People in today’s society tend to be “normal” and have a place to “fit” into our society. However, there are those who are “abnormal” and do not “fit”. In today’s social order, it is “normal” for those who “fit” and those who do not “fit” to co-exist. In the novel Brave New World, those who do not “fit” are cast out onto an island far away from civilization. Those who are cast out are referred to as misfits. Looking at Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World as a guide, should we embrace or shun the misfits in our own world? When a world is manipulated it is insufficient and flawed since those who have created it are imperfect. There are different types of misfits in the book Brave New World. They represent and illustrate how man will never have full control, or are able to improve an already perfect world. The following paragraphs will discuss that by abolishing feelings, individuality and intellect to perfect a community, faults and outcasts are emphasised.
In the world today, people are encouraged to value the family. Incorporated with a family is sex. A portion of females in our society today, are brought up to cherish their virtue and taught that sex is a very sacred and special thing that should be only shared with the one you love. Unfortunately, with so much resting on the importance of sex and love people may be come infatuated with it and sometimes even obsessed. Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge had but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didnt allow them to take things easily, didnt allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable? (Huxley 41). This suggests the way of living in the World state sees love, romance and sex as a flaw in our society today. However their mistakes of such assumptions are represented in misfits who do not share the same instincts as the other citizens of the state. A young beta female, Lenina finds herself dating men for long periods. When her roommate Fanny says I really do think you ought to be more careful. Its such horribly bad form to go on and on like this with one man. At forty, or thirty-five it would not be so bad. But at your age, Lenina! No, it really wont do. (Huxley 40) this suggests that Lenina is a misfit and needs to be advised to sleep around more so she would be like all the others in the community. She has human instincts to find a mate that she can spend the rest of her life. This instinct over comes her artificial instincts conditioned in her from birth. Even though genetically altered there are certain misfits in the world state that have still obtained the human characteristics which had been planned to be abolished from them.
Firstly, people in the world today establish individuality as a relfection of their own unique image. In today’s society people who look different from each other is the norm and we live with this reality every day. However, in a society such as that shown in Brave New World where hundreds of people look exactly alike, those who are different stand out in abundance. The first character identified as a physical misfit in Brave New World is Bernard who is an alpha male. In the novel, as Lenina mentions, she has accepted an invitation to accompany Bernard to an Indian reservation. Her room mate Fanny remarks They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle thought he was a gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate. Thats why hes so stunted.(Huxley 46) Bernard must deal with the defect of not being proper height. This causes him to have less sex and be mocked by other citizens who fit in. Bernard becomes a rebel when he thinks against the order of the world state. When the Character refuses to take the soma, he is overwhelmed with bad feelings and a sense of self-consciousness that restricts his performance in the world state.
Secondly, another physical outcast in Brave New World is Linda, a beta female who gets pregnant and forgotten about in a reservation. On the reservation, she had become old and unpleasantly overweight. When she returns to the world state students are frightened and disgusted by her. When her physical appearance causes her a sense of unhappiness she takes an over dose amount of soma and kills herself.
Thirdly, her child John, kills himself in the end of the novel. He is also a misfit due to his natural birth. When he lives on the reservation, he is an outcast because he is not of the aboriginal race. In hopes that he will be accepted into the world state John says Oh brave new world that has such people in it. Lets start at once(Huxley 141). John believes that in the world state he will find his place. Unfortunately, he is gravely mistaken when his lack of conditioning as a child allows him to hold his own perspectives and opinions on how life should be lived. When John finally discovers he will never “fit” in anywhere, he commits suicide.
In an attempt to purge the world from unhappiness, the world state set expectations for its creations of physical appearances. They failed to take into consideration the need for acceptance of natures deformities. These examples clearly show that differences need to embrace, instead of shun.
In our society today, people are encouraged to learn and establish an identity with their intellect and their persona. Beings in Brave New World are manipulated to be intelligent, incompetent or mentally dull. The creations, that can think for themselves tend to be the ones who stray away from their world’s way of life. There are two kinds of intellectual misfits, the first ones are the kind that accept the way of life in Brave New World and secondly, the kind that rebel against it.
Mustapha Mond is a Misfit who embraces the way his world is run and is one of its main controllers. As a child, Mustapha Mond was given the choice to accept the ways of society and become a world controller or go to an isolated island with the others who did not “fit”. Although, he controls a world where books and individuality is taboo he himself is a hypocrite and spends time analyzing Shakespeare and other literature. In our society people guided others who they can identify with. Those who deprive them of having the choice of an identity guide the citizens in the world state. The attempt of trying to eliminate intellectual individuality is forfeited and not validated; when those who have individuality run the society.
In conclusion, we should embrace the abnormalities of our civilization. Everyone is a misfit and because of this, things that differ become embraced. This creates an equal balance within our society that creates a perfect place for people to thrive and prosper. Man, will never have full control, or be able to improve the world because it is already perfect. There is no need for improvement. When the world state attempts to perfect the way things look and act their creations are still flawed and the natural laws of humanity shines threw. In Huxley’s world, man has attempted to improve their society by abolishing feelings, individuality and intellect. Even manipulating its people from birth and yet they still cannot fully create a perfect society where everyone is happy. If things revert to the way they originally were this suggests improvement is irrelevant. The controllers spend their whole lives trying to fix the world and eliminate its problems, when in reality, there is nothing to be corrected!
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World: