“Look on my works ye mighty and despair!” [Shelley]: A Comparison of Three Dystopian Novels.

August 31, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Brave New World”, “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” all use their dystopian worlds to engage in moral discussion, critically assessing the morals that the world deems to be ‘correct’. In the face of destruction, the characters in the novels must evaluate their morality, the right course of action that will sustain mankind is unclear. Aldous Huxley, John Wyndham and Alan Moore each invite us to examine how the world presently behaves in order to prevent devastation in the future. Their imagined post-apocalyptic realities attempt to prevent the vanity of mankind from steering into an abyss. If we scrutinise our views now, we can prevent, for instance, a possible controlling autocracy: no one will need to ask the question “Who watches the watchmen?” (Chapter 1, p.9, Panel 7)#. In each novel, mankind itself brings about the brink of extinction. The underlying cold war tensions of the Cold War in “Watchmen” and “The Day of the Triffids” show how the vanity of man and the tendency of individuals and nations to consider themselves ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than others creates the potential for disaster. As a consequence, man is reminded of his own contingency. Because of the arrogance of their creators, these empires of man are contingent and easily removed. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias may proclaim that he is “king of kings”, but “nothing beside remains”. The vanity of man is ultimately his downfall and the reason for humanity’s volatility and fragility. The crisis in each of these dystopian novels raises questions about morality. Where Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia” posits the solution of an imagined perfect society, which provides a contrast to his 16th Century civilisation, these dystopian novels conversely focus on the negative in the current moral value system and take it to its logical conclusion.Although writing in very different times, for each author the central theme is a debate over morality. Huxley’s “Brave New World”, published 1932, exists on the border between dystopia and utopia. The novel’s morality system appears justified to the inhabitants of its civilisation, but seems decidedly dystopian to the majority of readers. Unlike George Orwell’s “1984”, in which the Continent of Oceania is obviously flawed, the society Huxley creates is significantly more ambiguous Huxley’s advanced society revolves around the concept that “Everybody’s happy nowadays”# (p.79) because the world is supposedly perfect. Additionally, everyone is encouraged to take a drug that stimulates happiness known as “soma”2 (p.78). Parts of the belief system are nevertheless presented negatively. The novel suggests that handing out antidepressants to the population is probably not the solution to society’s problems. Tom Andrews contends that “To count as a dystopia [an imaginary place], must be an expression of fear” (p.ix). By exaggerating contemporary views, Huxley implies that eventually we will be reliant on antidepressants for our happiness. This aspect of “Brave New World” is certainly expressing fear and so can be seen as decidedly dystopian.Thomas More suggests, similarly, that happiness and pleasure should not be based on artificial substances or objects. The Utopians assert, “once you get used to [artificial pleasure], you lose all capacity for real pleasure, and are merely obsessed by illusory forms of it”# (p.74). More asks, “what about those people who accumulate superfluous wealth, for no better purpose than to enjoy looking at it? hes their pleasure a real one, or merely a form of delusion?” 3 (p.75). he gives this example, an equivalent of soma, as a pleasure that is ultimately detrimental. However, as opposed to just negatively analysing contemporary values, More provides a more positive account. He makes a direct comparison between current society and the Utopian society, whereas “Brave New World” sheds a disapproving light on contemporary values by progressing such values into a disastrous future. More gives an account of two “real pleasures” 3 (p.76). he contends that, “Mental pleasures include the satisfaction that one gets from understanding something” and “Physical pleasures… are those which fill the whole organism with a conscious sense of enjoyment” 3 (p.76). More highlights problems with society, which transcend the 16th Century, but provides a positive solution in the form of his Utopian island. hen contrast, “Brave New World” posits a solution by describing its opposite.Huxley’s society aims to promote universal ‘happiness’ by promoting sexual promiscuity. Common morality is reversed in “Brave New World”. Promiscuous sex is far from taboo: it is almost compulsory. As the character Fanny asserts, “het’s such horribly bad form to go on… with one man” 2 (p.34). She tells Lenina, “she ought to be a little more promiscuous” 2 (p.36). Huxley’s society has been designed so that everyone is happy all of the time. het is believed that sexual freedom will contribute to the people’s overall well being. By “hav[ing]” 2 (p.38) anybody one wishes, no one is “compelled to live through a long time interval between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfilment” , thus sparing people from “strong… horrible emotions” 2 (p.38). However, whilst More concedes that “sexual intercourse” 3 (p.77) is a form of “physical pleasure” 3 (p.76), he does not go so far as Huxley suggests society may go. “Brave New World” amplifies changing attitudes to sex and implies that eventually people will be “hav[ing]” 2 (p.38) anyone they choose. The sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and the spirituality of sexual intercourse will be made redundant. Huxley’s world goes so far as to encourage “erotic play” 2 (p.27) in small children. Huxley’s contemporary morality is under threat, and he seems to be warning society through his seemingly utopian world. The fundamental concept behind this sexual activity is encapsulated in the phrase “everyone belongs to everyone else” 2 (p.37). According to the novel’s societal codes solidarity is condoned and being alone is disallowed. This premise allows and encourages everybody to take part in promiscuous sex, which supposedly removes the unfulfilled desires from the human psyche that cause distress. The phrase “everyone belongs to everyone else” suggests Socialist values. Within the lore of the novel, the countries of the world have been united into one harmonious continent, in a Communist fashion. Where More’s “Utopia” is arguably a beneficial Communist system, Huxley’s world appears to focus on the negation of human freedoms that such a system on a large scale invokes. hen “Utopia” More describes a “shopping centre in the middle of [each of the town districts]… [in which] the products of every household are collected in warehouses, and then distributed according to type among various shops” 3 (p.60). This system of pooling resources closely resembles Communist collective farms. Huxley’s society once again appears to be progressing ideas, in this case Marxist socialism, to their logical and negative conclusion. The brave new world in the novel, at times, looks as if it could be an utopian world in which everyone is happy due to the Communist system; however the novel ultimately ends with “a pair of… dangled feet… just under the crown of the archway” 2 (p.229). hen that the savage hangs himself in the dénouement, the novel highlights the problems that Huxley’s society produces from concepts about sexual freedom and functioning almost like a Socialist society.In “Day of the Triffids”, published 1951, traditional morals are called into question in discussions on repopulation. As everyone has been blinded, it seems necessary to start having as many sighted babies as possible. hen “Brave New World” monogamous relationships are not considered ‘correct’. A similar attitude is also present in Wyndham’s novel. Doctor Vorless states, “We can afford to support a limited number of women who cannot see, because they will have babies who can see. We cannot afford to support men who cannot see”. he concludes, “hen our new world, then, babies become very much more important than husbands”# (p.120). Traditional loyalties have become redundant through circumstance. Josella thinks that “if [she was] those people in there… [she] should divide us up into lots. [She] should say every man who marries a sighted girl must take on two blind girls as well” 4 (p.124). People are forced by their situation to change their attitudes towards sex and marriage. hen the face of adversity, an intense moral debate is undertaken. After Doctor Vorless’ speech, a woman inquires, “are we to believe that the last speaker is advocating free love… he am asking if he suggests the abolition of the marriage law” 4 (p.121). her moral stance competes with the pragmatism that Vorless advocates. Not all the moral codes can be correct. Wyndham shows that on the brink of destruction complicated moral decisions must be made in order to survive. The woman claims, “There is still God’s law” (p.121) 4. She pursues a blind faith in religion and does not adapt to circumstance, which is her eventual downfall when she later creates a Christian society that is destroyed.“Brave New World” similarly suggests that faith in God is counter-intuitive in modern civilisation as it is “old”. Both authors call into question the reality of God and belief in Him in modern life. Mustapha Mond says, “[religious texts] are about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now” 2 (p.204). Religion is outdated and the continuation of belief is stultifying modern society. henstead, Huxley’s imagined society places its faith in the work of Sigmund Freud and in henry Ford. These figures represent human ideas that have revolutionised the world and the way we think about it. The inhabitants of “Brave New World” have combined these two figures into the concept of “Our Ford” 2 (p.27) and sometimes, when talking about psychology “Our Freud” 2 (p.33), which represents everything that the two men created and developed. Freudian ideas such as the Oedipus complex influence Huxley’s civilisation and are fundamental to the novel’s society. Mustapha Mond asserts, “Our Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life” 2 (p.33). As a result of this theory every human is developed ‘in vitro’ so as to eliminate ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ whose presence supposedly filled the world with “madness and suicide” 2 (p.33). The abolition of marriage and perhaps the destruction of the family unit are the destination of Doctor Vorless’ pragmatic society in “The Day of the Triffids”. Philosophy may be seen as ‘right’, considering the situation, but is obviously not ideal morally. Wyndham assesses society’s current moral values and concludes that they may lead to catastrophe. The widespread blindness that has afflicted the population of the Earth, it transpires, is due to a malfunctioning satellite weapon. The protagonist, Bill Masen, says that there were “unknown numbers of satellite weapons circling round and round the Earth” and asks us to “suppose that one type happened to have been constructed especially to emit radiations that our eyes would not stand… Then suppose there were a mistake, or perhaps an accident… which starts some of these things popping…” 4 (p.247). When creating a dangerous universe of satellite weapons, Wyndham describes the Russo-American tension during the Cold War, which saw the invention of henter Continental Ballistic Missiles (heCBMs) and other such satellite operated destructive devices. When Masen deduces, “we brought this lot down on ourselves” 4 (p.247) Wyndham implies that humanity has become carried away with technological advances and that some in particular have the potential to undo human existence. he brings the nuclear arms race to its dystopian conclusion in “The Day of the Triffids”, emphasising the need to acknowledge nuclear weapons as a serious threat to mankind. “Watchmen” shares this concern with the progression of technology and specifically the threat of nuclear fallout. The conclusion to Chapter 4 quotes Albert Einstein: “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking… The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. hef only he had known, he should have become a watchmaker”1 (Chapter 4, p.28). Though humans have created weapons with enormous destructive capabilities, we have not grasped the need for extreme care. That Einstein wished that he had had nothing to do with creation of the atom bomb underlines its ominous nature. “Watchmen” encapsulates the darkest element of nuclear weaponry through the motif of the Doomsday Clock. Throughout the novel the clock moves closer and closer to midnight as nuclear apocalypse comes ever closer. Both “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” use their imagined dystopias to show how the technologies of man have progressed a step too far and that unless a dramatic alteration of values occurs eventually disaster will ensue. The historical context of the novels may explain the focus on nuclear technologies. In 1953, 2 years after the publication of “The Day of the Triffids, the Doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes to midnight, the closest the world has ever been to theoretical destruction, which may explain Wyndham’s concern with nuclear holocaust. Additionally, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stated in 1980, 6 years before “Watchmen” was first published, that “[The Soviet Union and United States have] been behaving like what may best be described as ‘nucleoholics’–drunks who continue to insist that the drink being consumed is positively ‘the last one,’ but who can always find a good excuse for ‘just one more round’”#.What ultimately causes the downfall of mankind in each novel is man’s vanity. The nuclear arms race in “The Day of the Triffids” and Veidt’s decision to bomb Manhattan in “Watchmen” stems from the belief of a person or faction of people that they are ‘better’ or ‘more capable’ of making decisions than others. More asserts that “No living creature is naturally greedy, except from fear of want – or in the case of human beings, from vanity”, which he defines as the “notion that you’re better than people if you can display more superfluous property than they can” (p.61). For More the problem of human vanity must be erased in order to create his Utopia. The Utopians are free from this need to impress or better the other inhabitants, which More suggests makes them purer and function better than citizens of other nations. Huxley reveals a similar opinion through the exaggeration of current values, as opposed to explicitly stating the flaws in human nature. The oligarchy of ‘World Controllers’ in “Brave New World” shows human vanity at its worst, as they consider themselves more capable of making decisions than anyone else. Whilst More’s society runs on a similar system, he gives a positive account of society. hen “Utopia”, “The population is divided into groups of thirty households, each of which elects an official” (p.51). More concludes that a communal society maintained by a few controllers may be the solution to the problems of government, but suggests that it is elected by a secret ballot, in contrast to Huxley’s autocracy. The government of the novel appears to be utopian, as it unites the world under one way of thinking, but ultimately destroys human liberty and prevents any other way of thinking. Huxley highlights the detrimental consequences of excessive progression of technology as another failing of human vanity. Perhaps affected by a first hand look at commercialism in America during the writing of “Brave New World”, Huxley shows how attempts to make living easier through technological advances can go too far. Creations such as the “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre” manufacture and condition babies into different castes. They are sorted into one of five different social classes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and semi-moronic Epsilons. Each baby is created with a pre-destined choice of class. Their life is fabricated for the sole purpose of acting as a cog in the machine of society. Technological advances such as “Bokanovsky’s process” have made the large-scale production of humans achievable. “A bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo… Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before” (p.4). All the resulting humans are genetically and physically identical. The humans are conditioned so that they enjoy the jobs that they are forced to undertake. Life is made so easy that it becomes almost pointless. Every person is engineered in order to serve a purpose in society. Humanity is self-perpetuating merely for the sake of existence. The individual is rendered redundant as everyone is conditioned to serve society. Yet everyone in the novel is ‘happy’, as the World Controllers have removed anything that would lead to unhappiness. Society moves forward perfectly and efficiently. All the human advances in technology, which seem to make life too simple and to undermine the concept of freedom, make everyone live arguably perfect existences. Because of soma they are content, and play their part in society flawlessly. The limitation of individuality and freedom of speech are the price society ultimately has to pay for perfection, and as Mustapha Mond asserts, “Happiness has got to be paid for” (p.201). The sacrifice of liberty must be made in order for society to function in the way that Huxley envisages. This sacrifice is what blurs the line between utopia and dystopia in “Brave New World”. The novel seems dystopian as basic human freedoms have been disbanded, but the world actually appears utopian due to the perfect harmony and happiness present through every degree of society. David Bradshaw argues that “whatever interpretation the reader favours, it seems more likely that the composition of Brave New World proved so problematic for Huxley… because he was unsure in his own mind whether he was writing a satire, a prophecy or a blueprint” (p.xxiv). Bradshaw underlines the ambivalence in the novel. The protagonist of the novel, Bernard Marx, acts as a case study of a malfunction in the system. Marx is decidedly unhappy in his life and shows that the novel seems to lean towards some sort of satirical prophecy of the future. Huxley’s imagined society fails to make him content.Whilst Huxley differs slightly, Wyndham and Moore’s dystopias fit more appropriately to More’s definition of human vanity, concerning “superfluous wealth”. The underlying theme of “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” is the conflict between The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the USA. Each stockpile nuclear weapons in an attempt to out do the other. The vanity of each nation, in thinking that they were better and stronger than the other, causes “the margin of survival [to narrow] appallingly… from 6 August 1945” (p.115). As a result of the two nations competing for superiority, the world’s safety was put under great threat at the time of Wyndham and Moore’s writing. Wyndham suggests that “the fatal slip” would occur “sooner or later” and when it did “the balance would have been lost, and the destruction let loose” (p.116). The “destruction” refers to nuclear fallout, as all it would have taken to unleash nuclear havoc on the world was a simple “slip” of judgment in a moment of hysteria or, as “The Day of the Triffids” shows, an accident. Wyndham’s dystopia is a hypothetical reality, which acts as an example of what may happen to the world. “Watchmen” uses a similar theme, but presents it differently in a graphic form. Throughout Chapter 3, the radioactivity symbol is used as a motif to represent the omni-present threat of a nuclear winter. The cover of the chapter (Chapter 3, p.1) depicts a skull-like rise of smoke obscuring the words “FALLOUT SheLTER”, making them appear to read “ALL heL”. This imagery gives the same warning as Wyndham’s “[narrow] margin of survival” but depicted graphically; the result of the nuclear arms race is the possibility of a simple “slip” causing “ALL heL” to be let loose. The paranoia about nuclear war is, in each case, driven by the implications of the USSR and USA’s simple human vanity.Vanity is the fundamental human flaw in each of these novels, bringing mankind to its tragic and arguably inevitable end. Both “The Day of the Triffids” and “Watchmen” each refer to Shelley’s “Ozymandias” in order to explore human vanity. hen “The Day of the Triffids”, the character Coker looks back on post-apocalyptic London and says, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” (p.161). The quotation fittingly encapsulates the idea that humans should not consider their works, or themselves, to be immortal. The Houses of Parliament provide a similar image to the “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone” in “Ozymandias”. The narrator in “The Day of the Triffids” finds it “difficult to believe that [the Houses of Parliament] meant nothing any more, that now it was just a pretentious confection in uncertain stone which could decay in peace” (p.152). Each image represents how the vanity of human nature leads it to believe that their “works” will last forever. By juxtaposing the arrogance of this self-belief with a wasteland the flaw of humanity is exposed. Shelley highlights how human empires can easily fall by following the declaration “look on my works ye mighty and despair!” with the line “Nothing beside remains”. The caesural pause after this phrase provides a deadening stop to the line, showing how humanity can just as easily be stopped. Ozymnadias’ “works” are reduced to nothing, showing his quotation to be little more than vain, human hyperbole. Similarly to Shelley, Wyndham describes the “silence” and oblivion of the surrounding area of London. The narrator notes, “[he] had not seen a single living creature… since [they] started”. This observation emphasises the baron wasteland that London has become, “nothing beside remains”. Moore shows similar devastation in “Watchmen” by accompanying the same quotation – “My name is Ozymandias…” – with a completely white panel (Chapter 9, p.28, Panel 13), showing the abyss that has replaced civilisation. At the moment when the character Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias, releases an atomic bomb on Manhattan, he claims to prevent global fallout. Considering Shelley’s poem it seems odd, however, that Veidt should choose the pseudonym Ozymandias, as the character’s empire is obliterated by time. Moore is perhaps suggesting that, while appearing solve the world’s problems, Veidt is just as vain as the Ozymandias from the poem: he has no successor and no equal and in his short-sightedness and vanity just as flawed as every other powerful figure throughout history.Each of the novels shows how flawed human values can lead to disastrous consequence, if left to progress logically. Vanity is prevalent throughout the novels as the fundamental weakness in humanity, which will bring man to be the cause of his own annihilation. “Watchmen” and “The Day of the Tirffids” particularly show how, as a result of being brought to the edge of extinction, man is confronted by his own contingency and insignificance. The “two vast and trunkless legs of stone” not only represent man’s vanity, but also emphasise how easily man’s empires can be swept from existence. Ozymandias’ arrogant exclamations of greatness are supported by “nothing”, which suggests that humans should not think their creations or species to be a necessary part of the world. Like Shelley, Moore contrasts a thriving human civilisation with emptiness. Veidt attempts to confront mankind with its own volatility by destroying Manhattan with the same nuclear power that might obliterate the world. The population of New York City, seen throughout the novel, is reduced in a moment to nothing but images of destruction. Dead bodies are heaped over a large clock that has struck midnight, symbolising the doomsday clock finally striking midnight for humanity. This display effectively shows the fragility of human existence. Just as in The Day of the Triffids “hen no direction was there any traffic, nor any sound of it” (p.53). Wyndham describes the desolation of London, which was obliterated “by one mighty slash” (p.60). Centuries of civilisation can be abolished in a mere moment. The post-apocalyptic void that is left in both novels shows how easily mankind can be reduced to nothing and exposes man’s insignificance compared to the vastness of all other existence.In “Watchmen” Moore explores human insignificance when Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) travels to Mars with Laurie Juspeczyk. She claims that “Everyone [on Earth] will die” due to nuclear war and Jon adds, “… and the universe will not even notice” (Chapter 9, p.18). he has a bleak view of existence and “in [his] opinion, [life is] a highly overrated phenomenon” (p.13). hen the larger picture of the universe, human life is merely an insignificant speck: “brief and mundane” (p.17). When confronted by such epic landscapes as those on Mars (see fig.) it appears difficult to see the importance of human life, as “Mars gets along perfectly without so much as a micro-organism” (p.13). hen “Watchmen” Mars’ magnificent canyons and craters are similar to the abyss that man confronts at the prospect of nuclear war. Jon asks whether “the human heart know[s] chasms so abysmal” (p.18) as the canyons of the Valles Marineris. Moore suggests that when faced with disaster mankind can begin to understand the empty landscapes of Mars, and subsequently his own insignificance. Wyndham expresses similar ideas about the ability of nature and the rest of the universe to engulf humanity. Towards the end of The Day of the Triffids the roads are described as “strips of green carpet” (p.242). As humanity declines, nature is able effortlessly to overpower everything humans have made. Bill claims that “The countryside is having its revenge, all right” and Josella adds, “het’s as if everything were breaking out. Rejoicing that we’re finished, and that it’s free to go its own way” (p.242). Nature is the dominating force in the universe and man is constantly trying to tame it. For Wyndham, just as for Moore, man is minute in comparison to everything else on the Earth and in the universe. Both authors suggest that it is only when the extinction of the race is imminent that man realises his triviality.Moore epitomises mankind’s volatility and insignificance when at the end of Chapter 6 Dr. Malcolm Long muses after arguing with his wife: “Life’s so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing. Next week, he could be putting her into a garbage sack, placing her outside for collection”. He concludes that “The horror is this: in the end, [the Rorschach blot he is contemplating] is simply a picture of empty meaningless blackness. We are alone. There is nothing else” (p.28, Chapter 6). With the prospect of extinction this is the bleak view, which humans face in Watchmen. The final panel is completely black, representing the abyss that because of his flaws mankind confronts. het is accompanied by one of Nietzsche’s epigraphs, which can be seen as an epigraph for the whole novel: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”. Humans have ‘battled’ with the monster of nuclear power and have become “monsters” themselves as a result. Confronted with the abyss and as “the abyss gazes also”, they are drawn into its “blackness” and realise their contingency and fragility. hen chapter 6 Dr. Long’s descent into nihilism after psychoanalysing the “abyss” of Rorschach’s mind, acts as a microcosm for the larger implications of Nietzsche’s epigraph. “Brave New World” also acknowledges mankind’s fragilty. Huxley’s society has removed emotions such as love and concepts such as God and sin in order to maintain a stable civilisation. The Controller insists that “The wheels must turn steadily… There must be men to tend them, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (p.36). he recognises that human nature is volatile and subservient to its emotions. By conditioning the people of “Brave New World” out of emotion and removing emotional art, the Controller maintains that they have achieved “… stability. The primal and the ultimate need” (p.36). However, the Savage, the most recognisably ‘human’ character, suggests that the Controller’s society is in fact an “abyss”, in which people have no emotions: they have become “monsters”. When he is looking at “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre”, “By some malice of his memory [he] found himself repeating Miranda’s words. ‘O brave new world that has such people in it’”. The savage uses the phrase earlier in the novel to express awe at the prospect of civilisation, but he repeats it ironically to show his abhorrence and horror at what he is presented with. hen “Brave New World” Huxley’s imagined society has “battled with monsters” and is faced with “the abyss”. Only the savage has the free will to gaze into it and when he does he sees the real horror of what the World Controllers have created.Huxley’s Brave New World, whilst critiquing parts of society, also paradoxically entertains the possible benefits of communist ideas by weaving them into his imagined world. Many people were communists in the 1930s, partly because they believed communism would prevent another world war. Having lived through the First World War, Huxley expresses a fear of the horrors that the war brought and sees hope in communist ideals. His dystopia focuses on the importance of “stability” in society, which is essential in preventing conflict. Wyndham and Moore, however, are part of a nuclear age in which the reality of an “abyss” is much more immediate. They evaluate societal problems such as the nuclear arms race and show a disastrous future as a consequence. Despite various moral viewpoints being portrayed in these novels, an overall authorial position is never established. The texts are so ambivalent because the voice of the author is illusive, so a conclusive message is never established. None of the authors have an alternative vision of the future to offer; they all critique but refuse to create. This position is a very comfortable one to hold. Ironically, by never being concrete in their positions, they are avoiding the vanity that they all condemn by not proposing anything positive. Huxley seems, at times, to be depicting a utopia, but the unhappy presence of the savage and Bernard Marx almost definitively show Huxley’s world to be dystopian. More, on the other hand, does propose a solution through his “Utopia”. Many societal problems are addressed and a totally positive world is presented. However, by posing this solution More falls victim to the vanity that he firmly rebukes in his novel. Certainly his enthusiastic persecution of Protestants suggests that he had the arrogance to think his views better than others.

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