Civilization in Brave New World

Civilization in Brave New World
The dictionary defines civilized as "advanced in social customs, art,

and science". The keyword here is social customs. A persons idea of what

is civilized is relative to his culture. Through out the history of man,

one can see many changes in customs, and customs is what defines our idea

of what is civilized. The word civilized is one of the most relative

Time and distance are what have shaped our customs for thousands of

years. If we look back throughout history we can see many customs that may

seem odd, or even barbaric, to us but were everyday events to these ancient

people. For example, the Aztec conducted sacrifices, to their Gods, in

which they torn out their victims heart with a knife, and their priests and

warriors proceeded to eat the victims flesh. Yet, the Aztec were

considered to be one of the most civilized group of Indians in the western

hemisphere. The Anasazi, commonly called cave-dwellers, who from birth,

used wood and bindings to elongate the head. Even today in Japan,

tradition says that women are supposed to walk ten feet behind their

husbands. This may seem like demeaning women to us but who are we to judge

when the United States has had a long history of racial and ethnic

discrimination and only now are we changing.

The society in Brave New World has not lost their values but has

simple changed their idea of what is right and wrong. After all, how much

have we changed in the past 600 years. Six-hundred years ago in England,

we killed people for conducting scientific experiments and believed this

was against the teachings of the church. The society in Brave New World is

a mirror to our own when we view the past. If a person from the present

were to see the sacrifices and eating of the human flesh by the Aztec

Indians, that person would see it as barbaric in contrast to his own

culture. Isn?t it true that what we view as barbaric or uncivilized is

always in comparison to own. Doesn?t it stand to reason that in a society

without families, they would view monogamy as uncivilized? This society

has been shaped by hundreds of years and will continue to change in the

years to come.

Many of the civilized behaviors for the society of Brave New World are

very different from our own. The main concern was to keep everyone happy.

Two efforts to do this were to teach them to be selfish and take soma. The

reason for taking soma was to induce happiness through euphoria in much the

same way alcohol and marijuana behave. Also when are people the happiest?

When they?re pleased, so this brings about the act of being selfish with

the thought that you must do what you have to in order to be happy all the

time. They also believed in not having families which stemmed from the

fact that the Hatchery Centre produced all the babies and when you have no

families, their is little reason to get married ;therefore, sexual

promiscuities come into play. Finally, they were also conditioned to

believe that you should never be alone, for being alone used up little

production and the use of little production has an effect on the factories

that could possible shut them down. If the factories in an area were to

shut down, a significant amount of jobs would be lost and people would not

be able to support themselves. This would cause homelessness and poverty

which were not allowed in this culture.

With time and distance people?s cultures diverge. This has been true

for a millennia past and a millennia to come. It should be apparent, that

when comparing past civilizations with our own, that the word civilization

is relative.

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