Misogyny in Brave New World Essay Sample

I believe the manner Huxley portrays and treats the female population reflects the inequalities in gender and misogynism in the early twentieth century society which the novel was written in. I have read and analysed articles on this affair and have found them to all by and large agree with my hypothesis. One thing I have found interesting is that I have found no articles written before the 1990’s on the gender issue in Brave New World. This could demo how merely late it is going evident to us in our society of a gender prejudice. Another of import thing to observe is that non all the critical essays I read were written by adult females ; David Leon Higdon wrote a compelling article which proves that the misogynism and inequality in Brave New World is non something that takes a female feminist militant to indicate out. I have besides read two other articles written by female writers. one being an anon. UK pupil. and the other June Deery. For the most portion. I entirely agreed with the points they made about the gender prejudice in Huxley’s work. Lenina. a inoculation worker and lover of John the Savage. is apparently denied a function of a Rebel by Huxley in Brave New World. For illustration. near the beginning of the book. Lenina’s behavior is instead irregular. She wears green. alternatively of the Grey or maroon uniform which she is expected to have on as an alpha or beta ( which particular one. we are non told ) .

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Alternatively of conforming to the society’s conventions of freely holding insouciant sex with anyone. she entirely dates one peculiar adult male for hebdomads on terminal. David Leon Higdon makes a important point on this subject: “Rather than facing. developing. and enabling her rebellion. Huxley’s text takes retaliation on her and virtually humiliates her back into the confines of the systems. It unfeelingly violates her word picture in the early chapters. ” After reading his article. I realised how true this statement was. Lenina was built up with the potency to hold a strong rebellious function in the book ; but come Chapter Four. she becomes merely a narrative feeder to assist explicate of import facts about the Utopia to the reader. One illustration of this is when Lenina asks Henry. “Why do the fume tonss have those things like balconies around them? ” to which Henry – of class a male character – replies with the account. Higdon writes. “I believe he was so blinded by his misogynism that he created a character at odds with his text who resisted suiting comfortably into the fabrication of the text” . This is a really strong and notable sentiment by Higdon. and one I decidedly agree with. Lenina had so much potency to be a lead rebellious character in the narrative.

However. unmindful to how below the belt he was handling this female charcter. Huxley had denied her a function which he had saved for merely male characters – a function presumptively he thought merely a male character would be strong plenty to manage. It seems to be that adult females are non given any places of power at all within the text. rebellion or non. First and first. all the people of authorization in the novel are male. There is one adult female. Miss Keate. who as a principal holds a degree of power over pupils – but curiously in a society with no matrimony Huxley has taken away her first name. portion of her individuality. As June Deery puts it. “Perhaps Huxley has forgotten this in his desire to animate the stereotype of the spinsterish headmistress. the adult female who achieves place merely by give uping her ‘true femininity’ . ” Again. another contemplation of a stereotype. a gender prejudice of Huxley’s clip. She besides notes. “When it is a inquiry of possessing cognition or holding an instruction. one time once more it is the work forces who appear to be in a superior place. ” This is an of import point ; we ne’er read of adult females analyzing. traveling to school. having an instruction. However we do read of work forces larning and researching ; in fact. the book opens to a group of male childs being given a circuit and larning about the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre.

This is such a important construct for Huxley to ignore. How could he perchance have tried to make a utopia and overlooked giving the females in his universe an instruction? I know that all kids ( regardless of gender ) in 1920’s USA were required to travel to school by jurisprudence ; I find it difficult to believe Huxley had merely ‘forgotten’ to include females being educated every bit good as males in Brave New World. In Brave New World. Huxley had attempted to make a Utopia. the ‘perfect world’ . Yet his fictional existence is badly destabilised by the manner he treats the females in his work. “In some cases. Huxley both recognises the prejudice in the system and explicitly condemns it. but in other cases it is a map of his ain position and he is unmindful to the inequalities his illustration introduces. ” June Deery’s remark here is extremely relevant. and I can non hold more. For illustration. it is the work forces who ask adult females out on day of the months. and the work forces who drive around adult females in choppers. The elusive inequality continues as we read of work forces masticating sex endocrine masticating gum and speaking about different adult females as sexual spouses. but there is no record of adult females masticating this gum or speaking about work forces in the same manner.

This is uneven. as Huxley had attempted to make a utopia 100s of old ages into the hereafter. where adult females are assumed to be equal to work forces. Yet this is non so. The double-standards in his authorship are reminiscent of the criterions set for adult females in the clip the book was written and these incompatibilities threaten to sabotage his work. An anon. pupil poses an of import inquiry on this issue: “When composing a dystopia. how far removed should the capable affair be from one’s perceived world? ” This is a just point. as there is merely so much that could be imagined for a wholly new universe. But why is it that Huxley predicted so much for a future universe. but ignored ( presumptively unwittingly ) the misogynism and inequality in it? I can merely presume the reply to this is due to the criterions of the society of the book’s clip. The thought that work forces were of greater importance was so drilled into people’s heads that Huxley had written this book without gaining how biased he was. This can besides explicate why I have non found any critical essays from an earlier clip period on gender inequality in Brave New World. Sing how the three articles I have studied align good with my hypothesis. I can safely reason that I have made a plausible statement ; that Brave New World reflects the gender prejudice of its clip. The critics are both male and female. demoing that irrespective of gender there is still a clear gender prejudice – it does non take a passionate women’s rightist to indicate out the misogynism in Huxley’s work. However. I must indicate out that the lone articles I could happen were written around the same clip period. all written in and after 1992. This may be because gender inequality has merely going apparent to our society late ; before there was still so much misogynism in society that people were accustomed to it.


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