Marxism and Brave New World

Published: 2021-08-11 09:20:06
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Category: Literature

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Theory Analysis- Marxism – Based on “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley In the story “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, one can see that the author truly wishes his readers to analyze the book via the subsets of Marxism. The first and foremost rationale of the text lending itself to a Marxist analysis comes from the symbolism portrayed by the surname of the main character in the book. Bernard Marx seems to be such a unique and peculiar name that one can with certainty assume that there must be reasoning for it, especially considering the context of this novel.
In the first few introductions to Bernard, he narrates his distaste towards his fellow colleagues for “talking about [Lenina] as though she were a bit of meat. Have her here, have her there. Like mutton. Degrading her to so much mutton” (Huxley 39). In the mind of Bernard, his colleagues do not treat Lenina as an equivalent human being who belongs to the same and equal faction as his colleagues. Instead, through the eyes of Bernard she is seen simply as ‘degrading’ meat. Bernard’s hatred towards this subject matter exemplifies conceivably the similarities between the thoughts of Karl Marx and Bernard.
From this, one can easily anticipate that Bernard Marx will play a pivotal role that maybe shadows the thoughts of the real Karl Marx in around the period of Huxley’s era. One can even go about saying that perhaps the vast popularity of Marxism at the time of this novel’s publication posed a direct influence on Huxley’s perception of society, which he then applied to the story. Quite ironically however, later on in the novel while Bernard watches the clear ocean, “it makes [him] feel as though [he] was more [him]… More on [his] own, not so completely a part of something else.
Not just a cell in the social body” (Huxley 78). In these more updated and comprehensive thoughts of Bernard Marx, one can realize that his aversion towards the collective society of the World State shatters the previous anticipations about him. Where Karl Marx would have appreciated this specific unity of the World State, Bernard hates it. It can be argued that Huxley portrayed this unique irony for humor to show his revulsion towards the design of Marxism as he was an Englishman himself living in such a heavily Capitalist country as England.
Perhaps being a capitalist, Huxley wanted to make his audience understand that the popularized Marxist approach alone could not possibly lead to a Utopian civilization, and therefore modified his society in the novel accordingly. Such a thought results in the existence of both pro- and anti-Marxist ideals within the World State all throughout the novel. The world of the novel presents itself with pro Marxist ideologies largely in accordance to the basic psychology of the World State itself: “Everyone belongs to everyone else” (Huxley 34).
There is no individualization in the World State, and everyone achieves tasks only for society and the people around them. On the contrary, Huxley also employs the use of anti-Marxist ideals within the text by allocating talks of false consciousness of the inhabitants of the World State in addition to the presence of a caste system: “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do because they’re so frightfully clever… I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard” (Huxley 22).
The social groups below the upper caste have no problem with being less important in society. Through genetic and cultural conditioning they believe that they are perfectly happy where they are. Epsilons, Deltas, and even Beta’s are marginalized compared to the Alphas, yet are fine with having a lower cast allotment. Thus, the continuous revolutions of the novel going into pro and anti-Marxist modes of ideologies may prove that the text lends itself to an analysis correlating around Marxism in general.

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