Comparison Between Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451


For more than half a century science fiction writers have thrilled and
challenged readers with visions of the future and future worlds. These
authors offered an insight into what they expected man, society, and life
to be like at some future time.

One such author, Ray Bradbury, utilized this concept in his work,
Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic look at a man and his role in society.
Bradbury utilizes the luxuries of life in America today, in addition to
various occupations and technological advances, to show what life could be
like if the future takes a drastic turn for the worse. He turns man\'s best
friend, the dog, against man, changes the role of public servants and
changes the value of a person.

Aldous Huxley also uses the concept of society out of control in his
science fiction novel Brave New World. Written late in his career, Brave
New World also deals with man in a changed society. Huxley asks his
readers to look at the role of science and literature in the future world,
scared that it may be rendered useless and discarded. Unlike Bradbury,
Huxley includes in his book a group of people unaffected by the changes in
society, a group that still has religious beliefs and marriage, things no
longer part of the changed society, to compare and contrast today\'s culture
with his proposed futuristic culture.

But one theme that both Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 use in
common is the theme of individual discovery by refusing to accept a passive
approach to life, and refusing to conform. In addition, the refusal of
various methods of escape from reality is shown to be a path to discovery.
In Brave New World, the main characters of Bernard Marx and the "Savage"
boy John both come to realize the faults with their own cultures. In
Fahrenheit 451 Guy Montag begins to discover that things could be better in
his society but, sue to some uncontrollable events, his discover happens
much faster than it would have. He is forced out on his own, away from
society, to live with others like himself who think differently that the
society does.

Marx, from the civilized culture, seriously questions the lack of
history that his society has. He also wonders as to the lack of books,
banned because they were old and did not encourage the new culture. By
visiting a reservation, home of an "uncivilized" culture of savages, he is
able to see first hand something of what life and society use to be like.
Afterwards he returns and attempts to incorporate some of what he saw into
his work as an advertising agent. As a result with this contrast with the
other culture, Marx discovers more about himself as well. He is able to
see more clearly the things that had always set him on edge: the
promiscuity, the domination of the government and the lifelessness in which
he lived. (Allen)

John, often referred to as "the Savage" because he was able to leave
the reservation with Marx to go to London to live with him, also has a hard
time adjusting to the drastic changes. The son of two members of the
modern society but born and raised on the reservation, John learned from
his mother the values and the customs of the "civilized" world while living
in a culture that had much different values and practices. Though his
mother talked of the promiscuity that she had practiced before she was left
on the reservation (she was accidentally left there while on vacation, much
as Marx was) and did still practice it, John was raised, thanks to the
people around him, with the belief that these actions were wrong. Seeing
his mother act in a manner that obviously reflected different values
greatly affected and hurt John, especially when he returned with Marx to
London. John loved his mother, but he, a hybrid of the two cultures, was
stuck in the middle. (May)

These concepts, human reaction to changes in their culture and
questioning of these changes, are evident throughout the book. Huxley\'s
characters either conform to society\'s demands for uniformity or rebel and
begin a process of discovery; there are no people in the middle. By doing
so, Huxley makes his own views of man and society evident. He shows that
those who conform to the "brave new world" become less human, but those who
actively question the new values of society discover truth about the
society, about themselves, and about people in general. An example of this
is Huxley\'s