Many people believe they have a clear idea of what happiness is, and exactly what they need to do in order to achieve it. However, countless are misguided in their beliefs. Although many would think that wealth, power, and stability constitute happiness, this is certainly not the case. Brave New World portrays a perfectly controlled society, meant to eliminate the horrors of conflict, instability, and unknowns such as death. Sounds perfect, right? Not quite. Despite its surficial benefits, it is clear that this society is far from perfect in terms of happiness and human mental well being. The society of Brave New World has stripped its inhabitants of the privileges that help define happiness as well as those that determine humanity itself.
Brave New World creates a society designed to be perfectly stable and orderly, creating and conditioning its inhabitants to function practically as robots. It attempts to make everyone equals by creating large groups of identical twins, and genetic classes of people designed to fit into certain roles in society. However, this only reinforces the division between groups by creating classes that determine a person’s genetic makeup and everything about their life. People are denied liberty and basic human rights in the creation of these classes. And even further, people are deprived of individuality, by being created as twins and conditioned to have the same beliefs. Everyone is forced to conform to the strict order of society, and no one can have any personal opinions or character. Bernard struggles with this throughout the novel, as he feels different from everyone else and is alienated because of his attempt to express his personal opinions and general discontent with society. People are not able to form true human relationships in this environment.
Yes, the people in Brave New World claim to be living happy lives. But this is only because they do not know what happiness really is. Their society has been confined so much that they are not able to experience true human emotions, such as love and happiness. And even their superficial perceived happiness has its limits. The people rely strongly on their daily dose of soma to keep them going, as evidenced by the riot that occurs when Bernard begins throwing the soma rations out the window. They are craving fulfillment that they are not able to achieve under the constraints the the World State society.
Brave New World shows us that human happiness depends on true human connections. Without individuality and opinions, there can be no meaningful connections between people. Yes, the people in Brave New World are social, but they have been deprived of the humanity necessary to form real relationships. And without these bonds, they are not able to experience true human happiness. They believe they are happy, but looking in from the outside it is clear that what they are experiencing is far from the true human happiness we know. In a world so stabilized that there are no individual opinions or personalities, people have no true basis on which to connect. Yes, there is no conflict and no horrors experienced by the inhabitants of the World State, but there is no love and happiness either.