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...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 821 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6115 literature essays, 1715 sample college application essays, 245 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in