Brave New World Chapters 16-17 Themes & Questions
Why is Literature Restricted?
- Savage: Literature should be readily available, especially when that literature is beautiful (168)
- Mond: Beauty is dangerous. It attracts people to old things. (168)
What is Happiness?
- Mond: Happiness is ultimately boring compared to the correction of disaster that previous societies had. (170)
- It is the duty of a few to ensure the happiness of everyone (174-5)
Why not make everyone an Alpha Plus?
- Savage: Wouldn't people be better off if everyone had the best abilities possible? (170)
- Mond: People have to be suited to the work they will be doing. Besides we tried that, it was a disaster. (171)
Is Science a Good Thing?
- Mond: Science itself has the power to disrupt the peace of society, if not managed properly (173)
Do we Need Religion in the Modern Age?
- BNW has no religion, even though Mond thinks there might be a God. God's manifestation is different in different times; now it is as an "absence" (180)
- Religion is "old" (178)
- Savage: Religion is just natural. We have no choice but to be drawn to God.
- Mond: Religion is only natural to the extent that the conditions of society require it. Change the conditions, and what is "natural" changes as well.
- God isn't compatible with either modern technology or modern happiness (180)
- Mond: Instead of religion, we now have soma. It is "Christianity without tears" (183)
Why and How Do We Believe Things?
- We believe not because it is "natural" to believe, but because we've been conditioned to believe. (180)
- We can create the right conditions for specific kinds of belief. We can make sure that people are never alone (so they don't start thinking about God) (180)
What is the Basis of Civilization?
- Savage: Civilization requires (self)denial and chastity ((182)
- Mond: Civilization requires fulfillment of all desires (and the management of those desires) (182)
- Savage: Civilization requires heroes
- Mond: Heroes are a sign that the civilization isn't working.
What is the Goal of Civilization?
- Mond: The goal is comfort (184)
- Savage: As an individual, he wants the right to be unhappy and inconvenienced (184)