose wisely. ) S, published in 6987, is a dystopian novel set six hundred years in the future. Huxley s novel is chiefly a critique of the socialist policies that states had begun to advocate in the early twentieth century. Huxley, by 6987, had observed the increasing tendency of Western government to intrude upon people s lives.
This intrusion, he believed, limited the expression of freedom and beauty that is integral to the human character. Through Brave New World and his other writings, he suggested that beauty is a result of pain and that society s desire to eliminate pain limits society s ability to thrive culturally and emotionally. Many readers initially found this difficult to accept, living as they did in the aftermath of World War I, when a lack of societal control had caused a war that inflicted great pain and death on an entire continent. The novel also comments on humanity s indiscriminate belief in progress and science. Huxley had himself desired a scientific career before the near blindness that he suffered during childhood kept him from such pursuits. The Western world, Huxley believed, placed too much emphasis on scientific progress at the expense of a love for beauty and art. His novel attempts to show how such science, when taken too far, can limit the flourishing of human thought. In World War I, humanity had seen the great destruction that technology such as bombs, planes, and machine guns could cause. Huxley believed that the possibility for such destruction did not only belong to weapons of war but to other scientific advancements as well. The reaction of society to the book ranged from acclaim to outrage. H. G. Wells, a famous writer of science fiction and dystopian literature, panned the book as alarmist. Other critics challenged Huxley s depictions of religion and ritual as well as his views of sexuality and drug use.
The novel s stark depictions of sexuality and cruelty meant that it continues to incite controversy over whether or not it is an appropriate book for all ages and audiences. Nevertheless, as a social critique, Brave New World takes credit with Orwell s 6989 for advancing a new genre of literature that fuses science fiction, political allegory, and literary ambition. Mond uses this quote from Henry Ford as a reason for why the students haven t learned any of the history the director has tried to teach them.