Presentation of Sex and Sexuality in Brave New World

presentation of sex and sexuality in Brave New World brave new world is a dystopian novel about an authoritarian regime and how they control people, in it there are characters that resist the leadership. Huxley’s Brave New World is a darkly satirical novel that uncovers and shows the weaknesses of society (mainly American) in 1932 with ‘pneumatic flappers’ and jazz clubs which, in Huxley’s mind, lack meaning and are too casual. The society uses sex and sexuality as a force to control the masses by removing all ‘love’ in the act, by making it commonplace losing all meaning so they ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’.

Science In Huxley’s novel plays a key role in how the sex and sexuality is portrayed in the book, it seems that science removes all emotions in everything. In Brave New World children are put through an extensive conditioning process where they are subject to ‘erotic play’ and hypnopaedia. In the 1890’s the psychologist Sigmund Freud said that if you repress your sexual desires it builds up inside of you and can divert itself into damaging channels.

I think that in this novel Huxley is satirising him saying that if everyone had sex like he is saying then this is what it would be like:- On page 26 a little boy and girl of seven and eight respectively, ‘were playing gravely and with all the focussed attention of scientists’ Huxley describes the children as playing ‘gravely’ or without emotion, I think that this is him trying to show us what this society has become: one where children are forced to have erotic play, as seen when the little boy is crying because he doesn’t want to play; and secondly that these constant sexual encounters have dimmed the excitement, passion and love in the act of sex to a point where it has become mundane and un-magical.

Another thing that Huxley satirises Freud about is his theory about how the family is the prime source of this inner conflict. In Brave New World there are no families and loose living is encouraged, men and women are made in factories. I think ‘the week’s supply of ova’ and ‘standard men and women in uniform batches’ describes perfectly how Huxley thinks the world would be without families. Without them it would dehumanise so much so that we lose our identities and become ‘standard men and women’ Men and women have a complicated relationship in brave new world. Men are usually Alpha plus’s and women are usually beta minus’s, I think that that in itself shows Huxley’s entirely chauvinistic attitude. Her smile flashed readily at him’ (pg13) ‘flashed readily’ portrays an image of automation, she does it without thinking showing an instant submission to him and that with that submission she is readily available. Again, ‘and giving her two or three little pats, received in exchange a rather deferential smile for himself’ the director pats her on the bottom because in this society ‘everyone belongs to everyone’ and he fancies her. This is another example of Huxley’s inbuilt and unconscious chauvinism, he has made it so the female characters all respectfully submit to the men. In 1932 when Huxley wrote this hitting a girl on the bottom was shunned and offensive but in Brave New World it is accepted by everyone including Lenina because they are conditioned to have sex with everyone.

When Huxley went to America he encountered what he described as ‘the city of dreadful joy’ in Los Angeles where everyone had a hedonistic lifestyle and went to jazz clubs and there were ‘pneumatic flappers’ I think that Huxley is satirising them and giving a warning to us because that is what might happen in the future and Huxley believe that promiscuity like this is morally wrong and take all meaning out of sex. The Act of Sex in Brave New World is encouraged as much as possible because it is a particular, ‘for particulars, as everyone knows, make for virtue and happiness’ On page 58 some girls invite Helmholtz to a ‘picnic’. The ‘picnic’ replaces the word ‘sex’ which shows how amalgamated sex has become in society. Sex has been integrated into everything: thought, religious ceremonies, music, cinema, picnics etc. the society is very much so recreational and the people have become hedonistic.

Huxley points this out because this kind of society – American society – has very loose morals too and is perhaps no the best way to go about progressing. The girls invite only him and not anyone else; it’s quite a suggestive thing to say, even desperate and they only invite him because he is ‘hot’. The society in this sense is very shallow and childlike. Sex is also practiced in mass orgies. Huxley uses metaphors to represent sex a lot like on page 66. The orgy is described using music which rises and climaxes with their climax. Huxley also employs a clever use of sibilance, in which the ‘du’ sound is repeated to give a sense of heartbeats and increasing rhythm to show excitement. I think that Huxley writes about it in this way rather than being explicit is ecause when this book was published the content would have been shunned, but also to show again how sex has been integrated into everything It may seem odd that the government in Brave New World encourages sex, I think that the reason that they do is because the world motto, ‘COMMUNITY, IDENTIY, STABILITY’ with its main point being stability believes that happiness = stability and then sex = happiness. It is used as a measure to keep the people in line because whilst having sex and being happy they ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ which is more subtly put with the slogan, ‘for particulars, as everyone knows, makes for happiness and virtue’ which basically means that they shouldn’t be able to see the bigger picture and stop being happy.

To ensure that they only really focus on sex they have installed it into every aspect of their life. On page 66-67 Bernard goes to Westminster Abby in London where they sit around in circles of twelve and then start dancing and then having sex. I think that it is quite a disturbing scene, and is definitely something that most people back in 1932 and now would find disgusting. Huxley seems to be satirising everything now including religion with the twelve disciples and it being in Westminster. The whole book I think is satirising the Roman Catholic Church with the ‘conditioning’ of people to believe something without question and how it leads to false happiness or happiness that is fabricated by someone else and not of your own making.

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