Brave New World & Utopia Essay Composers of Dystopian Literature not only critique personal and political values but also manipulate textual forms and features in response to their times. This is apparent in Thomas More’s Utopia, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Andrew Niccol’s In Time and Turn On/Turn Off composed by Anonymous. These types of literature create a society that goes against responders’ morals and ethics. These Dystopian societies are characterized by human misery. More uses Utopia to criticize the world in which he grew up in.
This is evident in the quote “Nobody owns anything but everyone is rich – for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom of anxiety”. This quote uses the irony, nobody owns anything but everyone is rich which in turn illustrations to the responder that More is criticising his society’s monetary value. Additionally to this the rhetorical question that is, “for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom of anxiety? , expands on this idea of More’s criticism and allows the responder to understand from which points he is criticising as he suggests to us that monetary value deprives cheerfulness, peace of mind and freedom of anxiety.
Conversely the society in which Thomas More has envisioned, whilst indeed criticising his own society, More has created a society which is not entirely appealing. The quote from Book Two illustrates this “all with the same language, laws, customs and institutions. They’re all build on the same plan, and, so far as the sites will allow, they all look exactly alike. This is in reference to the fifty-four big towns on the island and evokes a picture of conformity and tasteless in the responder. The use of the repetition of the term same and also the term all exemplifies this idea of conformity. It suggests to the responder that there is no sense of freedom which in turn goes against most responder’s morals and ethics. Additionally this idea makes the impression that the society in which More envisions will be one that is characterized by human misery.
Similarly, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World criticises the world in which he lived. However, whilst More criticised ideas such as monetary value, Huxley criticises scientific advancements. This is simply due to the society in which they are criticising. More, living in a very medieval society say differing issues to Huxley who lived in a society with significant historical changes in medicine, mass production and technology etc. This idea of historical changes in regards to scientific advancements is evident in the terminology used in the novel.
For example; Podsnap’s Technique, and Brokanovsky’s Process, both of which indicate a society that is out of this world as these terms are unfamiliar to the responder. Indeed Huxley did not propose that the society in which he created in Brave New World was the way in which society at the time should head towards. Quite to the opposite Huxley illustrates a society that is indeed characterised by human misery. As is evident in the quote “you’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art”.
This quote emphasises the fact that human misery is evident in Huxley’s Brave New World due to the emotions that can be created through making this decision. Certainly, the fact that one could suggest that this decision of happiness or high art isn’t really an option, this due to the fact that the character in the novel is torn between this decision of happiness or high art. Another type of dystopian literature is that of film, more specifically, Andrew Niccoli’s In Time.
The ironic nature of the quote within the film “For a few to be immortal, many must die” states that one life is worth more than another, this in turn contrasts with the majority of responder’s morals and ethics. It suggests to the responder that one life is worth more than another, which is quite disturbing when one considers the fact that this film was released in 2011, suggesting that society nowadays is not nearly as far as we would like to think, in regards to all human lives being equal. The use of non-diegetic sound, that is background music, sounds other noises etc. rings the film to life and allows for the responder to envision themselves inside Niccoli’s film and imagine a world where time is the currency and that one life is better than another. This dystopian society that Niccoli has created is characterised by human misery, as is evident in the plot of the protagonist’s mother being killed. This in turn brings us to the fourth text, Turn On/Turn Off, a poem by an Anonymous composer, as this poem is characterised by human misery. The repetition of the words Turn On suggests to the responder this idea of power and control.
This is evident as there is a control over ‘turning on’ the lights or the pain, this shows there is a higher power as there must be somebody to “turn on the lights and pain” so to speak, this suggests corruption and inequality within the society that the poem is based within. This corruption and inequality goes against responders morals and ethics as well as suggesting to the responder that the society in which the poem is taking place is full of human misery. Thus, this concept of Dystopia can be found in all forms of literature.
This is evident as composers of Dystopian Literature critique personal and political values and also manipulate textual forms and features in response to their times. Such diversity of the forms of literature includes the novels Utopia and Brave New World by Thomas More and Aldous Huxley, respectively. As well as the film, In Time composed by Andrew Niccol and the anonymously composed poem Turn On/Turn Off. All of these types of literature create a society that goes against responders’ morals and ethics as well as societies that are characterized by human misery.
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