Brave New World Essay Questions
Here are some of the most typical yet exciting Brave New World essay questions that you can investigate in your paper:
- How does utilitarian society work?
- Why does the society need to limit not only the development of art and the cultural progress but also the scientific and technological progress as well, according to Mustapha Mond?
- What is John's function in the novel?
- How does a particular character develop in the novel (pick one)?
- What is the take on religion in Huxley's utilitarian society?
- How does Huxley theorize about sexuality in his novel?
- Do you agree that Huxley's views that he expressed in his novel were largely determined by his medical condition (blindness)?
- Where do John's suicidal thoughts root from and what motivation for suicide do they provide at the end of the novel?
- Is there an antagonist in the novel? Who could we call one?
- Can Huxley's Brave New World be truly called a dystopia?
Brave New World Theme Essay
The questions above are quite specific. Truly, a lot of serious works have been devoted to answering these questions. But, once again, as a student, you are allowed to cover one of them in a small five-paragraph essay. If your task is to write a bigger Brave New World essay, chances are you will have to write a Brave New World theme essay, i.e., to explore a particular theme and how it gets revealed in the novel. Here are some of the themes you can dwell upon when writing about Huxley's Brave New World:
- Commodification. An obsession with consumption makes people happy but poses an impossible obstacle to creativity and originality.
- Dystopia. How does the society seamlessly fall under one or the other kind of totalitarian control?
- Freedom. We can see how easily freedom can be re-defined into its complete opposite.
- Human impulse. We see that Huxley's utilitarian society does not control impulses. Is it wrong?
- Limits of science. How does the utilitarian government limit science to promote its central priority - the common happiness and why?
- Power of knowledge. In Huxley's novel, mankind seems to have gained absolute knowledge of everything, and it seems to have made them happy. What is the catch?
- Transformation of human relationships. The utilitarian society has rid itself of any human bond that we are used to today. How it affects them and what can we learn from it?
- Utilitarian happiness. How the notion of happiness transforms in the absence of unhappiness?
Brave New World Soma Essay
The absolute common happiness in Huxley's utilitarian society is achieved by providing the entirety of mankind with all the possible commodities. The elimination of any unhappiness is aided by the mass implementation of a particular drug called soma. Taking a closer look at this drug, its application and effects can provide for an exciting topic for an essay. If you choose to write a Brave New World soma essay, here is what you can do:
- Mark all the instances where the word 'soma' is used in the text of the novel
- Mark all the instances where the characters use this drug, ponder on their motivations to use it and its effects
- Mark the descriptions of soma's function in Huxley's utilitarian society
- Such a brief research will give you enough material to put together a solid essay.
Brave New World Analysis Essay
Another kind of essay that you can write about Aldous Huxley's novel is a Brave New World analysis essay. Here, you will analyze the novel as a whole, as opposed to putting the novel's particular detail or aspect in the center of your attention and abstracting from the rest. Such an essay will obviously be even more voluminous than a theme essay that we have discussed above - if you want to have it done properly.
When you analyze Huxley's entire novel in your essay, you will have to grasp at least several questions and themes that we have listed earlier: from the novel's background (including Huxley's blindness, as well as the events that inspired him to turn to the genre that would later be called dystopia) to the traits and functions of particular characters.
Brave New World Essay Prompts
When given a task of writing an essay, your instructor may offer you some prompts that you will have to address. If this is your case, then the job of a student gets much easier, because you no longer need to look for what exactly to write about. Either you know the material, or you don't. Either you can answer to the prompt, or you can't. Here are a few examples of Brave New World essay prompts:
- "Community, identity, stability." This is the slogan of BNW. Explain what each of these words means in the slogan. How true to life are they?
- Different opinions. The utilitarian society seems to provide happiness to all the society. Still, different characters seem to view such state of events differently. Give examples and compare them.
- Manufactured pleasure. How was it made possible to manufacture pleasure and at what cost?
- Mind meddling. Explain how the government controls the people's minds in the novel. What methods do they use? Do you know about any similar instances in real life?
- Ominous warning. Do you think that anything Huxley describes in his novel could happen in real life in the future? Maybe, it already has?
Brave New World Essay Outline
If your instructor is willing to facilitate your essay writing by giving you prompts to address, they might as well give you an outline for your essay. But regardless, if you have any doubts regarding how you should outline your essay, you should not hesitate to contact your instructor for assistance. A Brave New World essay outline may look as follows:
- Introduction. It should include the general background information - at least, the novel's title and the author's name, your thesis statement, and a transition sentence.
- The main body. Here, you answer the prompt.
- Evidence. You prove that your answer to the prompt is correct.
- Conclusion. You restate the prompt and state that you have answered it correctly.
Brave New World Essay Outlinebrave New World Essay Introduction
Finally, we would like to address an issue that many essay writers stumble upon - how to start off your Brave New World essay, i.e., how to write your Brave New World essay introduction. An introduction to an essay may be its smallest part, but it is of critical importance. If you want a good grade, you want to impress your reader. To do that, you should grasp their attention from the very first lines of your essay introduction and prepare them for what they are about to read. In case with a Brave New World essay, you are welcome to use the introduction to our humble article as a template to dwell upon.
There are two sides to many people in this world: the outside that conforms to the world around them, and the inside that secretly wants to rebel. When people do not agree with the society or culture around them, human nature often makes it difficult for them to make their concerns known to their peers, allowing this desire to go against the grain to grow inside them. This inner want to change the system has lead to much literature, and many characters devoted to describing the difficulties of breaking the societal mold, especially in the modern era. Bernard, the protagonist at the beginning of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is one of these characters who cannot break free of the culture around him that he knows is wrong. The “tension” created by Bernard’s outward conformity and inward questioning is what makes the beginning of this novel so meaningful.
The first sign of tension between Bernard’s society and his feelings is shown in his discussions in the third chapter of the novel, where he disagrees with his peers about viewing the people around him as items, believing that they are something more. His inner thoughts are conflicting with his society, as he knows that individuals are not important in his day and age, but he feels that people are more than that. He knows that people have the capability to reason and have feelings for one another. Although we can see that he wants to be an individual, he decides not to be, and treats other people like they are not, mostly due to the pressure to be meaningless from the World State and the people around him. This dichotomy between his actions and feelings is important, as it is something that people experience every day. We know that it is the right thing to report people for doing the wrong thing, but we do not because we like our social status. We are constantly going against are better judgement to please the world around us, just like Bernard.
Although his short stature and portly profile are an outward appearance, they symbolize his inability to completely fit in society because he is always thinking about what is wrong. While Bernard is labeled an Alpha, he understands that he and his mindset cannot truly be alpha, as he views everybody as equal, and does not view himself as better, simply because he is an alpha. This shows that his inner stress and anger is literally stunting his growth, because genetically, he would be very similar to the other alphas, and thus have genetically similar height to them. This also demonstrates the importance of Bernard’s inner conflict, as it is detrimental to his health, which connects to the world in a variety of ways, including school related stress, which in the most severe cases can lead to suicide; and also stress related to one’s body, leading to eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa.
Finally, Bernard’s job as a hypnopaedia specialist further shows his importance in making Brave New World a meaningful story. Bernard knows that what The World State is making him do is wrong, but he can not go against it, as the incentives to do it, along with the consequences to not do it make not preforming hypnopaedia extremely difficult for Bernard. This is meaningful, as the audience will connect with this. When a teacher gives you unimportant work for the sake of doing work, a student will do it so they can get good grades and dodge having a parent be mad at you. This also surfaces in the 1999 movie Office Space, as the main character, Peter Gibbons, is forced to come to work on the weekend. Although this is a movie, the movie became popular as many people found many similarities with their life and that of Peter, just like how people find Bernard’s life like theirs in this way.
All in all, Bernard’s inner conflict caused by his inability to go against his culture makes him a human in a story full of people who are essentially biotic machines. Huxley’s emphasis on Bernard’s subtle differences from the people around him make his character important by connecting him to his audience, making Brave New World a meaningful novel. Bernard’s inability to act on his thoughts connects to everyone in some sort of way.