Night and Brave New World – A Comparison

 

Both the Night and Brave New World by Elie Wiesel and Aldous Huxley respectively provide an inside look into the society in which humans live. It is observed from the two books that the authors are raising key problems in the society. In Night, Wiesel uses different themes to present the impact of too much power of the state on the subjects.

An important theme used in the novel is inhumanity against other humans. This means that the author uses the theme of “cruelty” by the authority to persecute their subjects. The main issue coming out is the inability to make sense of the world out of the heinous circumstances that surround the life of author.  The theme of cruelty is portrayed further in the novel where the prisoners turn on each other. This means that violence breeds violence. Instead of comforting and supporting each other during difficult situations, the prisoners turn onto each other.

The strongest part of the book is the use of themes and symbols to portray the story. The author uses fire to symbolize the cruelty of the Nazi Germans. Fire is used as a central symbol in the development of the plot, revealing the horror to come. The symbol of fire also reveals a reverse of Jewish belief. Fire is the bible is associated with God’s comforting power, as seen in the burning bush. In the New Testament, it is a symbol of divine retribution. This is the reverse in the novel, where fire is in the hands of the wicked Nazis (Wiesel & Wiesel, 2011). The other symbol used, which eventually becomes the title of the novel is the Night. Night or darkness marks the beginning of God’s creation of the Universe. He creates Night to dispel darkness. Wiesel uses Night to denote a time when suffering is at its worst.

Brave New World on the other hand presents something like the opposite of the Night. A critical analysis of the title itself shows us the novel is written at a time when the world has become “brave” and there is no physical oppression. However, in that situation, the author reveals that humans have other challenges to deal with. The consumer society, the inability to mix happiness and truth and the dangers of an all powerful state are used in the novel to present an insightful picture of the world viewed as “brave”. The brave powerful world is a world in which the very state that should protect its citizens has turned against them by taking over the rights and liberties of its people. The rigid control of production through medical intervention illustrates a new form of world order, in which humans have no power over their future(Huxley, 2006).  The novel also uses symbols such as “soma” to present its message to its audience.

An analysis of the two novels reveals that whereas they are authored at different historical times in human race, they symbolize the impact of uncontrolled power of state over the people. The Night is authored at a historical time in which the state used extreme violence and persecution of its people to achieve its selfish purpose. The Brave new world on the other hand shows the use of technology to influence the future of its citizens and achieve it selfish goals. The Night reveals the ruthlessness of the German masters, where the Brave New World shows the impact of state control in a new world.

In addition, both authors make use of different themes and symbols to enhance the relay of their message to the audience. The use of fire and the night as symbols in the Night reveals an early historical time in human development. On the other hand, technological and medical intervention, including the surgical removal of ovaries symbolizes an advanced era in human history. A comparison of the two novels reveals that suffering inflected on humans by the actions of the state can only be controlled by denying the state exclusive power of decisions that have important impact on the lives of the people.

References

Huxley, A. (2006). Brave new world. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Wiesel, E., & Wiesel, M. (2011). Night. New York: Hill and Wang.