Brave New World
In the book The Brave New World, Aldous Huxley focuses on responding to certain forms of dictatorship around the world resulting from, economic necessity, social chaos and global warfare (Bagdikian 13). As such, the manipulation of the masses can appear in many forms in the society which leaves individuality at a compromised position. The author doesn’t address any new idea since society has yoked people into various forms of conformity since time immemorial. Instead, he aims at analyzing the mechanisms which systems that represent the minority used to rule over the majority. As such, the novel addresses the reality of the society which can be seen as the prophecy of technology eventually dominating over young adults in society. On the other hand, the society depicted in The Giver by Lowry is a utopian one that is perfectly envisioned by its creators. As such, it eliminates fear, hunger, illness, pain, and hatred. However, in order to maintain peace, the citizens are made to submit to very strict rules that govern their relationships, language, and behaviors. The society is also forced to suppress the feelings of human passions and individual freedom as well as conflict and pain that the emotions and human choice cause. The author also tackles issues that are prevalent among younger adults such as pro-life versus anti-abortion debates. Up to dates, this topic gives rise to different responses among young adults (Stewart 29). As such, both novels address the topics that are prevalent among young adults in the society and how young characters in the stories rise up to defy societies’ unfavorable barriers.
There are various characters in The Brave New World. John is the son of Linda and the Director. He is one of the main characters to grow up outside the society’s World State. John spends is life away from his village in the reservation, as a consummate outsider.As such, he finds it difficult to fit into the World State society. On the other hand, Bernard Marx is an Alpha male who doesn’t fit in because of hisphysical stature. Moreover, he maintains unorthodox sexual beliefs regarding relationships, community events, and sports. All these are attractive topics among young adults. Due to his insecurity regarding his status and size, feels disconnected with the World State.
As such, he portrays a character of a petty and cruel man. John and Bernard can both be viewed as protagonists in the novel. Bernard suffers to fit in the community and becomes John’s mentor. During one of the classes, the Controller says “No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability” (Huxley 48). In this case, Bernard can be viewed as the one who isn’t individually stable. As such, he represents the way that a person can be disconnected from society after failing to follow its way of life.
Helmholtz Watson is an Alpha lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. However, he feels that his work is meaningless and empty and therefore seeks to use his writing skills for something valuable to him. He is friends with Bernard because they share a common discontentment with the World State. They both represent the feeling of being a misfit which is common among the youth. Lenina Crowne is a vocational worker attached at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center. She is desired by a majority of the characters in the novel. The readers also find her attractive due to her intriguingly unorthodox nature. Her main means of relating with other characters is through sex. This behavior is not strange in today’s society owing to moral compromise especially among younger adults.
Mustapha Mond is the Resident controller of Western Europe. He used to be a young ambitious scientist who performed illicit research. He later chose to become a World Controller and forgo science. As such, Mustapha represents the young adults who are forced to make tough career choices in their lives.As his secret, he decides to keep a collection of forbidden literature.
The tendency of keeping secret materials is also common among young adults in the current society. Fanny Crowne is Lenina’s friend, in this novel she is also the main voice of conventional values. She specifically warms Lenina to have more men at a time as it looks bad for her to concentrate on only one man for a long period of time. The behavior of dating more than one partner at a time is unfortunate but still very common among many young adults today.
Henry Foster is among the many lovers that Lenina has. Moreover, he casually discusses Lenina’s body with his coworkers as is still common among many young men in the current world. Do to Henry’s success with Linda, Bernard becomes jealous. Beta’s and John’s mother is Linda, who becomes pregnant with the Director’s son after paying his a visit in the New Mexico Savage Reservation. She then becomes too ashamed to get back to the World State with a baby. She consequently becomes an outcast. The topic of pregnancy among unmarried women is still prevalent in today’s world. Unfortunately, many young adults are still subjected to the same stigma that Linda went through.
One of the main themes in the novel is the utilization of technology with an aim of controlling society (Bélanger 9). The novel warns of the impending dangers that would result in the state’s control over powerful and new technology. This theme is significant to today’s world owing to the fact that young adults are consumed by technology. A good example is the application of technology to control reproduction through the surgical removal of ovaries. Soma is yet another example of the biological, psychological and medical technologies which is sharply criticized by the Brave New World. The young people in the current world could relate to the novel as they are aware of the full extent of technology’s influence in the day to day activities.
The theme of a consumer society is also a prevalent aspect of the society. The individual characters’ happiness is based on their ability to satisfy their needs as well as the society’s economic prosperity and growth. This is actually one of the driving forces and sources of motivation among younger adults in today’s world. Moreover, the novel is made up of characters that focus their attention on avoiding the truth about their personal situations. John insists on viewing Lenina through Shakespeare’s perspective. Moreover, Mustapha believes that the World States sets it priorities on happiness while neglecting the truth by design. Being a young man, he believes that people are at a better place with happiness rather than with truth. Mond believes that happiness is based on drugs, food, clothes, sex and other consumer items. Unfortunately, most young adults also base their perception of happiness on these materials.
Lowry’s willingness and ability to tackle such issues in The Giver has made her book one of the most censored books in school curricula and libraries. In this regard, some parents are upset and enraged by the book’s description of violence and sexuality. As such, they feel that their young adult children are unable and unprepared to issues such as suicide and euthanasia. This aspect is ironic as the citizen is the novel’s character attempt to keep their children safe from and ignorant of pain, sex, and violence, both psychologically and physically (Latham 139).
Jonas is an eleven-year-old protagonist in the novel. After turning twelve, he is given the title of “Receiver of Memory” in his community, since he has the powerful ability to see things differently. Even as a young adult, he is thoughtful and explains his concern for his family and friends (Roozeboom 3). As such, he believes that it is nice to be close to others. As a young man, Jonas seems to know the value of friendship and relationships. After the beginning of his training, he becomes aware of beautiful colors and strong emotions that make him passionate about his world. Regardless, he remains to be a thoughtful and level-headed young man.
Lily is Jonas’ seven-year-old sister. She is described as a talker who is unable to keep silent. However, even at a young age, she is excessively practical and well-informed for her age. Additionally, Asher is Jonas’ best friend who speaks too fast. He is also a fun-loving, hasty bright young man who is named as the position of Assistant Director of Recreation. Fiona is also Jonas’ friend who works as Caretaker of the old. She is characterized as a patient and mild-mannered lady (Latham 7). The author, therefore, uses young adults extensively in the development of his novel.
All the characters in the novel seem organized and responsible. They are tasked with various tasks that make them the heroes in the novel (Hintz 263). Regardless, they take up their responsibilities with bravely which is outstanding for young adults. Jonas was not informed of the truth regarding his community until he begins his training. Later, he views a video of a father killing a newborn twin. Consequently, his entire world collapses. After knowing the truth about his community’s secrets, Jonas is courageous enough to face his mother and father again.
He is surprised that the community he had believed to be perfect was indeed full of monsters. The Giver explains to him that the citizens don’t know any better “Listen to me, Jonas. They can’t help it. They know nothing” (Lowry 104). In turn, Jonas decides to do everything in his power to help the people return their memories when he says “I think they can and that they will acquire some wisdom” (Lowry 106). Jonas portrays courage and determination through resourcefulness. He maintains a calm nature and bravery throughout the journey to save Gabriel. In the entire novel, Jonas displays numerous heroic traits regardless of the fact that he is a young man. He is brave, determined and resourceful. If he hadn’t been strong, both he and Gabriel would have died. As such, he is portrayed as a protagonist in the novel due to his heroic traits. This is regardless of the fact that he is a relatively young man in the novel.
In both novels, the young characters take up a brave role in bringing change in the society. More specifically, Jonas in defies societal norms and practices without the fear of being cast out from society (Davis 14). In The Giver, Jonas faces his father and mother after learning about his community’s practices during training. Both novels illustrate the character's bravery as they showcase the many issues that young adults face in a bid to fit in society. Moreover, The Brave New World illustrates the theme of sexuality and morality while The Giver showcases the importance of individuality which is a common topic among the youth. As such, the authors use themes and characters that relate to young people and eventually show how they are able to rise against societal limitations and norms to become protagonists in the stories.