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Can Happiness Exist Without The Truth Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1936 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The novel “Brave New World” was written by Aldous Huxley who brought forth controversial issues regarding the isolation of the truth from happiness. The novel defines happiness in its own way, arguing that the satisfaction of desire and want will restrain the need for freedom and the pursuit of the truth. The World State is presented as something powerful and dangerous because of the degree it has gone to achieve stability; technological interventions before birth allow them to alter the peoples way of thinking and hypnopeadic lessons are given to ensure that they understand the way society functions. On the other hand, this brings forth the question of whether these methods of control are acceptable despite being against human rights and the ethics of morality. If society is kept happy then what does it matter if they are living in slavery? Brave New World allows the reader to experience a life of bliss and happiness but at the expense of becoming “less human.”

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The World State controls the society in a way which makes every single one of them happy through superficial ways so that they no longer care about the lack of truth that has been hidden from them even before they are born into the world. By using advanced technology the state has the power to control the population and make sure stability exists permanently, however the controversial process involving birth control brings forth the issue of ethics and morality within the novel. Ovaries are surgically removed and then afterwards the Bokanovsky Process is applied which is a special type of cloning technique used to make genetically identical human beings from a single human egg. Because human reproduction is separated from sex this will control any desired emotional attachment to love, marriage, and parenthood which is viewed as extremely vulgar and inappropriate in this world. [1] Genetic engineering is also taken advantage of because modern research has shown us that 50% of one’s sadness depends on one’s genes and this was proven when a study was conducted observing identical twins and learning that their happiness is 50% correlated even when growing up in different houses. [2] Another way that the world state controls its citizens is by using the Hypnopeadic Conditioning in which a record sound is played over and over again while the ones receiving the information are asleep. This ensures that stability is permanently present throughout the society; nevertheless these technological interventions point directly towards the possibility that this totalitarian is supporting the enslavement of humans by indoctrinating them in a way so that they cannot distinguish between happiness and reality. The society of Brave New World resorts to the one chance they have at emotional harmony which is through escapism by taking a drug called Soma. [3] Soma provides a quick and efficient escape from all the hardships that reality offers people and was made compulsory to take in order to control everyone by allowing them to feel content and thus avoid having to come face to face with the truth. Despite the lack of ethics and moral values everyone (with the exception of a few characters) seem very happy with the life they are living, no matter how artificial and unreal it is. By getting rid of everything that connections to the truth there is no room for new ideas, human emotions, or even any sense of identity to come up. The only problem with not having any individuality is that if “everyone belongs to everyone,” that in turn means that you do not exist which is identical to being dead. This emphasizes how pointless the system is without the universal recognition of the existence of the negative side of living; how can humans be called human if all they feel is happiness?

Brave New World defines happiness as fulfilling the satisfaction of food, drugs, promiscuous sex, and consumer goods. Mustafa Mond is one of the smartest individual in this society and he argues that the truth has no significance as long as people are happy. But what does he mean by “the truth”? From Mond’s perspective, the truth is anything that links with human related truths such as friendship, love, and parenthood because these can distract you in your focus of remaining happy in the stress-free environment you are in. The “truth” can also refer to the lack of freedom being displayed because Mond argues that freedom must be separated from happiness as there is no point of having a choice if you are already feeling satisfaction in your life. The government concentrates on each and every individual so that they fit in, however there were some characters that proved that they wanted to recognize what freedom is and act upon their instincts. Freedom also means that you have the ability to say no and Helmholtz Watson for example wishes to reject the comfort he has built up in this society. [4] There is nothing wrong with Helmholtz, he fits in but his current status of feelings can no longer repress what he really wants which is to get away from the worlds state and move to an island where he can pursue his creativity better by isolating himself from others. John Savage, a stranger to the “Brave New World” is another that does not concur with Mond’s views of suppressing the truth and claims that without familiarizing yourself with the negativity of life and owning feelings other than happiness, life is not worth living and you loose your humanity like this.

John Savage provokes the assertion whether he too, is conditioned in his own way but not in the same way as the world state’s citizens. John is a very interesting character because he is rejected in the Savage Resort because of Linda (his mother) who sleeps around with countless men and also in the “Brave New World” because he is a complete outsider and is considered a “savage” hence his given surname. However, the reader must come to the fact that John might not be more free that the rest who remain in this society. He often recites quotes from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and is completely against the way people live in this society, often emitting a tone of pessimism and irony whenever he mentions the “Brave New World” he is in. Shakespeare seems to be the only way John can truly express what he feels when having to learn about the way this world functions and seems more than repulsed by the structure it is built on. Shakespeare stands for something completely the opposite of the world state’s society if contrasted together: Shakespeare’s plays always hold a certain respect for humanity and the art of emotions and passion are in full display which have been completely demolished by the World State in its efforts to keep everyone happy. [5] It angers John that they do not take human emotions seriously, however he does not seem to realize that chastity no longer exists as a word, or even a concept as seen when John labels Lenina a “Whore!” and an “Impudent strumpet!” [6] 

Brave New World has shown us that a society that is built on logic and order can exist with the suppression of the truth, in fact we might consider this society utopian to a certain extent. What does it matter that there’s no freedom or if people don’t know the truth? The goal of a utopia is to construct the ideal society where everyone fits in perfectly. The average person spends his whole life trying to achieve happiness but cannot reach his or her set target and might end up failing, however the world state offers it to you without having to work for it first- but even if it comes with a price why does it still seem so controversial? Brave New World offers you happiness, but it comes with the price of your freedom and morality. In order to function and fit into this society with the rest of the people, you must be willing to have take drugs, have “feelies” often and become a slave to the system. The citizens of this society have turned into machines designed to keep the order of society to create a balanced and concordant milieu for the whole population. Nevertheless, there is no longer any purpose of existing if you cannot choose what you want to do with your life.

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The constant experience of happiness is not always considered something beneficial for the motto of Brave New World: Community, Identity, and Stability. If you eliminate the negative feelings you also happen to eliminate the positive ones; in fact you cannot even distinguish between the two if only one exists in society. If happiness is the main focus of your life then boredom will become very common despite feeling felicity and joy all the time. This condition is closely resembled to paralysis or even death since no change is taking place in individuals because it is only the technology that has advanced to a higher level. Without change, progress becomes nonexistent and society has nothing to gain except the satisfaction of materialistic needs and cravings for food, soma, and mindless sexual intercourse.

In conclusion, it is very difficult for happiness to exist without knowing the truth due to the lack of choice you have while living in the world state’s society. Reality is suppressed through the constant use of soma and the obsession with sexual release as well as the satisfaction of consumer goods. The novel depicts a totalitarian state that controls its citizens by allowing them to feel pleasure so that they forget about the human related truths such as the pressure of having to deal with the responsibility of parenthood and other factors which cause a harmful psychological impact upon the people, or so Mustafa Mond argues. On the other hand, by eliminating freedom of choice you eliminate the essence of humanity altogether because if one’s life is controlled and even genetically altered to fit in, they merely become machines that form the structure of a stable and operative society with no problems of crime, disease, or painful deaths. The lack of identity also means that there is hardly any point in existing since you are nothing but a piece of the puzzle that has been built to be a part of the community. With that being said, the life you lead is meaningless despite the fact that human nature allows everyone to adapt to any situation easily, but because of the conditioning they remain oblivious to how artificial their life really is. Happiness cannot be separated from the truth because the two function best when they are together and you must be aware of the truth in order to assume responsibility for your actions and have the choice of making the wrong decisions in order to learn from mistakes and pursue your happiness in your own style.


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