Brave New World

An Immunity to Intellectual Thought in Brave New World 12th Grade

The equation of “civilization is sterilization” is central to the theme of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. To the “sterilized” mind, this idea would simply mean that cleanliness is the hallmark of a civilized population; it is exactly what Lenina, a sterilized character in Brave New World, thinks when she sees a filthy Indian Reservation and states “cleanliness is next to fordliness” (110). However, Huxley intended to assert something much deeper than just cleanliness— in Brave New World, he was reflecting on the submission of a society that is controlled by an oligarchy whose primary concern is stability. By, “civilization is sterilization,” Huxley meant that civilizations, for the purpose of stability and through any means necessary, are capable of stifling intellectual activity and thus, throttling individuality.

In the utopia/dystopia of Brave New World, Huxley describes a society in which people are conditioned to think in a way the supreme power, the World State, wants them to think. One class of its factory-produced infants is electrically shocked to avoid books (the source of heretical views in this state) as well as other things the World State finds...

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