451 And Brave New World

For more than half a century science fiction writers have thrilled and
challenged readers with visions of the future and future worlds. These authors
offered an insight into what they expected man, society, and life to be like at
some future time. One such author, Ray Bradbury, utilized this concept in his
work, Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic look at a man and his role in society.

Bradbury utilizes the luxuries of life in America today, in addition to various
occupations and technological advances, to show what life could be like if the
future takes a drastic turn for the worse. He turns man's best friend, the dog,
against man, changes the role of public servants and changes the value of a
person. Aldous Huxley also uses the concept of society out of control in his
science fiction novel Brave New World. Written late in his career, Brave New

World also deals with man in a changed society. Huxley asks his readers to look
at the role of science and literature in the future world, scared that it may be
rendered useless and discarded. Unlike Bradbury, Huxley includes in his book a
group of people unaffected by the changes in society, a group that still has
religious beliefs and marriage, things no longer part of the changed society, to
compare and contrast today's culture with his proposed futuristic culture. But
one theme that both Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 use in common is the
theme of individual discovery by refusing to accept a passive approach to life,
and refusing to conform. In addition, the refusal of various methods of escape
from reality is shown to be a path to discovery. In Brave New World, the main
characters of Bernard Marx and the "Savage" boy John both come to
realize the faults with their own cultures. In Fahrenheit 451 Guy Montag begins
to discover that things could be better in his society but, sue to some
uncontrollable events, his discover happens much faster than it would have. He
is forced out on his own, away from society, to live with others like himself
who think differently that the society does. Marx, from the civilized culture,
seriously questions the lack of history that his society has. He also wonders as
to the lack of books, banned because they were old and did not encourage the new
culture. By visiting a reservation, home of an "uncivilized" culture
of savages, he is able to see first hand something of what life and society use
to be like. Afterwards he returns and attempts to incorporate some of what he
saw into his work as an advertising agent. As a result with this contrast with
the other culture, Marx discovers more about himself as well. He is able to see
more clearly the things that had always set him on edge: the promiscuity, the
domination of the government and the lifelessness in which he lived. (Allen)

John, often referred to as "the Savage" because he was able to leave
the reservation with Marx to go to London to live with him, also has a hard time
adjusting to the drastic changes. The son of two members of the modern society
but born and raised on the reservation, John learned from his mother the values
and the customs of the "civilized" world while living in a culture
that had much different values and practices. Though his mother talked of the
promiscuity that she had practiced before she was left on the reservation (she
was accidentally left there while on vacation, much as Marx was) and did still
practice it, John was raised, thanks to the people around him, with the belief
that these actions were wrong. Seeing his mother act in a manner that obviously
reflected different values greatly affected and hurt John, especially when he
returned with Marx to London. John loved his mother, but he, a hybrid of the two
cultures, was stuck in the middle. (May) These concepts, human reaction to
changes in their culture and questioning of these changes, are evident
throughout the book. Huxley's characters either conform to society's demands for
uniformity or rebel and begin a process of discovery; there are no people in the
middle. By doing so, Huxley makes his own views of man and society evident. He
shows that those who conform to the "brave new world" become less
human, but those who actively question the new values of society discover truth
about the society, about themselves, and about people in general. An example of
this is Huxley's views of drugs as an