Crime in Brave New World: What Constitutes Crime?

Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
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The novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was a satirical book that criticized human trends and created, according to the present course of human development, an ideal society, where everyone belongs to a particular social class which they are unable to escape.

In this regulated society, certain aspects of life are considered sinful, and regarded as crime, and are forbidden from even being brought up in social settings. But one of Huxley’s most serious crimes in his novel is that of family loyalty. The Utopia and its Policies

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The scenario described in the book was that of a utopia, but it was only so in that everyone adhered strictly to certain policies. There was little freedom, or room for rebellion or even modest social exploration in this scenario, as such engagements could challenge the state, which endeavored to keep everything in place. This meant to appease the state, everyone would have lead a bland life with little social freedom and hardly any civil liberties, and they were to perform the duty the state had given them.

The future society, which in this book takes place in London during the year 2540 AD, is built around certain ideals which are represented time and again by the conformation of people to the ideology created. Crime as Something that Contradicts State Informal crime is represented by anything that goes against the ideals of the society.

The society is The World State, where everything is peaceful and coordinated, so long as everyone follows their given life directions (which are actually more like instructions, or restrictions on anything other than what each was intended to do).

The state is stable as everyone works in accord with it, but doing so means that everyone must realize basic social restrictions, which, in the actual world, would often be privileges. Conformity and tacit and constantly expressed consent to this society are imperative parts of its existence, as it draws from every person within it.

The World State’s Conformity Requirement, and Assembly Line Structure The World State uses a definite class system, and from young ages, children are taught to except the given class they were born into, as it was best for them.

In the novel, the year the book takes place in is the “year of our Ford, 632,” which is taken from the Ford motor company and its assembly line technique. This technique is applied to the public in The World State, as everyone is supposed to do their part, and not doing so, or exploring any alternatives to someone’s given and directed path of life represents that person’s committing a crime. Anything that could challenge conformity, or this assembly line lifestyle is crime in this society.

Sexual exploration, or even talk of such taboos as pregnancy and drugs are examples of crimes, as they are mentally stimulating, which seems to be the basic component of all crime. But the biggest crime might be adherence to family. Families inevitably create loyalty.

This takes the loyalty of the individual to the state away, and gives it to other individuals. Alliance is wrong, because alliance represents loyalty to some entity other than the state, which only exists by collecting everyone’s undisputed loyalty.

Savages: Those who Manage to Break Away or Avoid the Restrictive State “‘Wanted to have a look at the savages. Got a permit for New Mexico and went there for my summer holiday. With the girl I was having at the moment. She was a Beta-Minus, and I think’ (he shut his eyes), ‘I think she had yellow hair.

Anyhow she was pneumatic, particularly pneumatic; I remember that,’” Huxley’s director stated at one point, illuminating the fact that people who have and exercise free will, and do as they please by living outside of the Utopia, are savages (chapter six section two).

At the same time as he is explaining his trip to the savage reservation, he is designating aspects of The World State, as the girl he is describing was not actually he daughter, but only implemented by the state to be so. She was predestined to follow his line of life.

Instead of natural pregnancy, citizens of the utopia use pregnancy substitutes, which are medical procedures that impregnate women without the assistance of men. The closest thing to any sort of rebellion citizens of The World State have access to is the drug soma, which intoxicates in a sort of technical way.

There are no dangerous side effects, and this makes it somehow conform with the ideal society. Breaking Away from and Taking from the Brainwashing Society: The Ultimate Crime Because the society described in Brave New World is one where societal brainwashing (usually exercised by sleep education, or hypnopaedia) is commonplace, people believe that the state is best for them. Alternatives to the state are therefore commonly discouraged, although education can ultimately allow freedom from this restricting society, and allow people to enjoy aspects of the peaceful life of savages.

“Education for freedom must begin by stating facts and enunciating values, and must go on to develop appropriate techniques for realizing the values and for combating those who, for whatever reason, choose to ignore the facts or deny the values,” Huxley wrote in Brave New World Revisited, in chapter eleven (1958). But because the society taught the same values to everyone according to their class, education beyond those values was considered an act of rebellion, and was therefore deemed criminal.

Such education allowed for people to recognize, and possibly embrace loyalties to entities other than The World State, which would lead to the destruction of the state. And even basic loyalties, such as those amongst families or friends, took some of every individual’s allegiance to the state, which, in Brave New World, constituted the most serious of crimes, discouraged by the state by expulsion from a not so perfect utopia.


Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946. Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World Revisited. New York.

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Crime in Brave New World: What Constitutes Crime?. (2016, Jul 08). Retrieved from

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