John through, he still treasures the memories of the stories Linda told him of "that beautiful, beautiful Other Place... a paradise of goodness and loveliness." It is, of course, meant to seem at least slightly attractive, or else there would be no point in satirising it or drawing attention to the things that would be lost if it were the case.
But the world in which Huxley lived, as well as rife with problems, was ripe for satire. Like most visions of the future, Brave New World gets its cue from events in the present, and the novel is much more an assault on the early 1930s than it is an expression of sympathy for proposed solutions. Indeed, once Huxley the satirist gets going, the idea of Brave New World as any sort of blueprint fades distinctly into the background.
After the First World War, Huxley had predicted the 'inevitable acceleration of American world domination' and when he visited the country in 1926 he found it every bit as enthrallingly terrible as he had expected. The 'Feelies' are clear descendants of the 'Talkies' (movies with speech, the first of which, The Jazz Singer, was only released in 1927); and Brave New World's sex-hormone chewing gum, ever-present zippers (according to Huxley, America's national "crest"), caterwauling sexophones, and 'pneumatic' promiscuity owe as much to America in the 1920s as they do to the World State in AF 632. Indeed, Huxley had discovered Henry Ford's My Life and Work in the ship's library during his voyage to the United States, and he found a country that seemed to fit in perfectly with the car manufacturer's vision.
America was not the only country up for satirising. A central tenet of the World State philosophy is that "ending is better than mending": it is each citizen's duty to consume as much as possible to keep the wheels of industry and society turning. Says the Director: "Strange to think that even in Our Ford's day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It's madness. Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated existing games." Here Huxley is taking a shot at the view espoused by the likes of economist John Maynard Keynes that Britain's problems were caused by under-consumption. Keynes saw unemployment being reduced and the economy revived through a systematic programme of public works, and sure enough the World State is plastered with acres of Reimann-surface Tennis and Elevator Fives courts that are in continual use. [Georg Riemann was a German mathematician, who worked out new system of geometry that aided the development of modern theoretical tennis. We can only assume that the sport is fiendishly complex.] This sort of 'ten men to dig a hole, so that ten more can stand in it, before another ten fill it in again' approach to employment was certainly to work for Hitler a few years later. And like the German economy prior to and during World War Two, Huxley's World State is propped up by what is essentially a slave population, who in this case really are biologically inferior to those who they produce for - an untermenchen of the State's creation. These Bokanovsky Groups of Epsilons are "the foundations on which everything else is built. They're the gyroscope that stabilizes the rocket plane of state in its unswerving course." The difference is that they have been conditioned to love their place in society. As the Director says, "That is the secret of happiness and virtue - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny." As the hypnopaedia for Betas says: "Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and the Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilon children are still worse..." And so it goes on. It is here that Huxley's vision differs substantially from the dystopia of Wells. The upper and lower strata of The Time Machine's future were divided wholly into discontented labour underground and happy wastrels on the surface. Huxley's society is all the more enticing and terrifying because very few within it think to argue against it.
Thus whilst the inhabitants of the World State are taught to consume, they are also conditioned to have a totally non-aspirational attitude lest they should threaten the hallowed stability. Brave New World manages to simultaneously satirise the communistic outlook that the collective body is the important
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