The idea offreedom is always changing and is often open to interpretation. In Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley exploresthe use of technology such as soma, the mass production of humans and conditioningby the world state to maintain control, results in the dehumanization ofsociety. This dystopianworld depends on a drug known as soma to replace unsatisfying human emotionswith a sense of euphoria. The World state distributes rations of soma to thepopulation in order to make them avoid negative feelings. Soma has “All theadvantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.”(Huxley 46).Soma provides the modern-day feelings of joy people associate with faith suchas “Christianity” or other drugs such as alcohol with “none of their defects”.
Thegovernment gives soma to the people of the World State to distract them fromany harsh realities or human emotions that would make them want to change the distributionof power in their society. “if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything,unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you aholiday from the facts … You can carry at least half your morality about in abottle. Christianity without tears – that’s what soma is” (210). With soma thatthe World State provides, people are able to “carry at least half” of theiremotions and “morality about in a bottle”. The drug can “give you a holidayfrom the facts” or in other words, divert a person’s attention from the uglytruth by including a sense of bliss. The World State’s use of soma to controlsociety by keeping people superficially happy all the time, dehumanizes thepopulation by preventing them from experiencing the full range of emotions thatmake humans, human.
The World Statealso retains control by abolishing the concept of individuality using theBokanovsky Process which leads the citizens to possess any notion of freedom.The creation of standard humans occurs only in large quantities in vitro on anassembly line through the Bokanovsky Process. The goal of the BokanovskyProcess is to produce “Identical twins – but not in piddling twos and threes asthe old viviparous days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally divide:actually by dozens, by cores at a time” (4). Unlike modern society where every personis unique, this dystopian society produces “scores of “identical twins”. “Writerssuch as Huxley, foretell the demise of ‘individuality'” (Meckier).
Theproduction of identical humans maintains a stable community by eradicating theconcept of family. “Belkovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments ofsocial stability … Standard men and women; in uniform batches” (5). Since themass production of humans occurs in test tubes, the concept of family does notexist in Brave New World. The notionsof family, mothers, fathers and birth are thought of as horrid and outlandish.Due to the Bokanovsky Process, humans are not able to form the strongrelationships and familial bonds that make a person take action for thewell-being of a family. This results in “social stability”. Since theBokanovsky Process prevents the creation of familial relationships and a senseof originality, it results in a loss of humanity, freedom and that makes iteasier for the World State to preserve control.
The World Statealters primal human instincts and free will to suit its agenda through the useof biogenetical conditioning. Conditioning is a form of subliminal messagingsimilar to the experiments on Pavlov’s dogs that the World State performs onhumans in order to control the desires of the whole population. “Allconditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny”(12). Conditioning forces the citizens of the World State to conform tostandards set by the government. The World State implants certain behavior andvalues within the populace which dictates the “inescapable social destiny” ofpeople. The World State’s control of the population through biogenetical conditioningresults in the loss of freedom.
After hypnopaedic conditioning, The child’s mindis these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. Andnot the child’s mind only. The Adult’s mind too – all his life long. The mindthat judges and desires and decides – made up of these suggestions. But allthese suggestions are our suggestions … Suggestions from the state (23).From creation until death, membersof this dystopian society act only according to the morals, preferences andvalues that their government embers within them. Conditioning allows the WorldState to pluck all of the strings of society from behind the scenes, withoutany public knowledge of it.
Hypnopaedic conditioning allows this government toturn free-thinking humans, into obedient servants that obey the commands of theWorld State. The dehumanization in BraveNew World is so sever, that members of its society are not aware of theloss of free will and that their choices are not their own, proving thatdeprivation of freedom does exist. Theloss of freedom in Brave New World isthe result of which the World State uses to retain power. Rations of the wonderdrug soma are useful in preventing the population from feeling a diverse rangeof human emotions concerning sadness or resentment. Along with the massproduction of humans through biogenetical conditioning ensures the nonexistenceof individuality. Finally, the State molds the minds of members of thisdystopian society to make certain decisions unwittingly due to subconsciousconditioning.