Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a novel that takes place in Utopia. Yet in this ideal place everyone is conditioned to be happy, it is a place where various things such as the arts are restricted so all people will be synchronized in thinking. Love and commitment does not exist but rather everyone belongs to everyone else. This place is also a place where soma holidays help people escape from their realities and never have its society feel any kind of distress or illness.
This place was not Utopia to John “the Savage,” it was rather a place of hell and torment which none of the things he enjoyed and loved existed. In the novel, freedom of the individual will is one of the fundamental beliefs at the root of human ideals. While the environment or the public world (society) plays some part in forming the psyche of an individual, it is in the end, the choice of the individual (John) to be who they become The whole concept of Brave New World contradicts to everything John ever believed in.
John came from a world where art and expression of variation from the society existed. People must face their problems and overcome them, and love requires commitment and is greatly appreciated. John was rather a Renaissance man trapped in a world where none of his necessities in life existed. He was disgusted at their orgy-porgies, their belief of take, take, take not give, give, give. Total happiness did not exist to John in a world which lacked expression of the arts. It was rather total torment.
Throughout the novel John continues to fight and believe for what he believes in while the surrounding environment continues to pressure him and submerge him into Utopian ways of life. The conflicts which were faced upon his arrival were of devastation. His life grew lonelier and lonelier each day with his dissatisfaction with the crude nature and refined society of the Utopians. He was trapped in a tedious world where there was nothing to do. John symbolizes the artist or the believer striving for ecstasy.
Yet in a world of synchronized life, lack of arts, unrequited love, and “runaways” it is impossible to find ecstasy. He finds nothing worth living for in the ordinary world and strongly regrets his leave of the reservation in coming to this “boring” world. Clearly he is the image of a man trying to liberate himself from his own egotism. Unable to cope with his problems, and to end his infinite sadness, John commits suicide. His death was the result of the torment and suffering from Utopia or his own hell. His individual will slowly diminished against the pressures of Utopian ways.
As a final resort John takes soma and partakes in an orgy-porgy. This was of great devastation to John. Everything, which he ever believed in, in his fight against the pressures of Utopia, was shattered in a split second. He had failed his personal egotism was defeated and the dread and horror of this defeat was overwhelming. Rather than living the rest of his life fighting Utopia and sticking with “primitive” ways of “lunacy,” nor turning to the insanity of Utopia with science controlling his life, death was his third and best option to end his torment and suffering.
It can be seen that freedom of the individual will and controlling pressures of the environment does affect psyche of a person. In John’s case his individual will was challenged by society’s pressures. Yet in the end, it was his own choice to be what they become: deceased, rather than live with science affecting human individuals in the insanity of Utopia, nor living in the primitive world of the lunacy Indian Reservation. Freedom of the individual will is one of the fundamental beliefs at the root of human ideals.
While the environment or the public world (society) plays some part in forming the psyche of an individual, it is in the end, the choice of the individual to be who they become. This is reflected by John “the Savage”, in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. The nature of John’s conflict involves his personal beliefs and the contrasting Utopian’s beliefs. Being from a world of art individuality, and literature, John is in great disappointment upon his arrival at the “boring,” “ordinary” Utopian world.
Art, individuality, and literature do not exist. There is lack of variation among the refined social class. Sex is rather a pastime event and is not something that is cherished or appreciated. Also, stress and illness are not felt because of “runaways” on soma holidays. All which contradict to John’s personal beliefs. His death was very symbolic in that a man choosing between life in insanity where advancement in science has affected the way society lives or life in .
When his individual will slowly diminished he finally turned to Utopian ways by taking soma and partaking in an orgy-porgy. When he finally realized what he had done he killed himself. Yet John did have alternatives to suicide: either continue to live a life of insanity in Utopia where advancement in science has affected the way of society; or to go back to the primitive lunacy life at the Indian Reservation where. John could not endure either alternative, hence he came up with a third choice of sanity: suicide.