Alien and Brave New World: Challenging Established Values Essay

Submitted By Benshi12
Words: 1216
Pages: 5

Alien and Brave New World are perennial texts that challenge established values of their time through specific individuals. Ridley Scott and Aldous Huxley, the creators of each text respectively use an array of literary and cinematic techniques to establish their opinions on attitudes of their society. Each composer’s respective context culminates in a different viewing of their society whci leads to both similarities and differences between the texts. The role of women is especially explored by Scott and the increasing presences of technology is rejected by Huxley. As well, both composers focus on the los of human compassion in their society.
Aldous Huxley grew up in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s and as a result had a very traditional upbringing. This resulted in Huxley valuing religion and family. But at the turn of the century and in the years that followed he saw society move away from these values and focus more on physical objects. Huxley despised this move away from tradition towards scientific technologies and demonstrates this distaste through john the savage in Brave new world. John had a similar upbringing to Huxley and as a result is confused by and rejects the modern day leisure’s presented to him in 2500 AD. The emotive language “whenever he wanted anything, just press a button or switch, it was pure delight to do something that demanded skill and patience” demonstrates the sheer pleasure that John gets out of doing things the traditional way, much like Huxley did. “God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine” further demonstrates through the personification of technology the huxley’s old values and new the new societal values will not mix. That for one to exist the other must go. “ we don’t want people to be attracted to old things, we want them to be attracted by new ones” epitomises the evidence as a direct quotes from a world controller “Mustapha Mond”, that the new society has done away with more traditional values. but john, like Huxley, does not think this way and as a result continues to rebel against the world. “pushing open a window, he began to throw out the little boxes of soma tablets” demonstrates through the use of the word little just how insignificant technological advancements are to him, especially soma which is a metaphor for happiness in the novel. In all it is obvious that through John the savage, Huxley challenges the value of technology in his society.
Similarly to Huxley, scott challenges many values of his society in his film. In the lat 1970’s when Alien was released, the feminist movement had begin to gain momentum. But although this was happening men were still favoured in the work place, especially in positions of power. Scott challeneges this idea through ripley, whom is the female first mate on the Nostromo. Thisrole forst shocked the original audience because Ripley was seen as a position of power above men. But what was even more shocking is that Ripley is the main protagonist in the film, a role usually occupied by male characters. This roles reversal of genders is primarily displayed when Ripley gives te orders, “will you listen to me parker? Shut up!.” This dialogue illustrates through the aggressive tone and long silence that follows just how much power Ripley holds over her fellow crew mates. This stereotype rejection is further elucidated through the dialogue between lambert and Ripley. “open the god dammed hatch, we have to get him inside! No!” demonstrates this rejection of stereotypes as reipley goes against her typical maternal instincts to follow rules. This evolution of Ripley emphasises the fact that scott challenged the traditional values of women who are caring and motherlike by putting them in positions of power and giving them authority over men.
In addition to the role of women, scott notices a lack of human compassion and love. The Vietnam war was a mjor even in the 70’s and it demonstrate that humans are sometimes reckless killing…