Brave New World

Why might Mustapha Mond have hidden and forbidden books? Why does Huxley specifically mention the bible and poetry?

chapter 3 page 35

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Mustapha argues that the old is unnecessary because it contains destabilizing passion and emotions. Stability is the highest virtue because it leads to happiness, and old things like Shakespeare cannot exist since they do not lead to happiness. Mond also insists that the old things cannot be created in the new world because tragedies like Othello or Romeo and Juliet are the products of tension in society. If tension does not exist, neither can tragedy. Instead, all the new feelies and shows must be about nothing, since happiness occurs most easily when one experiences pure sensation rather than emotion.

Religion is the last sacrifice made by the old world to ensure happiness. Mustapha understands religion as something men turn to late in life when they become afraid of death. Religion substitutes for the loss of youth. Mond explains that since society eradicated the fear of death and since science keeps everyone youthful until death, religion is unnecessary. He reads to John passages from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis and from a work by Cardinal John H. Newman in order to demonstrate this previous society dependence on God, which he claims is no longer necessary.

Mond also points out people only believe in God when their conditioning suggests it. The Savage argues instead that solitude would lead people to visualize a god instinctively, but since society has removed solitude, people cannot contemplate the world on their own terms. John complains that society prevents people from discovering truth for themselves.


This chapter makes clear that Mond considers religion to be the most destabilizing force in society. Mond does not deny the power that religion had in the past world and even claims that he believes in a god. However, he also claims that God has become irrelevant in modern society and now only manifests himself through absence. Huxley presents a strand of existential philosophy that maintains that God's non-existence created a world in which humanity could only find meaning through its own existence. Mond’s society has strictly controlled the parameters of this existence, leaving no room for a god.