Comparing the Philosophies of Brave New World and Anthem Essay

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The Philosophies Brave New World and Anthem

The books Brave New World by Aldus Huxley and Anthem by Ayn Rand are both valuable twentieth-century contributions to literature. Both books explore the presence of natural law in man and propose a warning for what could happen when man's sense of right and wrong is taken from him. In this essay, I hope to show how these seemingly unrelated novels both expound upon a single, very profound, idea.

Before launching into the implications of these two novels, I believe a summary of the general human experience in each of the two societies is necessary. Brave New World illustrates a society in which science has been elevated to a god-like position. In this novel, human
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Soma is the drug of choice and is readily available. Solidarity services are required for each citizen to help keep conditioning in tact. With all the scientific preservation of the body, it reaches sixty in near perfect condition, but then rapidly deteriorates.

In contrast, Anthem is a society that has almost completely rejected science. It too is set in a futuristic time, but one that has regressed significantly. Believing science was evil, the controllers banished it and when the novel begins the candle is still a new invention. In this nation, breeding takes place once a year and children conceived are raised in group homes with codes instead of names. Students enter school and are discouraged from learning too much or being too inquisitive. Citizens in Anthem are forbidden to speak personal pronouns and to do so is a crime punishable by death. At fifteen, all students are assigned randomly to a job where they will work until they turn forty. At forty years old, the controllers send them to live in the Home of the Useless. After a full day of work, citizens all attend a social council meeting and then social recreation. Citizens are forbidden to be alone and communication with the opposite sex is strictly forbidden. Citizens have no drug to numb themselves, though they do not revolt or even express dissatisfaction, their despair is evident in the hopeless lives they lead.

Although, these books on the surface seem