Brave New World vs. 1984 Argument Essay
Aldous Huxley’s dystopian vision of the future is an unusual one. Unlike many bleak depictions of life in the future, such as George Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s vision lays the blame on people for becoming comfortable within their limitations instead of an oppressive, external force. It is much simpler to envision that the homogeny of the future will come from a source that is not controllable by average people than for the people to acknowledge that they are their own oppressors. As Postman writes, there was a sense of great relief when the totalitarian nightmare of 1984 did not come to pass, however people have not stopped to consider that is only because they have oppressed themselves. In a sense, everyone is his or her own Big Brother. It is true that modern life is not one where the government controls the daily actions or speech of its citizens. The oppression of today’s world is more subtle than that, and often lies within the average civilian. That is why Postman is correct in his assertion that the future portrayed in Brave New World is more relevant to modern society than 1984.
Criticizing people for being too passive in their convictions is not an uncommon complaint in this day and age, especially of young people. In fact, common disparagements of youth mirror Postman’s description of Brave New World almost perfectly. Postman writes of Huxley’s vision, “People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think,” just as adults often say their children would rather text than have a real conversation, or go on Facebook than read a book. The complaint is not without validity, but it seems unfair to lay all the blame on Generation Y. The parents and grandparents of those disinterested teenagers and yuppies come from a generation that burned its draft cards and protested racism, sexism, and an unjust war. Now in a world of endless information, they are content to sit at the...