The idea of freedom is always changing and is often open to interpretation. In today’s society, all beings are born free with equal dignity and rights.
With the use of technology, mass production of humans, and conditioning in the novel Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, The World State is able to maintain and keep control within society. Therefore, resulting in a dehumanized society.This society which depends on a drug.
A drug which replaces the unsatisfying emotions felt by humans with a sense of euphoria. To begin with, the distribution of soma in rations to the citizens of the World State to help them avoid negative feelings. Soma has “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects” (Huxley 46). The modern day feeling of joy in people is associated with Christianity and many other drugs and alcohol with the use of soma. In addition to the joy associated with soma, there is an emphasis on the “euphoric, narcotic” (37) and how “presently hallucinating” (37) soma is. As we understand, soma is a wonder drug, helping the citizens of the World State feel happier when they feel depressed, scared or worried.
Soma serves the purpose to get the citizens to a tranquilized dream-like state. Soma is given as a distraction to the citizens of the world state from harsh realities of emotions that would lead them to change how power is distributed in their society. “If ever, by some unlucky chance, anything, unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts… You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears – that’s what soma is” (210). Soma is used in the world state to allow people to carry majority of their emotions in a bottle. The drug can divert attention from the ugly truth to a sense of euphoria and bliss. The controlled society dehumanizes the population by preventing them with the use of soma from feeling and experiencing emotions that make humans, human.
The World State gains control by destroying the concept of individuality by using the Bokanovsky Process. This process gives the citizens no notion of freedom. The World State is trying to make it so that everyone within each caste will be as similar as possible. Human creations occur in large quantities in an assembly line through the Bokanovsky Process. The goal is to create and produce “Identical twins – but not in piddling twos and threes as the old viviparous days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally divide: actually by dozens, by cores at a time” (4).
Unlike modern society where every person is unique, this dystopian society produces “scores of “identical twins”. While giving a presentation about the Bokanovsky Process the Director shouts in an enthusiastic voice “Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!” (5). The idea behind this statement is to make identical beings so they will respond in the same way and will not come in conflict with each other. Stability is maintained is achieved with the help of the production of identical humans, by erasing the concept of family. “Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability… Standard men and women; in uniform batches” (5). The mass production of humans occur in test tubes in the Hatchery, because of this, there idea of family does not exist. The notion of fathers, mothers, family, and being “born” are thought of as terrible and disgusting.
The Bokanovsky Process plays a role in why humans are not able to form strong family bonds and relationships. This results in social stability. The process prevents any emotional relationships and seizes ones individuality. This system of control causes the loss of humanity and freedom which ultimately allows the World State to preserve control. The World State modifies free will and human instincts to fit its plan for the use of biogenetical conditioning. This type of conditioning is form of messaging that the World State performs on humans in order to restrict the desires of the population.
“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny” (12). Biogenetical conditioning forces the people of the World state to obey standards and laws suggested by the government. The World State enforces certain behavior within each caste. The control over the citizens through hypnopeadic conditioning results in the populations loss of originality and freedom. After hypnopeadic conditioning: “The child’s mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. And not the child’s mind only.
The Adult’s mind too – all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides – made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions, from the state” (23).From creation to death, the citizens of the World State society, act according to morals, values and preferences which the government enforces within them.
The Hypnopeadic conditioning is like a disguise which gives the ability to clean and pluck the strings of the “perfect” world from behind the scenes without anyone knowing. Hypnopaedic conditioning turns free-thinking humans, into servants that obey the enforced laws of the World State. The hypnopaedic platitude “Everyone belongs to everyone else” (50) is an example of confinement in the World State.
No one is and can be free in this society because each and every one is a subject to every ones wants and desires. Possession of freedom is impossible when they are considered property. The master and slave concept exists within this cyclical society where one is not aware that their choices are not their own and this World State costs them their freedom.To conclude, the loss of freedom is the result of which the World State uses to retain power. Soma, the wonder drug erases primary human emotions and feelings concerning sadness and or resentment. Along with soma is the mass production human beings and hypnopeadic conditioning which ensures unoriginality in humans. Freedom comes with confinement, the World State has the power to mold the minds of its citizens with subconscious conditioning and decisions made unwittingly.