Brave New World – Happiness
With reference to the text, discuss Mustafa Mond’s statement: ” The secret to happiness is liking what you have to do.”
Mustafa Mond is presented to us as one of the Ten World Controllers in Brave New World, of that Utopian, communal and stabilized world, set six hundred years into future. This new world that contradicts the world we live in today, eliminated the Freedoms that we depend on: the freedom of choice, the freedom of thought, religion and being. They have chosen to condition their individuals in baby factories in order to ensure identity, community and stability. The fundamental tenet behind the conditioning is utilitarianism, which describes a society that seeks to create maximum happiness. Those who are happy are thought to be efficient and beneficial to society. Mond’s statement: “The secret to happiness is liking what you have to do,” applies to his conditioned’ world, with abolished Freedoms, but it does not apply to the world we live in today.
Huxley shows how “identity” is established in the Conditioning Centre through the selection of the embryos into each of five groups. All the individuals in Brave New World have their identity predestined by someone else. This promotes stability by creating a group of workers whose preferences are moulded by the state. I cannot concur with this idea of puppet creation’ where people can be depicted as puppets and the state can be said to be their puppet master who has a right to choose their character roles. In our society, this goes against the freedom of being and becoming someone you wish to be.
Mr Foster addresses the students about Epsilons and mentions, “We condition them to thrive on heat,” (p. 31). This can explain why they are predestined to like warm temperatures and why they emigrate to tropics to become miners and steel workers and in that way benefit the society. I should mention that I do not agree with their idea that one should be conditioned to be happy with what they are doing or to perform the task correctly. In today’s society, one may notice that there are people who grew up near coalmines and without anyone forcing them to work, they still feel like they should dedicate themselves to a miner’s duty. They might have been born into a miner’s family and upon their own will, might decide to follow their family’s footsteps. One should realize that this again applies to our Freedoms, in this case, the freedom of choice.
In Huxley’s example, one can notice how Delta babies are forced to learn a lesson of instinctive hatred towards books and flowers. Their love for books and flowers may influence the efficiency of the society. I must disagree with the way these babies are treated just to be more efficient. Before they even know it, their freedom of choice and belief is eliminated. In today’s world, children might learn not to play with fire if they burn themselves once, however, this stands behind the fundamentals of survival. One should not be taught to hate things that are not dangerous for their own health, otherwise these individuals can be said to be narrow minded and ignorant.
Deltas are trained to avoid roses and books by giving them electric shocks when they touch those items. Psychologically, this conditioning also lowers these classes to the status of animals. They are trained to hate books in case they read something that might undesirably decondition one of their reflexes. They are taught to hate flowers, so that they will not spend too much time in the countryside, away from work and responsibilities. This again applies to the efficiency of the society. Alphas are given challenging jobs and Epsilons are given grunt work that would be boring for higher caste members. “Stability” in their society is ensured through the limitations placed on the intelligence of each group. In our society, nobody has a right to limit anyone’s intelligence. This applies to the freedom of thought. Those who are intelligent enough will become what they desire, and their knowledge will be contributing towards the whole world.
Huxley generates “community” by dividing the population into segments, where the Alphas serve as intellectual