chapter  7
33 Pages

Community, or intimacy?

These words are spoken by the Director of the Central London Hatchery in the opening pages of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World. This world is a place where people are grown rather than born; a place where there is no suffering or inconvenience; a place where human existence is ordered and shaped around the needs of society. This is a topsy-turvy tale in which Huxley aims to comment on all that he sees as repellent and perverse in 1920s America. His science-fiction vision of the future presents a satirical ‘utopia’ in which all aspects of our emotional, social and physical existence have been effectively sterilised. From the family and sexuality through to anger and hunger, all of our needs and desires are synthetically met through a system of biological, psychological and pharmacological technologies. The needs of the community are pre-eminent and community is achieved through social stability, which in turn is achieved by conditioning human beings to their preordained function.