Conspicuous Consumption In "Brave New World" and the "Rise of Luxury Stores"

Categories: Brave New World

Consumption is becoming a mainstream in today’s society. In Brave New World, the material life is plentiful, science and technology are highly developed, people are subject to various constraints and feel comfortable about the education. People’s desires can be fully satisfied anytime and anywhere, enjoy the days of worry-free food and clothing, without having to worry about the pain caused by birth, illness, death . The novelist of the book Aldous Huxley, descirbes a world that everybody possess the extreme view about consumption.

The fever of pursuing luxury goods is used as a tool to distinguish each individual. In the utopian world, every citizen pushes their limit to get better consumption goods than others, and regard it as a sign of victory of their lives. It resembles the world we are present, with some aspects. This paper aims to explore the connection between consumerism described in the novel with the current trend of favoring luxury goods.

The way of encouraging consumption in the state through brainwashing is similar in our real world today.

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In the novel text, the authour uses conversation between characters to express the idea of consumerism, thereby depicting a world life with the idea of buying is better than repairing. For example, the world controller Mustapha Mond insists his idea by emphasizing some hypnopaedic phrases when he talks to Lenina, “ The more stiches, the less riches.’ Isn’t that right? Mending’s antisocial.”(Huxley 36), the text above manifests an inclination of praising extravagance. The argument, in the text, is that more mending reduces the liklihood of purchasing, which decreases ecnonomic activities.

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Less economic activities results in less stable communities, and thus is regardes as antisocial. The phrase is embedded so deeply into the consciousness of each person that they take its meaning to be truth. According to the article by Kim, Y. and Sullivan, P, “…fashion retailers employ emotional branding as a way to engage their customers, addressing the growing trend of consumers’ seeking emotional relationships with a brand.” Retailers adopt emotional branding as a way to attract customers by meeting their needs, aspirations, dreams. This strategy stimulates the emotional state of customers with the goal of increasing consumer loyalty to the brand. Simultaneously, the government in the state adapts hypnopaedic to strengthen citizens’ resonance for the stability of the entire world, in order to ensure more purchase and less repair. The government in the world state believes that people can only feel happy when they are surrounded by endless consumption. Negative emotions can pose a threat to the stability of the world state. Another content brought by the author is the free will of making choices. Ted Goia traces back to history, “His previous work revealed a knack for satirical tales focusing on the aimlessness of “lost generation” bohemians—an unlikely apprenticeship for a would-bemaster of conceptual fiction. ” He elaborates the creation of this novel is during the era of boom of consumerism in U.S. People were fervent of consumption and seemed lack of awareness of self-selection The ultimate difference between the world state and the real world is that people have no choice in the real world while they have choice in the world state. As pointed out by the novel, when the director is explaining the idea to his students. “We condition the masses to hate the country… But simultaneously we condition them to love all country sports. At the same time, we see to it that all country sports shall entail the use of elaborate apparatus”(Huxley 17). People are manipulated with what they purchase for sports utilities. The government limits the types of sports that sports that has minimal apparatus. For example, soccer has been removed in their society to promote the consumption of manufactured goods. It is not uncommon to witness in the real world that we live in. Commericals are all over the media to incept ideas in our minds, purchasing luxury goods, premium stuff so that we can enjoy a happier life. Either in the fictional world or the real world, it is difficult to resist the temptation of buying more premium goods.

The necessity of keeping production in active motion is one of the key issues both in the novel and our real world. As described in the book, when the world controller is talking to Lenina and Fanny, “The machine turns, turns and must keep on turning-forever. It is death if it stands still. A thousand millions scrabbled the crust of the earth. The wheels began to turn. In a hundred and fifty years there were two thousand millions. Stop all the wheels. In a hundred and fifty weeks there are once more only a thousand millions; a thousand thousand thousand men and women have starved to death” (Huxley 31). Active motion the only way to keep people living off is to maintain the machines and labor force at work. Besides, as described by Dave Mosher, the success of Brave New World resides in the treatment of using a artificial world to spur human thinking. “The technological modification of entire populations of humans is not a fitting subject for mass entertainment because it’s simply too disturbing to contemplate,” The only way to keep people living off is to maintain the machines and labor force at work. Consumption, production, sales, and income make a well-oiled chain for the wheel of society. Any disruption for one of the elements may cause huge breakdowns of the society. Besides, both governments in the book and in our real life provide workers with benefits to ensure the output of products. The text in the novel, a group of students are leading by the world controller in the fertilizing room, “Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (Huxley 31). The great quantity of machines requires a large number of people to look after for it, in order to ensure the machines are operating safely as expected. And the workers all feel content about their jobs. As the article writes that “A true luxury brand cannot stop their offering at the product; they must go beyond that to offer unique services or rituals.” Merchants revolutionized the consumer buying experience by offering a special personal experience. For instance, they will customize the suitable products for them based on their personalities, hobbies, financial capability, etc. In this way the luxury stores can guarantee the production owing to some satisfied customers will have repeatedly buying desire. By contrast, the world state keeps its production through offering plenty of job opportunities, citizens with jobs will probably not engage in the activities that against the government. Whereas luxury stores maintain their production by equipping a special way which meets consumers demands.

The extreme consumerism in the novel reflects the rise of luxury stores and bring huge increases of marching into the pole for our real world. The frenzy on consumption drive people to an off-track mindset. In the book, At their first meeting after the estrangement, Bernard notices that Helmholtz had also come into conflict with Authority. “Twelve lectures, of which the seventh is about rhymes. ‘On the Use of Rhymes in Moral Propa-ganda and Advertisement,’ to be precise. I always illustrate my lecture with a lot of technical examples. This time I thought I’d give them one I’d just written myself. Pure madness, of course; but I couldn’t resist it” (Huxley 120), directs our attention to the insanity resulted from consumerism. As Elizabeth Paton wrote in New York Times, The Great Promise of China, “ …the demand for luxury goods have been skyrocketed into the The French luxury brand Louis Vuitton reports that China contributes to a 30 percent increase in revenue during the first half of 2018, nearly 3.4 billion euros.” Online shopping became a new trend for Chinese younger generations, and the tycon company in electronic commerce, Alibaba, spends up the pace of luxury shopping with the internet technology. The trend of booming luxury goods is unstoppable. “LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company by sales and the owner of big-name brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, acknowledged the customs crackdown in China alongside the risks of operating globally “in an uncertain geopolitical and monetary context,”. James Henderson (2014), who is a CEO of the luxury brand Bell Pottinger, argues that the thrive of luxury brands represents a natural process of the change in consumers tastes and consumption trends. “With expansion into Asia and the Middle East, luxury companies need to hit the right note so that they can tap into new wealth.” The luxury brand firms make tons of effort to following the swiftly muting markets. The boom of luxury goods is closely related to the psychological needs of self-identification. The author vividly express the eagerness of spotlight and attention by the character. The frenzy on consumption drive people to a off-track mindset. The embedded idea also has impact to our future generations. Jessica Eylem shows that the connection between utilizing dyspotia creation and eugenics. “Through discussion of the three main female characters in the novel, I comment on his use of them as a way of explaining why he thinks that gender needs to be removed from society and how fear is used to stop them from revolting against the constraints placed upon them. “ It add to the ever-expanding debate of how women are treated within the constraints of the novel and in exploring how the popular topics during the interwar period translated into the novels of the same time. In the novel, when Lenina is talking to Fanny, “Hardly less flattering had been the attentions paid her by conspicuous individuals. The Resident World Controller’s Second Secretary had asked her to dinner and breakfast. She had spent one week-end with the Ford Chief- Justice, and another with the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury.” (Huxley 110), the author vividly express the eagerness of spotlight and attention by the character.

In summary, this paper extensively discusses the view of consumerism shown in the novel and its relationship with emerging luxury goods stores. In the utopian world state, people are manipulated and told to work without asking any questions, so that the chain of consume-work remains intact, leading to a stable society. In our real world, some people choose to ignore the fact that we have self-consciousness and are responsible for ways of living.

References

  1. Huxley, Aldous Leonard. Brave New World. http://www.idph.net/, May 18, 2002. www.idph.com.br/conteudos/ebooks/BraveNewWorld.pdf.
  2. Elizabeth Paton, The Great Promise of China, Nov, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/fashion/china-luxury-retail.html
  3. Dave Mosher, Sept, 2017.A historian says most science fiction has the same major flaw — except one legendary novel. https://www.businessinsider.com/brave-new-world-predicts-biohacking-future-michael-bess-2017-9
  4. Ted Goia, Oct, 2018. http://conceptualfiction.com/brave_new_world.html
  5. Jessica Eylem, Oct, 2018 The Women of Brave New World: Aldous Huxley and the Gendered Agenda of Eugenics
  6. https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/rbc/2018conference/011/2/
  7. Kim, Y., Sullivan, P. Emotional branding speaks to consumers’ heart: the case of fashion brands. Fash Text 6, 2 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40691-018-0164-y
  8. Petersen, Francine Espinoza. “Six Must Dos for Successful Luxury Goods Marketing.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 Nov. 2014, www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/nov/25/luxury-goods-marketing-ferrari-le-labo.

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Conspicuous Consumption In "Brave New World" and the "Rise of Luxury Stores". (2021, Aug 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/conspicuous-consumption-in-brave-new-world-and-the-rise-of-luxury-stores-essay

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