How effective is Brave New World as a Satire?
By the word Satire, I understand that it is the use of mockery or exaggeration to expose faults in a subject. Huxley’s subject is unclear as he himself, in the introduction, was said to be unsure whether he was writing a satire, a prophecy or a blueprint and so the subject matter is open to interpretation. I believe that Huxley was trying to satirize the world around him and the way that it was heading. Due to this being my understanding of the subject, I believe that the satire is undermined by the fact that the novel is too topical. A number of references, names, and allusions in Brave New World could be missed by the casual reader.
Huxley draws upon his own extensive background in history, economics, and science and often assumes the reader is immediately aware of the significance of a particular word. For instance we don’t necessarily understand the significance of the name “Mustapha Mond” reading it in this modern age. People reading this novel when it was first published, however, would have seen that the mention of the surname “Mond” was a reference to the English industrialist and politician Sir Alfred Mond. He played a leading part in the centralization of the English chemical industry in his lifetime and so for Huxley to use his name would have been noticed and acknowledged more than our acceptance of it as just a name. Also, our understanding of the significance of the people of Brave New World’s obsession with Henry Ford is not as thorough as those of the 1930’s due to the topicality of the novel. Henry Ford is glorified in the World State for his induction of the mass production method and "the introduction of Our Ford's first T-model … chosen as the opening date of the new era". Ford is the basis of religion in the World State just as Christ is in many modern religions. The people of the novel’s minds can easily be manipulated by the state and its controllers into believing anything, but the prolonged brainwash of the citizens creates a suppression of creativity, which results in a direct loss of mental freedom. The stable world of a government controlled society appears to be a Utopia, where everyone is happy and lives in harmony, but the price paid is comparable to the superficial happiness that the citizens receive. It seems that the general message that Huxley is trying to get across to us is that the price for Utopia, in a word, is freedom.