Brave New World Soma Essay

"Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant"—that's what Mustapha says of soma. It's arguably the best tool the government has for controlling its population. It sedates, calms, and most importantly distracts a person from realizing that there's actually something very, very wrong—namely, that the citizens of the World State are enslaved. 

John, of course, picks up on this in Chapter 15; that's why he chucks the stuff out of the window in the name of freedom. This Mel-Gibson-in-The Patriot moment is not so effective, mostly because of the way that soma enslaves its users: happiness. Everyone is trapped by happiness. And those are some tough chains to break.

Another thing to think about here is Mustapha's famous claim that soma is "Christianity without the tears." We get the "without the tears" bit, since a consequence-free high seems to speak for itself, but what does this drug have to do with religion? Well, as we've said, soma is an opiate that allows its users to be controlled. Brave New World seems to argue that Christianity functions in much the same way. It controls through pacification. It offers comfort, but at the expense of individuality. What do you think?

The Use of Soma to Shape and Control Society in Huxley's Brave New World

1713 Words7 Pages

The Use of Soma to Shape and Control Society in Huxley's Brave New World

The future of the world is a place of thriving commerce and stability. Safety and happiness are at an all-time high, and no one suffers from depression or any other mental disorders. There are no more wars, as peace and harmony spread to almost every corner of the world. There is no sickness, and people are predestined to be happy and content in their social class. But if anything wrong accidentally occurs, there is a simple solution to the problem, which is soma. The use of soma totally shapes and controls the utopian society described in Huxley's novel Brave New World as well as symbolize Huxley's society as a whole. This pleasure drug is the answer to all of…show more content…

Soma is the answer to all of life's problems and is invented in an attempt to distract society from worry, tension, and pain. The drug is rationed by the government and is normally consumed after a hard day's work. In this utopian society, people choose to "know no pain" (Clareson 238). Instead of suffering, people fill their days with the mindless acts they were predestined to perform. At the end of each day, everyone gathers in crowded distribution rooms and waits eagerly to receive the one thing that truly makes the day worthwhile, which is his or her ration of soma (Huxley 215). This valuable drug goes beyond the literal meaning in which it is being used and becomes the one thing that everyone really lives for. The idea in the novel is that pleasure is the most powerful motivator (Clareson 238). So by giving the masses pleasure, the directors keep the world running smoothly. The directors also eliminate the time between desire and fulfillment, so one cannot help but take the quick fix of soma rather than using logic to figure out his or her problems. It is the mass' motivator and problem solver, and brings the people all the great moods and feelings that they could possible ask for because of its hypnotic power to relax the mind (Meerloo 236). Unfortunately, when the futuristic people take this drug, they eventually

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