In both Brave New World and Anthem the underlying themes are very similar. The government controls every aspect of people’s lives, everyone is supposed to be perfectly happy with what role they are given, and the main character do not fit into what the government was deemed normal. While both books have these very similar traits, there are many differences as well; the way the government controls the people, as well as the form of government, the way people of both societies treat each other, and the situation in which the main characters are placed.
In both Brave New World and Anthem the government controls everything about a person. In Brave New World the government has taken the ultimate step in controlling the people. The government has taken people’s right to have children away, and instead grow children in labs, dictating what the child’s life will be like from the time the sperm is introduced to the egg. The government adds enhancers if they want the child to come out smart, or things like alcohol to the embryo if they want it to come out stupid.
Then the child is put through a series of conditioning treatments that make the child behave exactly how the government wants the child to (Huxley). In Anthem the government has also taken control of every aspect of te people’s lives. They are not as drastic as the government in Brave New World, but they put a child through a conditioning school, they choose the job that the person will do, and they choose when babies will be made. In Anthem the government is a council of leaders that have been chosen by the previous leaders to lead the people, and make them conform to the way that the council wants the people to think.
There are councils in every city in Anthem as well as sub-council that control other aspects of life, for example the council of scholars rules over the new inventions, and studies conducted (Rand). Brave New World’s government is a series of people called controllers that rule over a continent, each controller is in charge of everything that happens in the continent be it new discoveries, or what kind of felly to show the people. The controllers have absolute power within their continents, but there is also a world council.
Each controller is part of the world council and they make decisions that involve more than one controller’s continent. In the books the government has taken measures to see that everyone is perfectly happy, no matter what the cost of happiness is. In Anthem the children are taught from infancy that they would be perfectly happy if they loved their brothers and did their best to serve them. The children were punished if they tried to do something that their brothers would not like, or would not benefit the rest of the population.
This method did not always work because some people where resistant to the ideas, and would always think in a different way that would make them unhappy. Also in Anthem the men are taught to stay happy they must serve their brothers fully and not interact with women at all. It is a crime to interact with women outside of the time of breeding. While in Brave New World the government took the children from birth and used conditioning as well as things like electric shocks to make the children think a certain way.
This method is used until the children reach adulthood, and then to keep the population happy they are given a drug called soma. Soma is a mind altering drug ha makes the people happy an forget all their worries. The government convinced everyone that Soma was solution to the unhappiness in the world. Yet, this happiness is one reduced to sheer consumerism, just as politics in the brave new world is degraded to conformism. ( Diken Bulent). More tellingly yet, the only alternative set in the book against this sterile, suffocating civilization is religious fundamentalism (Diken Bulent).
Another way that the government in Brave New World fools everyone into thinking that they are happy is by teaching the population that everyone belongs to everyone, and that having sex with as many people as possible as often as possible is a good thing, and is highly encouraged. The main characters in both Brave New World and Anthem do not fit into what the governments see as the perfect world. In Anthem Equality 7-2521 who was born into his society wanted to be a scholar, and help his brothers with his ideas, and inventions, but he was assigned to be a street sweeper.
When Equality tried to change his life, and took the light bulb to the scholars hoping that they would accept him into their ranks and let him study with them. Equality was then punished and sentenced to death for trying to help his brothers better themselves, but escaped with his beloved and founded a new colony in which the mind would not be oppressed by the government. In Brave New World John is a boy from a reservation brought into society as an experiment, he does not understand the logic of the people, or the way they are until he meets the controller of the continent.
While everyone that was raised in society is very promiscuous, and open with everything, John who was raised on the reservation only wants to be with one person, and keep his relationship private. This goes against everything that the people of civilization believe in. the differences eventually lead to John leaving the city to go live in a lighthouse far from the city. He eventually killed himself because he could no longer handle what was going on in his head, and the things going on around him.
Brave New World and Anthem where very similar in the fact that they both had governments that dictated everything, things that where suppose to eliminate unhappiness, and had main characters that did not fit into the world in which they found themselves living. There where also pretty outstanding differences between the books as well though, the way the two societies viewed interactions with the opposite sex, the ways the governments where structured, and most of all the ending of the books. One character goes on to live his life with the one he loves, while the other commits suicide.
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