Ignorance in society is bliss because what you don’t know can’t hurt you. If you don’t know what bad is exactly, then nothing can be considered as bad. Nothing can inflict pain and grief. In Brave New World the characters consistently take soma in order to block emotions and maintain happiness at all times. They use the drug in order to keep themselves unfazed, and as a result there are no problems or concerns to cause questioning of society. This idea that serenity accompanies ignorance is not only explored in Huxley’s novel. In our society blindness of the real world is often favored over the dirty and often frightening truth. It can absolutely be argued that ignorance in world dilemmas and society is easier and more beneficial. The less you know, the less you need to worry. If you limit your intelligence with certain issues, you become oblivious to the harm or affect it may take on your life.


"'Adults intellectually and during working hours,' he [Bernard] went on. 'Infants where feeling and desire are concerned.'
'Our Ford loved infants." (p. 94)

In this passage, Lenina’s answer to Bernard appeals to the highest authority in Brave New World society: Ford. She does so in order to add weight to her assertion that the immaturity and ignorance of infants are superior to the maturity and deep understanding of adults. To readers, her attribution of this opinion to Ford implies that Brave New World society as a whole also holds this same opinion. Huxley’s purpose in this passage is to communicate that society prefers to have the intellect of an adult so they can do their jobs, but the emotional maturity of an infant in order to avoid the mental anguish that desires and feelings sometimes bring.




“No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy—to preserve you, as far as that is possible, from having emotions at all” (43)- Controller

The Controller is saying that in the distopian world the rulers are making all decisions to what they believe will help the good of the population. They are doing everything they can to keep people emotionless because this keeps them ignorant. They are conditioned to just take a gramme of soma if you start to feel anything because a mental vacation is better than feeling; emotions equals instability which equals turmoil. This would signify an end to the stable society that was created. The people whom this was directed to feel a sense of trust, specifically the pronoun, "you," and "your lives". If someone told you that they did everything to make your life easy, trust would be instilled in them. They are not completely aware of this, but are saved from grief, sadness, pain, anger, jealousy, annoyance, and euphoria-all emotions that can create problems and instability. Readers believe that the Controller is hinting that by keeping the members of society ignorant, it leads to happiness, although it is slightly disturbing to think of blocking all emotions. The words also make readers think about how simple the world would be if there were no emotions. Huxley's purpose was to convey to the reader that ignorance is the key to preserving a stable socieity, especially by forcing people to block emotions with drugs.




“But industrial civilization is only possible when there's no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning…Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can't. … People still went on talking about truth and beauty as though they were the sovereign goods. Right up to the time of the Nine Years' War. That made them change their tune all right. What's the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are popping all around you? … People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. We've gone on controlling ever since. It hasn't been very good for truth, of course. But it's been very good for happiness. One can't have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for.” (243) - Mustapha Mond

Mond is conveying his views to John the Savage by explaining the world he is running. John yearns for God, freedom, pain, feelings, marriage, love, arts, science- all things that are strictly forbidden in the "brave new world." These things create problems and instability, which leads in unhappiness. Religion has led to wars, pain to suffering, feelings to depression, marriage to divorce, love to destruction, arts and science to truth. Without these things, it is a very ignorant society, yet everyone is happy. The most prominent part of this passage is, "Happiness has got to be paid for." This conveys to the characters and the readers. Mond himself had to give up science and knowledge and the truth, things he deperately desired, for the good of the world. Keeping people uneducated has been great for society and stability but horrible for truth. Mond had to make a sacrifice for the good of the people just as John will need to make a sacrifice if he wants to have his ideal world. Mond helped John see that the world may not be perfect by their standards, it is stable, people are happy, and life is good. Readers can see that there is fault in this attempt at an idealistic world, yet it is certainly the lesser of two evils. A little sacrifice for a pain-free world just might be worth it. Huxley's purpose is to convey to the readers that society revolves around happiness. Art, science, beauty, and truth only get you so far. They will not lead to happiness, but controversy and arguements. Giving in to not knowing everything makes a population live in pure happiness with a little help from a few grammes of soma. In other words, ignorance is bliss.



"Whore! Impudent Strumpet!" (194)-John the Savage

John is calling Lenina a whore because she is trying to seduce him in to having sex with her. While this type of behavior is accceptable in the dysutopian society, John is living inside the world of Shakespeare and therefore is constantly following the societal views of that time. This is evident when John starts screaming Lenina, calling her whore and an "impudent strumpet"-a phrase commonly used as an insult in the Elizabethan era. By continuing to view the world through the eyes of William Shakespeare, John is choosing to ignore the truth of the "new world"; in reality the new world he has been dreaming of is nothing like the one he is currently living in. By incorporating Shakespearean language into John the Savage's dialect, Huxley is showing the reader sense of delusioned bliss that comes with ignorance. John was only able to continue living in the Brave New World Society by commiting himself to act as if he was still living in Shakespearean times, and by holding people to the moral standards of those times. Despite the fact that John claims he loves Lenina he cannot bear to face the fact that she, just like the "new world", is nothing like he envisioned. As a result, they only way he can continue to spend time with Lenina is by viewing everything as if it was the Elizabethan era. However the combination of Lenina's attempt at seducing him and the hospital workers cavilier attitude towards his mother's dad caused this delicate illusion to shatter. John the Savage is the perfect example of the bliss and happiness that can result from ignorance.