Brave New World and 2081

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Honors Literature 1 February 2013 Brave New World and 2081: When Government = All Power Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Kurt Vonnegut’s 2081 both display themes that portray complete government control through the manipulation of individuals and their surroundings. While the novel Brave New World and the video 2081 similarly convey the idea of equality, they differentiate when expressing the concept of community. In Brave New World, the society is controlled by the government through hypnopedic teachings and each person is assigned their lifelong path. Any person found to be overly intelligent is not accepted in society because of their uniqueness. Similarly, in the movie 2081, if people are found smarter then most, they have to wear ‘handicaps’ to prevent them from thinking for themselves, being creative, or thinking too much. In both futuristic worlds, the extraordinary is outlawed. People must appear and think in unison in order for them to be accepted. For example, in Brave New World, Bernard Marx fails to fit in because of his inferior physical stature that demonstrates individuality, therefore, he is not given the same opportunities as other Alpha males and is fired by the DHC. Likewise, in 2081, Harrison Bergeron is placed in prison and death-sentenced for promoting individuality and being very intelligent. Both governments condition people to associate intelligence with danger because it can take complete equality away and ultimately challenge the government’s authority. The idea of community in both worlds is expressed differently, however, because of the effectiveness and stylistic ways of the societies. In Brave New World, the community is run with a social caste system and one is born with a social standing depending on their physical and mental ability. Depending on their manipulated characteristics, they are placed with a job to suit
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