For those who want to read about the setting of Brave New World try Helium. The article below is ranked number 5 by its members. Links to articles ranked 1-4 can also be found there.
In Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill writes that “it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.” By this he meant there are qualitative degrees of satisfaction and if to be satisfied we’re lowered in status to that of a pig, it’s better for us to be dissatisfied humans. The film Gattaca and the books Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale create fictional places where the needs and desires of humans are met, but not as well as they should be and not without a price. Given the achievements in science over the last several decades, specifically in areas of genetics and biology, it is no wonder why we dream of altering our world in the name of progress. But with social progress in these tales comes repressed individuality, loss of personal freedom, and discrimination of those who aren’t the biological elite. Because such stories deal with these potential imperfections of utopia, they’re called dystopias, pessimistic visions of societies striving to be ideal but never reaching their goal.
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