March 1, 2012
The Strange Zoo At some point in everyone’s life there comes a point where one wishes that everything could be perfect. Humans wish for complete happiness, and sometimes truly believe that it could be possible, but fortunately it is not. A utopia is defined as an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. In Brave New World by Aldus Huxley, the idea of a utopia is introduced. Throughout the book Huxley shows the readers what a utopia of the world could lead to and what it would be like to live in one. The theme of Brave New World is that society is moving closer and closer to a utopia and this can be symbolized by a zoo and the animals inside of it. The ideal “look” of the World State citizens is very thin, and toned. Linda is one of the main characters in this book and resembles the exact opposite of the ideal image. In the zoo, Linda is portrayed as the hippo because of her size. Linda was first “born” or “created” in the World State. She then lived in the reservation for a while and eventually came back with her son John. When she returns to the World State, the citizens are shocked by her appearance;
“..And this was by far the strongest reason for people’s not wanting to see poor Linda-there was her appearance. Fat; having lost her youth; with bad teeth, and a blotched complexion, and that figure (Ford!)- you simply couldn’t look at her without feeling sick, yes positively sick (Huxley 153).
Linda does not enjoy the way people look at her and see her appearance as disgusting and is very depressed by the whole matter. As a way out she resorted to soma, and “Greedily she clamoured for even larger, even more frequent doses. Dr. Shaw at first demurred; then let her have what she wanted. She took as much as twenty grammes a day” (Huxley 154). Linda’s appearance defends the theme in this book because many people of present society are altering their bodies to look toned and thin like the people of the World State. Obesity and being over weight is frowned upon in the world today. This is proving that present society is moving towards a form of a utopia, which supports the theme of this book. This is very bad because in Brave New World Huxley depicts exactly how creating a utopia can turn out, which ended up to be fatal. In the World State, each social class has their own responsibilities. Bernard Marx is an Alpha in the social classes of the World State. When Bernard was being created, something went wrong that caused him to be shorter, and different looking than the rest of the Alphas. This causes many of the other citizens to make fun of Bernard and causes them not to respect him, as he should be. In response to this foul treatment, Bernard often hides in his “shell” and spends much of his time alone. In the zoo Bernard is seen as a turtle because he often hides in his “shell”, just as a turtle would when they are frightened. In Bernard’s case many people in the world state talk about him behind his back and say: “They say he doesn’t like Obstacle Golf. They say, They say, mocked Lenina. And then he spends most of his time by himself- alone..” (Huxley 45). Bernard realizes that many of the other citizens find him very strange and:
“The mockery made him feel an outsider, and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone” (Huxley 65).
Bernard is very self -conscious about his physical defects. Bernard supports the theme of this book because he is one of the citizens that did not turn out as perfectly as planned. As an effect of this mistake Bernard becomes unhappy and that creates instability. In a utopia stability is one of the major factors of creating the state of being perfect. People in today’s society are trying to fit in, and want to be popular among their peers.