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Life Imitates Art: A Series of Similarities Between Brave New World and Our Current Society

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Departamento de Lingüística                                                                                                      Literatura I                        

Prof. Ana González

1617- I

María Corina Blanco

Life imitates art: a series of similarities between Brave New World and our current society.

When reading a book it is common to find certains aspects that resemble to the activities we perform in our daily lives. But certainly it is impressive that while we are reading a dystopian novel we can associate different situations to the practices of members in our society. As  Oscar Wilde stated in the The Decay of Lying (1891): “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”, which is the case of the novel Brave New World, a book first published in 1932 that nowadays seems as a parody of the modern generation.

In Brave New World one of the mains concern of World State -the unified government that controls everything- it is technology use. Even though the way technology is portrayed in the novel  as a mockery of itself -and could be interpreted as a warning that states at some point  could control us as members of society through the use of it- it is also presented as the center of our lives which happens to be the case of modern society, a society that is obsessed with technology. As Max Miller (2013) explained: “It is difficult to imagine a world without the Internet. It has changed the way our culture treats almost everything, from watching television to socializing. It has affected the global economy and has been a boon for corporations and independent entrepreneurs alike.” The implementation of electronics in our communities has changed the way we act, behave and live, as it did in the novel; it controls from their conception to their death.

        Another aspect that reminds us of our society is the use of soma; a drug that it is described as “Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant”. The utilization of this narcotic to be happy and stabilized is  similar the practice of smoking marihuana. We can take a look at different internet forums in which cannabis users explain why they use marihuana and many of the answers are: to relax, to escape, to experiment and even to reduce anxiety; this resembles to the use of soma in the novel, character took it to relieve themselves from their problems and reach a certain level of bliss as they repeated “ a gramme is better than a damn.”

        Sexual intecourse is also another of the aspects that is comparable to the way we act  in the current time. In the novel, civilized people perceive sex as a matter of entertainment -since it does not have a reproductive purpose- and a way to reach stability too. Moreover monogamy is seen as something  disgusting since “everybody belongs to everyone else”. In spite of monogamy is still present and respected in our society, the taboo surrounding sexual activity has been overcome during the last few decades. After sexual revolution from 1960 to 1980 people started to accept the different types of sexuality and genders that exist and that sex could have no only a reproductive purpose, but also a pleasure one.

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